Adventures in Nassau by Mark

 

12/13/12

We arrived in Nassau at 11:00AM this morning, our crossing from Bimini took us 21 hours and was about 120 nm.  We fueled up at the Nassau Harbor Club and took on 11 gallons of diesel averaging just over .5 gal/hr.

"Ten Years After" Sailing with us to New Providence  Island.

“Ten Years After” Sailing with us to New Providence Island.

After anchoring east of the fuel docks we all jumped in the water to cool off.  The boys watched eagle rays gliding  along the bottom while I cut away some monofilament line that was wrapped around the prop shaft.

12/14/12

Woke up this morning to a change in the feel of the motion of the boat.  Going up on deck confirmed my suspicions that we had run aground!  Being low tide we were fairly certain that we would float off by morning, but still, it was disconcerting to have run aground and visions of towing bills danced in my head.

12/15/12

Morning came and we were all happy to see that our boat had also risen with the tide.  We hoisted our anchor and wasted no time motoring to the Atlantis Resort.

We spent the day at the water park and were thoroughly exhausted by evening.

Atlantis, sharks  and water slides, who would have thought!

Atlantis, sharks and water slides, who would have thought!

Staying at the Paradise Island Marina turned out to be a good value.  The slip cost us $4/ft and there was a 40ft minimum but for $160 we also received free admission to the water park.

12/16/12

We took showers, checked the weather and did our laundry before checking out of the Marina and relocated to our old anchorage but this time in a little deeper water.

We put out more rode and set the anchor and felt confident that we had picked a better spot for the night.

That evening we invited a boat neighbor over for dinner.  Just seeing the boat that he was sailing was enough to tell me that he would have a few stories to tell.  David’s boat was a Pacific Seacraft Flicka, a 20ft boat capable of crossing oceans.  We listened to David tell stories about crossing the Atlantic ocean in his Flicka “Mist” to the Azores and beyond.  He told us how he used to dive for abalone and his encounters with great white sharks and the seals that would hit you from behind to steal your shells.  If you knew what was good for you the smartest thing to do was to let them have them and get out of there.

David had lost 7 boats to hurricanes and just about the time I started thinking that some of his stories might be a little too fantastic to be completely true a squall blew into the harbor and our anchor started to drag.  David thought that out rode had wrapped around  our keel so I put on my snorkel and fins and dove over the side to clear the keel.  By the time I surfaced David had hopped into his dingy and rowed out to unfoul our anchor which had wrapped around his own anchor line.  He lifted our 70ft of chain and anchor not once but twice into his dingy and reset out anchor before rowing back to our boat and calmly said to my wife. “And that is why I remain so fit!”

David getting ready to row away from "Mist".

David getting ready to row away from “Mist”.

That a 73 year-old man could row out at night, in a squall and rescue our boat was more than a little like watching superman swoop down out of the sky and lift a plane about to crash back to safety.

The worst of the winds passed and we were all eating spaghetti when I noticed a brightly lit boat pass our stern.  We all went up into the cockpit and watched a Christmas parade of boats traveling up and down the eastern channel blasting music and fireworks into the night sky.  Clearly, Toto, we’re not in Kansas or Idaho anymore.

Mark

Pictures Bimini and crossing to Nassau by Christine

I did not take the time on the previous posts to get many pictures out about Bimini and none of the Nassau crossing so following are some catch up pictures.

Main street of Alice Town on North Bimini.

Main street of Alice Town on North Bimini.

Pier on Bimini where we moored.  Doesn't it look tropical?!

Pier on Bimini where we moored. Doesn’t it look tropical?!

About 2 hours into our passage from Bimini to Nassau.

About 2 hours into our passage from Bimini to Nassau.

Sunset photo from the bow of Truansea.  You can see one of our 'buddy boats' in the background.  It was reassuring to have a couple other boats to see and talk to throughout the night.

Sunsetting off the stern of Truansea. You can see one of our ‘buddy boats’ in the background. It was reassuring to have a couple other boats to see and talk to throughout the night.

Sun rising off the bow.  Morning finally arrived!

Sun rising off the bow. Morning finally arrived!

Crew waking up in the morning.  They opt to sleep in the cockpit where seasickness is not so apt to get you.  Logan woke up several times throughout the night to help out with the passage.  Cole has liked sleeping on the floor of the salon or the cockpit since he was a baby.  We are just careful not to step on him!

Crew waking up in the morning. They opt to sleep in the cockpit where seasickness is not so apt to get you. Logan woke up several times throughout the night to help out with the passage. Cole has liked sleeping on the floor of the salon or the cockpit since he was a baby. We are just careful not to step on him!

DSCN3136

We filled up with fuel on the way in, found a place to anchor and changed into our swim gear to cool off and snorkel around our boat.  We were quickly greeted by marine life.  The most exciting was the Eagle Rays and Mark was greeted by a barracuda peeking at him around the keel of our boat.

