Earlen Knowles

Earlen Nathaniel Knowles, affectionately known to us as “Earlie” or “Uncle Earlie”, was the first child born to Muriel Knowles, “Lady Muriel” and the late Rupert Knowles at Mangrove Bush, Long Island on January 14, 1939.

He received his education at Buckley’s School. At the early age of fourteen, he went to Nassau. where he worked as a storekeeper for T. J. Knowles. Whenever he was paid, he would pack boxes of groceries and clothes and send home on the boat to his family. He was always helping people even to the time of his illness.

After a few years, Earlen returned home. In those days, as the only means of transportation was by way of sailboat (also used as a smack), Earlen and Bert decided that they would do a family thing, build a sail/smack boat. In 1956/57, they built the “lady Muriel? Between 1959 and 1962, they build the “Madeline M” and the Eastern Wave”.

In 1958, Earlen met a beautiful young girl from Mangrove Bush and fell in love. Her name was Eva. He knew that she was the one for him. Soon after, he returned to Nassau to his store keeping job. `lo earn extra money, he took on a side job with Kemp’s Funeral home. One year later, Eva received a letter from Earlen. To her surprise, there was an engagement ring in the letter. They were engaged to be married. Even though Earlen lived and worked in Nassau and Eva lived in long Island, the dating still went on and their love for each other grew more and more. In 1962, he returned home to Long Island. There he worked at Diamond Crystal Salt Company as a mechanic. then was later promoted to mechanic/shop supervisor. He was known to be one of the best mechanics ever.

In 1963, Earlen and Eva were married and this union was blessed with four lovely children; Nancy, Anthony, Judith and Edsel.

In 1964, the family decided to build another boat. They called it the “Tida Wave”. This boat brought fame for their father, Rupert- He sailed at the National Family Island Regatta in Exuma the following year and captured the class “A” title. For all of the other boat skippers, this was the boat to beat.

In the early ’80’s, Earlen left. work at Diamond Crystal and decided to get. into fishing. He expanded his club “Hilside Tavern” and later decided to get into the export business. He called on a few of his family members and they started “Summer Seafoods”. Every August when it was time for the crawfish season to open, Earlen made sure that all the boys got the right price for their crawfish. “l his season, he wasn’t there to help.

Sometime around 1986/87, when their father Rupert had retired from boat-building, Earlen and a few of his family members · decided it build a new boat in his honour. After he died in 1988, they decided that they would name it, “Rupert’s Legend”.

In 1991, at the National Family Island Regatta in Exuma, and with Earlen at the tiller, history repeated itself — Long island captured the class “A” title.

From thereon, Earlen made sailing fun and exciting, as now the desire of every class “A” skipper is to beat the “Rupert’s Legend ”

This 44th Annual event in Eli2abeth’s Harbour will be without the late Earlin Knowles, the legendary skipper of Ruperts Legend whose love for sailing particularly in the National Family Island Regatta has touched the hearts of skippers and spectators everywhere.

His legendary accomplishments are as follows;

· 1963 National Champion Class B· Eastern Wave, Earlin Knowles
· 1974 Class B – Angie M – Earlin Knowles
· 1975 Class B – Angie M – Earlin Knowles
· 1991 Class A – Rupert’s Legend — Earlin Knowles
· 1992 Class A – Rupert‘s Legend – Earlin Knowles
· 1995 Class A – Rupert’s Legend – Earlin Knowles

His spirit will always be present at all regattas.





A Poem

The Exumas
Sail her down, sail her down,
Sail her down to George Town.
Highborne Cay the first: we see,
Yellow Bank is by the lee.
Harvey Cay is in the moon,
Farmers Gay is coming soon.
Now we come to Galliot,

Out in the ocean we must go,
Children’s Bay is passing fast,
Stocking Island came at last.
Nassau gal is all behind,
George Town gal is on my mind.
A wiggle and a giggle and a jamboree,
Great Exuma is the place for me!
Exuma Islands Poem

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