I know this post has been a long time coming. We have had family on back to back visits since the 30th of January. I must admit when Rebecca and Rich left on Wednesday, the 20th, that night and the next morning was eerily quiet and empty. Having lots of people and suitcases around for a while was challenging but great fun. We are now seeing to some repairs on Persuasion that will be mentioned later on in another post. All this, while still trying to get some blogging done before Sarah and family arrive on the 26th. Please bear with us. That being said, we finally have a blog for you.
We were up early getting ready to take Persuasion into a slip at the marina, so captured this sunrise.
We got on the dock around 09:00 and I headed off to the laundry and to blog. Mike washed down the boat. The enclosure was so full of salt. This is the pool at the marina and the restaurant they hope to open in 3 months. They were working on the lower level when we were here 4 years ago. They must be on Island time. Lol
We walked to the grocery store to pick up a few things and then waited outside for the kids to arrive. The taxi pulled in around 15:00 and it was exciting seeing them arrive. Apparently their drive to Montreal the night before for their flight was awful; blizzard like conditions! They looked pretty happy to be in much warmer temperatures. 🙂
We headed down to the slip and once they unloaded their bags and got into much cooler clothes, we went across the street to Starbucks for some cool drinks.
Then we walked around the plaza to show them what stores were there in case they needed anything. They went in to the grocery store as they wanted to get a few things. Grampie and Margie were going to go swimming after we got back but the water was rather chilly and it was almost time to head out for supper. I had ordered a new camera online which Scot brought to me. I love it and it has a good zoom lens. Takes some getting used to as all new things do.
Jody had previously looked online for a restaurant close to the marina. She had her mind made up that she was treating us to dinner and wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was only a two-minute walk from the marina. Thank you so much, Jody! It was delicious and the staff were lovely. Scot had the blackened red snapper with risotto; Mike and Jody had the fettuccine shrimp and I had the shrimp and grits. (We also shared appetizers of conch fritters and fish tacos. I forgot to take photos of those). So if you visit Nassau, make sure you go for a meal at Wild Thyme on East Bay Street. You will enjoy it.
We were back to the marina and all in bed by 20:00. They were so tired from their long drive the night before and then getting up early to be at the airport.
Everyone slept great! We were off the dock by 08:00 and got underway headed for Allans Cay.
Poor Margie was sick at first so Scot spent a lot of time up on the coach roof with her. The water calmed down after a little while.
It wasn’t long though till she felt better. Scot snapped this cute photo of her scanning for dolphins. 🙂 Sadly, we did not spot any. But we did play I spy for a while.
And here she is helping Grampie with his charting.
We set the anchor around noon. We travelled 38.78 nm.
We ate lunch and then dinghied into see the iguanas. Allans Cay is renowned for the indigenous iguanas that live there. When you first walk up, you may see one or two but pretty soon, they multiply and you’ll have a number of these little guys lining up to eat the food we tourists bring. They say to feed them vegetables and fruit so we took some lettuce in and they ate it off the end of our sticks. Jody had read sand is not good for them and actually too much in their bellies will kill them. We tried not to drop it in the sand as they come so quickly for the food. The birds catch on pretty quick too for the food and are very tame!
Scot snapped these great shots with his telephoto lens
Margie hand fed one and it nipped her a bit! But she’s a tough cookie and never even shed a tear.
After our time with the iguanas we headed over to Highbourne Cay to anchor for the night. This is just a short cruise with a bit better holding for the night with the winds we were having. We arrived at supper time and had a beautiful sunset. We all tucked in early after a big day of travelling and fun with the iguanas.
We were up and on our way by 06:45, but once again it was windy and quite rough. Scot was sick this time. They took gravol and ended up napping some of the way there.
We were headed for Big Major Spot to see the pigs that live on this island. This would be our first stop of four with all the kids visiting this year! We had the anchor down at 15:08 and we travelled 43.47 nm. Margaret was pretty excited to see the pigs up on the beach as we anchored. We also saw a nurse shark as we were anchoring. The swimming pigs are a major attraction for people visiting Staniel Cay. There are a number of pigs that live on this island and wait for boats to come ashore to feed them. We were pleased to see that there have been some changes since we were here four years ago. The pigs now have fresh water, pens to hide away from the tourists if they need, and troughs for food. One tour boat guide told us that there is also a fresh water pond away from the beach that they can drink from and cool off in. That is usually where they go at night. There are roosters on the island as well.
Here’s a few photos of the pigs:
Margie especially liked the little brown ones.
We then took Margie to another sandy beach nearby so she could do some swimming and we could all relax on the beach. They spent the afternoon snorkelling and enjoying the warm sun.
Unfortunately it started raining in the night and continued all day for our second day at Big Major. We all enjoyed going up on deck in our swim suits and washing our hair in the pouring rain! We noticed a lot of other boaters doing the same thing. We also played UNO and snakes and ladders for a while. 🙂
Michael collected rain water for our tanks but when I was pouring the water in, I dropped the cover behind the tank and it rolled down. Whoops! We had to take the structure all apart.
I helped Margie with some of her phonics and words that her class are working on. She also had a project due the day after she was arriving home. It was to be a few minutes talk and wanted to do it on her time in the Bahamas. Scot and Jody helped her draw some pictures and practice what she would say. The rain let up a bit at 14:00 so Mike dinghied over to the grotto on Staniel Cay with Scot, Jody and Margie.
