Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Bahamas

Digging through my photos the other day I thought it would be fun to show some of the things that triggered me into developing the plot of the latest book.  In 1982, before the Falklands started my ship 'Andromeda' was tasked to go to the Bahamas to do torpedo trials.  The storm at the start of the book was exactly what we encountered on the way over.  The Atlantic in January can be a pretty dreadful place.  I only wish I had used my camera but was too busy holding on for dear life.
The Bahamas were pretty lawless in places and we were definitely warned to be careful about getting near any potential drug smugglers - they shot first and asked question after.  In those day we were effectively unarmed.  The first photo shows us on a deserted concrete airstrip.  If I remember correctly it was called the 'Alexander E Bain International airfield' on Andros Island.  A very grand name for a deserted bit of concrete.  We were there to swing our compass, something we did on a regular basis.  As we were doing our thing, about six very large locals came out of the undergrowth with machetes in their hands.  Bob and I looked at each other.  If they had bad intentions there was absolutely nothing we could have done.  In fact they were very friendly and only wanted to know what on earth we were doing, as despite all the rubber marks on the runway the place was virtually never used.  But it got me thinking......

There also a bit in the book about climbing a coconut tree.  Here is the evidence:


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