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Finally another video…Snorkeling in the Exumas….
We got an early start for our sail to Nassau and within a few hours we were in the heaviest downpour we have had in the Bahamas. The timing wasn’t great because we were just approaching the Yellow Banks, a spot where you have to dodge coral heads and our visibility was terrible. My mom told me they had never heard of someone actually hitting a head! but given our 6 foot draft and the chart showing some of the heads at under 5 feet, better to be careful. We slowed ourselves down and with the sky brightening a tad, I was up on the bow to direct Paul through the heads. We had barely enough visibility to see them, but were pretty relieved to make it through that stretch. After a month in quiet islands, we were a bit nervous to sail into big, bustling Nassau harbour with its bridges, cruise ships, and incessant boat traffic. Since we were splurging on a few nights at the Atlantis marina, our plan was to anchor the first couple of nights so that we could provision. Anchoring in Nassau harbour isn’t very popular as there really hasn’t been many areas set aside to anchor. The holding is terrible, there is lots of debris on the bottom and many areas have been dredged to be really deep. After a couple of tries we had the anchor set and luckily we had really light winds because the anchored boats were packed like sardines in this tiny space. This was also the first place we had to be cautious about security, both of ourselves and our things. We never close up or lock up the boat when we leave it, we don’t lock the dingy and we normally aren’t very cautious with valuables. However in Nassau, the money belt came out, the locks came out and we even had to rummage up the door to close up the cabin. Gavin also insisted that the boogie boards go below deck to keep them safe.
Nassau has this wonderful Whole Foods like grocery store and I could have spent hours in there. Fresh fruits and veg, most of it organic, natural peanut butter, goat cheese…it was heaven (well not on the wallet)! Our Easter tradition is to have eggs Benedict for breakfast which I couldn’t pull off In the Exumas. In Nassau we had a very belated Easter breakfast. We toured around the cruise ship dock area, but didn’t find that all that interesting. We finally had our first conch salad at the docks in Nassau…raw conch ceviche style with tomatoes, peppers, mango, pineapple.
After filling up with water and groceries, we were ready to head to the Atlantis Marina. But before we could enjoy Atlantis, we had to dock the boat for the first time. We have been at anchor and on mooring balls since we arrived and without any practice, we (well really Paul) had to dock the boat. And not just at any old dock, but at fancy, mega yacht marina Atlantis. Alas he did a great job and we were off to the water park. Atlantis was pure luxury…an amazing waterpark, beautiful aquariums, Ben & Jerry’s ice team, showers and people to drive us around in golf carts…bliss! Ella was the only one tall enough to go on the real extreme water slides and she very bravely went on every single one, including ones I wouldn’t even do. The boys enjoyed the smaller slides and the how-is-this-safe “the current and rapids” (think lazy river gone wild). Atlantis has an outer area for us smaller boats(and thankfully cheaper). There are lots of the mega yachts at the marina; many we had encountered throughout the Exumas. In the 90s I don’t remember nearly as many mega yachts, each one-upping the others with their jet skis, slides and tenders bigger than our boat. We would be enjoying a deserted beach in the Exumas and you would look across at another beach to where the crew of a mega yacht had set up a mini resort for the mega yacht guests complete with lounge chairs, awnings, kayaks and 3 course spreads. We gawked a bit and I would love to spend a day or week in that life, but really I think I am more happy on our little boat.
After leaving Atlantis, we once again anchored in Nassau harbour and were treated to an awesome live concert from a convention on the beach near our anchorage. Like the best sing along band ever…flown in from the States…thank you Bankers Capital. I had watched a large barge leave its dock and stop just off the convention’s beach and thought it was strange. Then all of a sudden it all made sense as we were treated to an epic New Years Eve style fireworks display. What a great last night in Nassau. We awoke early the next day and headed out on a long sail to Eleuthera ready to start the next chapter in our trip.
|Easter belated Breakfast
|Conch Salad – Potters Cay
|Getting touristy at the Cruise Ship dock
|All dressed up for a movie
|Fireworks on our last night in Nassau
|Someone stayed up past their bedtime