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Sports Illustrated's traveling artist, John Groth, captures the spirit of the lively islands in the sunshine of carnival time

A Bahamian sailor is a workingman who uses his boat to fish, hunt conches, haul pigs to market and visit friends among the 700 islands and 2,000 cays. Once every April, however, when their captains take them to George Town, Great Exuma for the Out Island Regatta, the working boats become yachts. During the races the entire Exuma population plus His Excellency, the Governor of the Bahamas, watch from the shore as the boats anchor at the starting line. At the gun, the anchors are hauled in a feverish hurry and canvas is piled on to the limit, including borrowed dinghy sails if the boat crew can get them aloft. Cash prizes can equal a year's pay.

Successful island fishing trip for one of the thousands of American couples who get down to the Bahamas is the occasion for a shot of the catch

Surrey tour through the streets of Nassau, capital City of the Bahamas, finds bicycles carting everything from family laundry to fresh fruit


John Groth