Thursday, January 30, 2014

Atlantis, The Lost City, or Where the Big Snobby Boats Tell You to Get Lost

We spent three more days with Mike and Suzanne at the Atlantis Resort and Marina (catering to large mega yachts who's crew and guest really don't say acknowledge your existence) but that's ok as most of the time we were in the water park.  Staying cool in the not so lazy river rapids  (they actually create tidal waves in part of it) going down slides and sipping amazing frozen drinks.  Pictures tell it all….

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nassau and on to Palm Cay

It turns out internet is really not a priority here in the Bahamas, so we know its been a while, but we're catching up now….
We cruised into Nassau Harbour - you have to ask permission from Harbour Control here and found our way through a narrow channel past some really big boats.  The "stay clear" zones around cruise ships are way different here than Stateside! 


Nassau Harbour Club was an ok place to stay and we were able to stock up on some provisions before we headed east around New Providence Island to a new development named Palm Cay. This place is like every advertising of the islands appears to be - amazing beaches, town homes right on the beach where the palm trees mark your lot lines.  The marina is very protected and quiet.  We met with the sales people Clara and Zach and did the guided, followed by the "not so guided" back door tour on our own.  They have some awesome ideas of what the place will eventually look like but there is lots of work to be done…. it will be cool to follow how it goes.  

Best of all in Palm Cay, Mike and Suzanne arrived for a visit.  We braved the Bahamian driving and picked them up at the airport and had a great couple of days in Palm Cay before heading back to Nassau.

We weren't sure how pasty or sun kissed we each  had been till now!

We had heard there were lobsters to be found in the coral heads, so headed out with the snorkel gear to catch some dinner.  Found a shark, but no lobsters wanted to get into the boat.  

Coming back we learned you need a mop to catch them - so after picking one up  in Nassau we headed out again the next day.  The snorkelling was great but the current score is Lobsters 2 SeaMorr 0 - but its not over yet!!

Coconuts from the trunk of a car….not sure what was in the Rum Bottle

Now we know what a 190 Daiquiri means….potent!

Mops might be useful in the sketchy areas

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waves and Wind...

The forecast said today would be windy and wavy, so we decided to spend a day at a marina. On the way to the marina the day before, we found some waves and winds - the waves exceeded three feet and the winds were over 15 knots and gusting higher. Here is a video of what SeaMorr saw….

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nothing but Paradise

A commercial airline can take you to the Bahamas. A cruise ship can take you to the Bahamas. But that's just the tourist version of the Bahamas, beaches full of deck chairs, souvenir shops everywhere, downtown Nassau with tons of people everywhere - all in a hurry. That isn't the REAL Bahamas. The country of the Bahamas encompasses just under 14,000 sq/km, 28% of which is water. And yes, this water is as clear blue as it is on all the posters and magazines, no false advertising there.

The Berry Islands lay 30 miles north of New Providence (the island Nassau is on). Most of the islands and cays have no development and are untouched, some are privately owned but you couldn't tell from any man made structures. The water is clear blue, the sunshine is warm and the anchorage is calm. We anchored in a protected bay between Devil's Cay, Hoffman's Cay and White's Cay; we joined 4 other sailboats the first night. 

On Hoffman's Cay, there are a few "Blue Holes", only one of which (to my knowledge) is easily accessible. We beach the dinghy on Hoffman's Cay and walk about 10 minutes through the thick mangrove trees and other foliage along a narrow path. At the last left turn, the whole skyline opens up to reveal a massive blue hole. It's 638ft deep in the centre and must be close to a kilometre wide, in a perfect circle. There's an overhang from which you can jump 15ft down into the salty water (very salty water) and a path down underneath the overhang into a huge cave.

The Blue Hole on Hoffman's Cay…600+ feet deep.
A family shot that took us more time than what it should have...
Here is a video (take #9 or take #10) that seemed to take more time than what it should have. Every time we moved, somehow Aaron missed the opening space where we thought he would just fit….so after many tries, we took a family shot (above).


The next day we take the dinghy down to Flo's Conch Shack- a neat little restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately there's a miscommunication and Flo isn't there. Nevertheless, we stop at a few deserted islands on the way back to gather some firewood and driftwood (this will serve a purpose later - stay tuned). That night we have a camp fire on the beach and cook hot dogs for dinner. Not exactly Algonquin Park… but sand and salt aren't bad either.

