Jim Sheldon: Vacation Rental Owner in Bahamas

Jim Sheldon Vacation Rentals Owner

Jim Sheldon

We have enjoyed coming to Hope Town since we were first married and still in college many years ago. Just prior to that, we learned that a deceased great aunt had come into possession of this property in some Florida land dealings just after the crash of 1929. She was a widowed rural Minnesota school teacher and lost her minimal cash investment in Florida but gained title to this spectacular property somehow through one of the other investors. Thinking the property of no value, she never told any other family members about it and never visited the Bahamas to see for herself. Finally, after her death, the property eventually came into our names in the 1960’s.
After visiting the property and camping on the “beach out front” in those early days, we realized what a grand circumstance and special opportunity we had as a result of this unexpected inheritance. More visits were forthcoming, contacts made and eventual work permits granted to teach students working for a large company, Owens Illinois (locally known as Bahama Agricultural Industries Limited or BAIL), growing sugar cane for the first time on the main island of Abaco. The operation only lasted 3 years and we had no choice but to return to the U.S. to pursue our careers.
Why Jim Sheldon chose Hope Town
That 3 year Bahama experience, with our then young daughters, was one of the best of our lives and we haven’t been the same since. We were eventually drawn to overseas living once again with the idea of “someday“ continuing to pursue our dream of having a vacation home on Elbow Cay. After 4 years of teaching at the Taipei American School in Taiwan where our daughters graduated from high school, we continued our overseas adventure by teaching at the American School of Dubai, UAE for the next 20 years.
A few years ago, we as a family commenced building and upgrading the property. It took about 3 summers to complete the ramp to the top of the dune for golf cart access. It took another three summers to build the actual house. We had professional help but went to great pains to situate the house just right to maximize the prevailing breezes and make sure that it was as hurricane proof and open to the ocean view as possible. It all was worthwhile!! And thanks to Great Aunt WYNNE, we and countless other guests and renters have been able to enjoy the fruits of our labors. We gave the middle name of Wynne to one of our daughters and the name of Rae to the other. Hence the unique name for our Bahama vacation home, the WYNNE RAE.
What makes this villa unique
We are currently retired and living in Florida but spend the month of July at the Wynne Rae with our kids and grandkids. We return in the fall when the rental season is a bit slack to continue to enjoy the Wynne Rae, Hope Town and all of Elbow Cay as well as unparalleled sailing with our own trimaran sailboat, TRI-ING TIMES, on the Sea of Abaco.
Hurricane Dorian paid a visit to Abaco and the off shore islands on September 1, 2019 with up to 185 mile an hour winds. For three days it lingered pounding Elbow Cay from every direction creating devastation to homes, boats and businesses. The Wynne Rae lost the entire central part of the house and left our trimaran sailboat battered and missing her mast. We will eventually bring her back as a motor cruiser rather than a sailboat. The round middle section of the house has been completely rebuilt stronger with impact resistant windows and impact resistant shutters. The greenery of the island has returned, homes and businesses have been repaired and the quaint vibrant Hope Town settlement is up and running with the freshly painted lighthouse overlooking the Hope Town harbour just like it always has over the years.
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