Abaco Account, June 1966
Floyd Lowe’s brother Harold had started a rudimentary ferry service using two vessels. In 1970 he decided to go and live in the USA and approached Floyd with an offer: run the ferry service on a salary; buy part of the business; or buy the whole concern. Harold also had a seafood business that he wanted Floyd to run for him.
“I Decided to buy the ferry boat business outright and set about expanding the service to meet the demands of increased tourism in Green Turtle Cay.”
Floyd’s son Nigal gives the history of the ferry service. Floyd started with two vessels, the Bolo and Terror. The latter was sold back to Harold because it was not considered suitable for use as a Ferry boat. The Bolo was a 37-foot vessel with a 3 foot draft built by Percy Thompson of Marsh Harbour.
In the early 1970s the Donnie I was bought. It had a gasoline engine and had to be fitted with a diesel engine before seeing service as a ferry boat and was renamed Bolo III. Next came the Lenmar, a 28-foot that was bought from Captain Leonard Thompson and renamed Bolo II. A 21- foot boat with outboard engines was bought in Treasure Cay and called Bolo IV. There were several other boats that were owned and sold. In the early 1980s the company bought three new fiberglass boats in Florida built by Andy Grant of Key West.
During the years 1999 to 2005 all the ferry boats were replaced by new vessels from Andy Grant, who by then was working out of the Miami River. When the Green Turtle Ferry Service celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2010 there were four ferry boats named Bolo I to IV.
Two years shy of 50 years of service, there have been no accidents or loss of life. The ferry runs on time and in all weather, short of a hurricane. Nigal tells the story of how he once left his father back on the mainland. He was ready to return to Green Turtle Cay with a full load of passengers when somebody called out that Floyd was coming. The vessel was insured for 40 passengers, and he would have made 41. Nigal pulled off and left Floyd at the dock, a decision he fully approved when he learned the reason for Nigal’s action.
The Green Turtle Ferry Service covers New Plymouth Harbour, Black Sound, White Sound and the mainland. Altogether there are 56 possible stops. Floyd’s sons Nigal and Larry, grandsons Troy and Josh and grandson in law Joshua are the captains. Curtis Hodgkins, Nigal’s brother in law, was also a captain since inception but retired in 2014.
In addition to the regular runs the ferry boats are often used for medical transport of people to the mainland.
The Green Turtle Ferry Service is proud of its high standard of Service and its record for punctuality.