Flo's Conch Shack that was a 3 mile dingy ride (thank you - 25hp Yamaha…)

We knew it was freezing at home -
 here we pretend to be cold and feel your pain…
(it was 80 degrees in the photo)
On our last day at the anchorage, we dinghy around to the ocean side of White Cay and do some drift snorkelling. Basically you jump in the water with your snorkel stuff, but don't have to swim, the current carries you all the way down the reef where the dinghy meets you to pick you back up. Not a bad deal… There is only one little lobster found and we decided he was too small and leave him to grow larger.

The forecast calls for strong winds and waves the following morning. Not trusting the holding with our oversized anchor, we depart the anchorage and begin the journey south in search of other secluded islands and cays.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Starfish are awesome little creatures and since me and mom were the only ones experiencing the awesomeness and mom was the photographer all the pictures below are of me and the starfish. Enjoy!

Now let's hear what Wikipedia has to say about starfish.....

Starfish or sea stars are echinoderms belonging to the class Asterriodea. The names "starfish" and "sea star" essentially refer to members of this class. However, common usage frequently finds these names being also applied to ophiuroids, which are correctly referred to as "brittle stars" or "basket stars". About 1,500 living species of starfish occur on the seabed in all the world's oceans, from the tropics to subzero polar waters. They are found from the intertical zone down to abyssal depths, 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the surface.


We are in Chub Cay, Bahamas.

So, we are now hanging out in the Bahamas - in fact, we are in Chub Cay (pronounced 'Key') and are tied to the dock. We are catching up on internet, emails as well as just hanging around here.

Last night, we arrived after an 80 mile run, which took approximately 10 hours. We cut across the Bahama Bank, where the cool blue waters ran approximately 10 to 20 feet deep. Once we crossed the Bank, we found deep water again. Near Chub Cay, the waters were over 3,000 feet deep!

To the left (port) the waters are only a few feet deep. To starboard, they are over 3,000 feet deep.

We arrived just as the sun was setting, around 18:30. The calm waters and beautiful sunset were awesome. A fellow boater snapped this photo of us as we came into port.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


So, we were exploring Alicetown in North Bimini where we were able to tie our dingy to the dock. We met Sammy and he said we really need to come back at 16:00 as he was going to feed the sharks. He said it would be pretty interesting as there are over 15 female bull sharks that stay in North Bimini. They are rather friendly sharks as they are well fed. After watching the shark feeding, we hopped in our 11' dingy and left the shark infested waters as quickly as we could.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Education in Alicetown with Joe, Ashley and Sammy

We headed over to North Bimini today and wandered around the island. We found some great friendly people who were quite happy to share their knowledge of the island.

Joe runs a Conch Shack - he dives for the sea creatures himself - to pick just the right size for his menu items. After teaching us how to extract the animal from its shell, he made a salad of fresh onions, tomatoes, green pepper, of course conch, then topped it with lime juice. Talk about expanding our food silos! We all agreed it was really good and certainly doesn't get any fresher!

A mountain of conch shells
"No way am I going to touch that!"


Ashley Saunders is the island historian.  He is well educated in both the US and England and has written 3 books on the island's history. He has spent the last 21 years rebuilding his family home with any and all kinds of things he has found on the beach along with donations from people who know him.  Known as the Dolphin House - he gives tours for a $2 donation - it is really incredible both how he has decorated it and how much he remembers about each piece he has put where.  Shells of all sizes, bits of tiles, beach glass, driftwood, old mirrors, bottles and coins - the walls, floors, ceilings, every surface really is totally decorated. It is quite an amazing sight.

Sammy is the shark guy.  He is at the Bimini Big Game Club where we had parked the dingy for the day. At the end of the day he takes the carcasses of the fish caught by the deep sea fishing boats and ties them to the end of a rope to toss in the water to feed the bull sharks who call the water home.  There are 15 of them there swimming around, very big and you certainly wouldn't want to go swimming near the marina.  At one point, Aaron's shoe seemed more interesting to them than the fish.  Good thing for the long net!

Aaron almost lost his shoe to a bull shark!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Welcome to the Bahamas

We are safely across and happy to be in the Bahamas' sunshine.  We left under moonlight and cruised into a beautiful sunrise (but I'll never admit they are better than sunsets!!)

It was a great day to travel, a little bumpy at times maybe, but we learned that thankfully the majority of us do not suffer from seasickness. We were all happy to find land and docked at Bimini Sands Marina. We met some great people who had crossed at the same time and hung out on the dock and the pool.  

Land Ahoy!  The pictures however do not do justice to the amazing colour of the water!