Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Big Weather Coming – Off to Nassau

Posted by Sara

Besides being the next logical stop on our trip and a great place to re-provision, we are planning a 3-4 day stop at a marina in Nassau as the weather is supposed to turn nasty from Sunday night to Wednesday.  Up to 35 knot winds from the North so it seemed like a good time to tuck in somewhere well protected.

Nassau is the Capital city of the Bahamas and is located on an island called New Providence Island, 12 miles X 7 miles, so similar  in size to some of our Gulf Islands.  The majority of the Bahamian population, 300,000 people, live in Nassau.  New Providence is home to Nassau (the main city), Cable Beach (high rise hotels/tourist strip), West Bay (quiet & residential with some very high-end ex-pat neighbourhoods), and Paradise Island (situated just across 2 bridges from Nassau, like where Granville Island is located to Downtown Vancouver) and is home to the huge resort ‘Atlantis’ with 5 hotels, 40 restaurants, lagoon, beaches, worlds biggest water park with rides, Casino, and tons of shopping (with very high end stores.)  
You can either stay at Atlantis, visit for the day or do a day stop from your cruise ship.

Atlantis, as seen from Nassau Harbour
The day after the Blue Hole we moved the boat from our idyllic little anchorage down to Bond Cay as a staging point to head over to Nassau.  The trip to Nassau is about 35 nautical miles (so 7 hours at our conservative speed).  Moving to Bond Cay would cut 1.5 hours off the trip and is a good jumping off point based on where the wind was predicted to come from.  It was a nice protected anchorage but not as beautiful as Hoffman's Cay.  Again, very tricky navigation to get in and out in very shallow waters so we 'played the tide' this time and made sure we went in and out at high tide.  The depth sounder still said 2' under our keel at some spots but hey, it's only soft sand right?  We had a lazy afternoon at Bond Cay with lots of snorkelling and paddle boarding.  Steel head from our deep freeze on the BBQ for dinner with Uncle Bens rice and the last of our lettuce, tomato, and 1 carrot grated to make a salad.  The kids seem to love it as long as there are croutons hidden in Smile.

Snorkelling at Bond Cay.  Not much to see, but still nice to swim.
We left Bond Cay at 6:30am to catch the high tide out of the bay on our way to Nassau.  The  bay navigation was uneventful (except I saw a HUGE manta ray on the bottom and almost gave Scot a heart attach with my jumping and pointing. I was supposed to be looking out for navigational hazards in the water and since we only had only 3' under our keel at the time,  he wasn't too impressed with all my excitement.  Hey - a manta ray deserves a shriek any time!)  Too bad the kids were still in bed.

After leaving Bond Cay, we had a fantastic sail to Nassau.  We had 15 - 20 knots of wind on our beam and the waves, although 1m high, were a bit behind us and didn't rock us too much so we flew across at an average of 7 knots and were into Nassau Harbour before noon. 

Enjoying the early morning sail out of the Berries, aimed for Nassau.

Katie kept her usual lookout atop the coachhouse roof.
And the biggest news is that we caught a fish on the way!  We had purchased a trolling rod in Ft. Lauderdale before we left and at 8am this morning, once we saw the crossing wasn't going to be crazy, we unpeeled the plastic, pulled out the instructions on how to tie on the lure, and stuffed the rod in the rod holder.  I don’t know why it doesn’t fall out of the holder – nothing really keeping it in.  An hour later it started reeling out!  We had caught a fish!  And apparently it was a big fish as Scot fought with it for a good 15 minutes before it managed to spit out the hook.  Boo hoo.  I’m sure it was huge!  Well, hey, at least we caught something!  Baby steps. A bit lucky we lost it though as we weren't sure what we were going to do once he got it reeled in.

Setting out the fishing gear.  We were surprised to actually hook into something, given how fast we were moving.
Nassau Harbour raised our blood pressure.  4 HUGE cruise ships parked right in the middle.  Two fixed bridges to go under (which, if the charts are all correct, we should clear with 5' to spare.  Someone would have sued them by now if they were wrong - right?)  And a wicked current running through the middle of it.  Luckily, it all went like clock-work and we found our marina, Nassau Yacht Haven, & docked without too much trouble.  The marina isn't anything special (like no swimming pools) but it's neat and clean and has laundry, showers and a set cost for water.   Many places charge per the gallon for water as it is all processed from salt water to fresh water using 'reverse osmosis'.  Having a set cost means we can wash all the salt of our boat!

Massive cruise ships mark the entrance to Nassau Harbour

The kids thought the climbing wall on this one looked like fun.

Two bridges to get under.  Hope we fit!
We should be here for 3 days which doesn't seem like much after looking at the ‘to do’ list...clean boat, school,  laundry, showers, provisioning, snorkel gear (we need one more set of flippers - who  knew Christopher's feet grew 5 sizes? and another snorkel), internet (e-mail, finances, Scot's work stuff) and some sight seeing.

Welcome back to the city!

1 comment:

  1. It looks like you guys are having a blast. It's giving me itchy feet to get back out there:)