We had a great week with David and Adam exploring the Exumas. Last Sunday we put David on the plane to Nassau then on to Minnesota at Staniel Cay then started north with Adam. We went on the “outside” – meaning on the east side of the islands on the Exuma Sound, part of the Atlantic and much deeper water than on the Exuma Bank. Jeff had a line in the water, but we didn’t get any bites.
We got up into the Exuma Land and Sea Park, back to Warderick Wells the Park headquarters and tied up to mooring ball #22, the last one in the North Mooring Field. The next day we did some volunteering for the park – fixing a step at the ranger’s dock. We had a very hot, steamy hike on the island and went back to the boat and turned on the generator and ran the air conditioning for a bit to cool down and dry out. This was the first the AC has been on since Montreal last summer!
We had a great snorkel of the “Ranger’s Garden” coral area at the bottom of the mooring field: lots of huge lobsters and a big eagle ray. The predicted wind started in the evening and we were glad to be in a protected spot with a sturdy mooring.
We next headed north on the inside and stopped at the south end of Norman’s Cay where we had good protection from the north winds. We shared the anchorage with quite a lot of other boats hiding from the northerlies. The next day we took the dinghy at high tide up into Norman’s Pond, a huge bay in the middle of the cay. After Jeff did another drift dive through the nearby cut, we upped anchor and headed to Nassau, arriving at suppertime. We tied up at the Nassau Harbor Club marina, washed the salt off the rails and deck and settled in for a few days in the busiest place we’ve been to in months.
There is noise and traffic, sirens and boat wakes. We are docked just east of two huge bridges that go from New Providence Island where the city of Nassau is located over to Paradise Island, the home of Atlantis, a huge very fancy resort. We walked over to explore – there is a marina filled with boats that could use “Adirondack” as their tenders. The casino was fairly empty at 10 in the morning, but had lovely Chihuly glass sculptures scattered through it. We purchased wristbands that allowed us to go to all the aquariums built into the complex. The sea life was amazing and the grounds, pools, beaches and buildings of Atlantis were perfectly maintained. It was like a Disney version of the Bahamas. I much prefer the gritty Bahamas of Black Point Settlement and Little Farmers Cay.
Adam taxied to the airport yesterday and winged his way back to Minnesota and the start of his spring trimester. We have laundry done, oil and fuel filters changed, the front head back in working order and just have to fill the water tank on the boat and pick up the scuba tanks that are being filled down the road. Tonight we’ll anchor off the island and then tomorrow head west for the Tuesday weather window to cross the Gulf Stream and get back to Florida. It has been a wonderful time and I’ll miss the blue waters of the Bahamas. Sally