End of the Line
Stocking Island, The Exumas
Article and featured photo by Polly Dean
Each and every Sunday, all are welcome to join locals and visiting boaters to enjoy the beaches, shade of the twisted trees and the turquoise waters of Chat ‘N’ Chill on idyllic Stocking Island in the beautiful Exumas. Frozen island drinks and punches flow, as well as the local beers of the Bahamas.
Families with children and adults alike enjoy the festivities, food, fun, and relaxation of this island escape. The highlight of the event is the barbecued pig roasting on the spit, with the accompanying delectible native cuisine sides, such as macaroni and cheese, cinnamon-glazed carrots, conch salad, peas ‘n’ rice and KB’s famous garlic cabbage slaw.
Photo by Polly Dean
Bahama’s native and local historian, Cordell Thompson accompanied us to the weekly event, introducing us to Kenneth Bowe, aka KB, who created and hosts the now world-famous Chat ‘N’ Chill. Graduating from the University of Chicago, and working a stint in corporate finance, KB soon grew tired of the high-stress and pavement lifestyle, missing the simple life of the islands. Born and raised in Exuma and able to trace his lineage there back to the mid-1700s, it is no wonder that even though he could be taken off the island, the island cannot be taken out of the man. Returning to the Exumas and realizing that visitors also desired the charm that the Bahamas offers, Chat ‘N” Chill was born.
Kenneth “KB” Bowe presiding over the pig roast at Chat ‘N’ Chill. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs
The cost for the pig roast and entire experience is $22. Though many show up by boat, water taxis are available to Stocking Island for those traveling by land. Though the famous pig roast is offered on Sundays, the Chat ‘N’ Chill Bar & Grill is open 7 days a week, only closing on Good Friday and Christmas days.
Photo by Polly Dean
With the help of a close friend KB built Chat ‘N’ Chill by hand on what he described as 9 acres of pristine tropical paradise in 1988. Back then, Exuma was not the destination it is today, but rather more a place for those that traveled year-round on their boats. From those I had the pleasure to meet while in the Exumas, I learned that there are still a number of people that have their priorities straight, enjoying the life of traveling and living on a boat, while hopping from one island paradise to another.
Chat ‘N’ Chill and its visitors exude this spirit of enjoying the island life and what it offers to the fullest.