Fair Winds ~ Christine

Atlantis in Nassau by Logan

We arrived in Nassau a couple of days ago. People have said Atlantis is a must see so we docked at one of the slips there and spent a day at the water park.  Atlantis had a cool aquarium and we saw manta rays, eels, lobster, jellyfish and all kinds of other tropical fish with a range of colors from blue, green, purple, orange and bright yellow.  It was very cool to see them all.

Eels.

Eels.

Manta ray.

Manta ray.

At the water park there was a lot of rides but there was two rides that were basically a straight down body slide.  At first I didn’t want to do it, but then I thought, if I’m here at Atlantis, I should just do every ride so here is a video of me going down The Leap of Faith and it was almost straight down into a glass underwater tube with sharks swimming by you.  It was so fast, you couldn’t even see them.  Now I know what it feels like to be a human bullet.

Another cool thing about Atlantis is its architecture.  They put their water slides on giant towers that look like they came out of the Lost City of Atlantis and they make water slides on a temple.  Here are a few pictures of Atlantis.

Atlantis.

Atlantis.

Atlantis.

Atlantis.

Next we are going to Allen’s Cay in the Exuma Islands.  There are big iguanas there all over.  If I get a chance, I will do a post about that.

Logan

Overnight Passage to Nassau by Christine

We left Bimini at 2pm yesterday and arrived in Nassau at 10:30am today.  It was our first overnight passage and all went well.  A couple other boats were headed the same direction so we buddy boated with them.  It was nice to have other boats to talk to in the middle of the night.  They kept on going past Nassau this morning, headed straight through for the Exumas so we said ‘later’ to them (as we will more than likely see them in the Exuma’s in the next month).  We fueled up and anchored in Nassau Harbor.  We snorkeled off Truansea, to be greeted by Spotted Eagle Rays, a few other fish we have not identified yet and Mark met a barracuda while removing some fishing line off our prop!

I will send pictures another day when we have a better connection!

Fair Winds ~ Christine

Bimini Blue Water by Christine

12/10/12

We left No Name Harbor in Biscayne Bay at 3:10am and arrived at Bimini at 2pm.  The wind was out of the east to southeast the whole way and we were headed due east so that meant motoring the whole way for us.  The winds picked up to 15 knots for a large part of the day but slowed to 10 knots about 2 hours out from Bimini and the seas calmed as well.

Logan steering across the Gulf Stream.

Logan steering across the Gulf Stream.

Another sailboat followed us the whole way to Bimini. One of the freighters we saw crossing behind them. We did not encounter much boat traffic during the trip.

Another sailboat following us to Bimini with one of the freighters we saw crossing behind them.

Amazingly we could see the Miami skyscrapers in the distance for 5 hours.  We were out of sight of land for a little over 3 hours before we spotted Bimini.  Flying fish accompanied us on and off throughout the day.  About half an hour from the harbor entrance to Bimini we started seeing the bluer water and white sandy bottoms.

We picked up a slip at Brown’s Marina and raised our quarantine flag.  Mark checked into customs and immigration, then we were able to take down the quarantine flag and raise the Bahama flag.

We had time to explore Bimini a little bit before nightfall.  There are beautiful fish around our boat.  You definitely know you are in another country.  It is a fun island full of interesting people and history.

Another sailboat followed us the whole way to Bimini.  One of the freighters we saw crossing behind them.  We did not encounter much boat traffic during the trip.

Cole taking a nap during the crossing.

Fair Winds ~ Christine

To Bimini in the Morning by Christine

Yesterday we cruised down to Miami and anchored at Belle Isle.  The skyscrapers of Miami were all around us in their vibrant, flashing colors.  One of them even had a huge scene of people dancing on it.  Very strange to be anchored in a bay with a huge city around us.

Today we topped off with diesel, gas and water then sailed down to No Name Harbor in Biscayne Bay.  As we were cruising down, dolphins graced us by swimming along for a bit.  This was the closest we have seen them.  They were about 3 feet from the side of our boat!  The winds were nice for sailing today and the boys had fun in the cabin ‘standing straight up’ while Truansea was at an angle.  This picture gives you an idea of how much our home tilts!

Cole standing in Truansea while we are heeled over sailing.

Cole standing in Truansea while we are heeled over sailing.

After we anchored in No Name Harbor, we saw the manatees again.  Truly gentle giants.

Manatee in No Name Harbor.

Manatee in No Name Harbor.

We headed to shore to do a load of laundry, empty the garbage and take an outdoor shower.

Cold holding the dinghy (Hooky) painter while we are getting ready to go ashore.

Cold waiting on the transom to get in the dinghy.

Cold holding down the shower pull for Logan.

Cold holding down the shower pull for Logan.  Yes, you can shower outdoors in Florida in the winter!

We plan on leaving for Bimini at 3am.  The weather looks promising for a crossing and there are lots of other boats here staged to cross as well.  Hopefully we will be able to send out a post tomorrow night from Bimini!

Fair winds ~ Christine