Oh what a glorious day. The temperature must have been in the seventies, the wind about 5 knots out of the east and as a consequence the sea was like glass almost all the way across the Great Bahama Bank. You could look down into the fifteen feet of absolutely clear water and see starfish lying on the bottom, little fish scurrying about and, yes, we saw the occasional shark. Most of them were in the one to two foot range but Ann saw one that was large enough to have its own entourage of little fish hanging around its back (just like you see on Shark Week) and I saw one that must have been at least six feet long. It was absolutely amazing – as Ann said, it was almost as if you had your own horizontal aquarium. These are the days we pay to be boaters!!
There was one spot, though. I had seen it in the charts and it said that the water was six feet deep at low tide. Well, I thought we would just make sure to go over it in higher tide. That was easier said than done. The trip from Bimini to Chub Cay was about 95 miles long and that is about a full day for us – especially when the sun takes so long to get up in the morning. We really couldn’t leave until about 0810. We got to Cat Cut at around 0930 – pretty close to low tide. Well, we could sit around for a couple of hours – and those of you who know me know that wasn’t going to happen – or we could try to make it over the shallow parts. Now I should remind you that our draft is 4’6”, so it is not as though we were taking that big of a chance. Moreover, this is listed as the route ferries from Bimini take when going to Nassau. Plus, I could see a Monk 36 in the distance which has a draft of 4’and she seemed to make it through all right. In short, we decided (actually I decided since Ann was reading her book and I didn’t think both of us ought to be worried) to go for it.
In the event, we always had 2+ feet of water under our keel so the water was at least 6’6”, but we did kick up quite a swath of sand. And it was sand, I am not sure I would have been as adventurous if it had been rocks or coral.
Anyway, we arrived at Chub Cay at 1630 and dropped anchor. There were a couple of other boats there and one, a catamaran, had kids swimming in the water just off the boat. The day was so perfect and the water so smooth I thought about dropping our kayak and taking a paddle. But for me, that meant putting on my rubber leg protector, pumping the air out to make sure I don’t get my wound wet and pulling the kayak to the back of the boat so I could get in it. In short, it wouldn’t haven’t been as spontaneous as I would have wanted. Besides, I was tired. It may not sound too hard, but spending all day enjoying paradise can be tiring! Anyway, we decided to hell with it; Ann and I poured ourselves a drink and went up on the flybridge. Actually the evening on the flybridge was not as idyllic as it sounds as Ann found all the noseeums in the neighborhood. She probably got at least half-of-a-dozen bites on her legs. Me? Nada. In fact, I didn’t see or feel one all night.
It’s about 50 miles from Chub Bay to Nassau and, while the weather cooperated fully, we couldn’t watch sharks and starfish as the water was 2000 – 3000 feet deep. Darn. So we reconciled ourselves with reading various guides on Nassau and the Exumas and trying to decide how we were going to spend the next several days.
We arrived at Nassau Harbor and requested permission to enter at about 12:30. We cruised past four HUGE cruise ships. I mean HUGE. They look big when you see them from shore, but when you sail your little bitty (relatively speaking) boat past these behemoths, well, you realize how small you really are. Paradise Island – the real ritzy and touristy part of Nassau – was to our port and New Providence (the island on which Nassau itself sits) was to starboard.
We are now in our marina. It isn’t too bad; it has a pool, is not too far from a grocery store and (wait for it … wait for it …) is right across the street from a Starbucks. Calm down, Joan.
This is our second day in Nassau and we have been our exploring the area around the marinas. To tell you the truth, it ain’t much of a tourist zone. Tomorrow we’ll probably expand our explorations by taking a jitney downtown. Oh! It is our second day in Nassau and we will be here again tomorrow. I guess I am now qualified to write the definitive history of the city, Nassau: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Anyway, we are now getting ready for my mom and my sister to arrive tomorrow. We are going to pick them up at the airport, spend a day or two in Nassau (depending on the weather), then head out to some of the out islands in the Exumas. I am hopeful that will be the subject of our next entry.
ANN’S NOTES: I am going to back track to Bimini. We were docked next to a beautiful 56 foot Selene motor yacht. Darlene was the proud first mate on board and she gave me a tour of the boat. They bought the boat and become the second owner. The first owner had an interior designer and it is just a show case, all granite, glass and lush fabrics. It really is a floating modern condo. I still love our boat and she took a tour of Traveling Soul, our boat is more a Victorian condo.
The crossing to Nassau was wonderful. Looking down into that Caribbean blue water is just amazing. It was like traveling in a 3-D aquarium. The water was so clear and of course that gave me the idea to do another kind of wildlife count. These waters are known for the very large starfish, I mean this guys are as large as a dinner plate. Every time I looked down into the water I could count them by the dozen.
The marina in Nassau is pretty nice. The location is perfect, a good size shopping center is just across the street. The grocery store is just like any store in the US, you can find anything you might want or need. Again the people are so very friendly and helpful.
Now for the wildlife count…
20 Jan 2013 Alice Town Bimini Bahamas to Chub Cay… 144 Starfish ..8 small sharks and 2 very big sharks..YIKES…
21 Jan 2013 Chub Cay to Nassau…nothing to report