But the rising tide was making the current too strong. A little bit earlier would have been better except for the pouring rain. That was disappointing as I know they would have enjoyed snorkelling in there and seeing all the beautiful fish. The grotto was made famous by the James Bond 007 movie called Thunderball being filmed there. They did do a bit of swimming and Margie jumped off the boat a few times.
Later in the afternoon, when the sun came out, the kids went back to the beach to see the pigs and then for a dinghy ride.
At least there was no rain when we woke up. We asked if they would like to stay for another night so that they could go to the grotto or go to Warderick Wells, the Exumas Land and Sea Park but they said they’d like to go back to Highbourne Cay. It was not windy so they figured if it was a good day on the water, they would like to get as far back towards Nassau as we could. It was too late when we arrived in Highbourne on the 31st to get off the boat and enjoy the beach. We left at 06:45 and it was a calm day for motoring. Scot and Margie read a book on the computer while Jody enjoyed some reading time. They even got to sit up on the bow for a while. And we could even eat lunch while motoring without being bumped around. 🙂
We motored in past the marina dock at Highbourne Cay to see the nurse sharks. They hang around the fish cleaning station. Pretty neat seeing them. We motored back out and anchored close to a beach at 14:00. Scot, Jody and Margie went back over in the dinghy to get some underwater photos of the sharks.
Then, I went to the beach with them for a while. Jody found a conch shell but we realized it was alive so we gently put it back in the water. It was a fun afternoon at the beach.
I also saw the catamaran Persides from Montreal. We met him in Waterford at the lock so we motored over to say hello. They had some family on board too. As we were motoring back to the boat we noticed a dinghy beside Persuasion. As we got closer, I realized that it was Cardea’s dinghy and Gary, Sue and Max were in our cockpit. Max was waiting to greet us as we got on board. 🙂 It was nice to see them again. This is not a great photo of them but I just snapped it as they were heading back to Cardea. We were treated to a glorious sunset.
We left the anchorage at 07:00 and set sail for Rose Island. It was another beautiful calm day. I got to be Margie’s hairdresser for the day and then we played some trivia games in the cockpit while motoring. Margie is very good with the nature trivia.
We motor sailed and didn’t take the yellow bank this time. We went halfway between the yellow and white bank to avoid the coral heads that are close to the surface. After lunch when Scot was on the bow, Mike looked out under the bimini to tell Scot that we didn’t need to worry about coral heads.
He had his glasses up on top of his head and he caught them on the bimini. Oh oh! You guessed it, his glasses popped off, hit the combing on the boat and we had hoped that they fell in to the cockpit. We looked everywhere to make sure but no sign of them. We called home to ask Becca to look for his old glasses that were in a drawer. Luckily, I hadn’t donated them to Lenscrafters for third world countries. He has to have an eye test anyway when he gets back so the old ones will work for now. Also, lucky for us that Amber would be coming in a couple of days. We set the anchor at 12:50 and dinghied over to the sandy beach. The tide was out; way out so we ended up walking and pulling the dinghy over to the shore.
Here are some photos of the beach at Rose Island:
Walking on a pathway to the other side; lots of iron stone
A snake hole
We found some sea lace
After we dinghied back to the boat, we talked about whether we would anchor there for the night. Jody really had her heart set on Atlantis for a night but there was only a good rate if you stayed more than 2 nights, and still very expensive They also wanted to see more of Nassau so they decided it would be best for us to go to the marina for a couple of nights. We got settled on the dock around 16:20. And after some cold drinks, we went for a walk and got Dominos for supper. The pizza was really good. And since there was DQ right in with Dominos, we all had ice cream! Everyone was tired from all the travel and fresh air so we turned in after a nice hot shower at the marina.
It was quite nice to sleep in a bit and not have to head out on the water. And Scot and Jody enjoyed having Starbucks across the street for a treat. It was another beautiful day so we walked down the street to Montagu Beach. Mike and I had walked past it when we got our groceries one day. There was also a park for Margie with swings, a slide, trees to climb and even a curly tailed lizard enjoying the park. (You might notice Mike laying in the shade on the photo with the kids at the swings). 🙂 There was also some neat cement benches with conch shells in the middle.
We were back at the boat for lunch and talked about how we would spend the afternoon. Some photos of Scot and family at the marina.
Jody had picked up a tourist book in the morning at the marina office. They wanted to go to the Straw Market and stroll around downtown. I wasn’t sure I would go as it would be a long walk. Mike wanted to stay and wash all the salt from the boat and the sand from the cockpit. 🙂 In the end, I went and am glad I did. We took the bus there which is only $1.25/person.
It was a long bus ride to get there as we boarded the bus by the marina which is on a one way street and had to go quite a ways around to get downtown. We saw a lot of older run down areas of Nassau like Mike and I had seen on our walk to the grocery store. Then we got to the nicer areas down at the West Bay street where the cruise ships dock. There were lots of tourists about and folks coming in from the cruise ships. Also lots of big name stores downtown. Margie got some braids in her hair at the Straw Market and we decided we would walk back.
We also stopped at Potters Cay which is where the guys at the marina told us to buy good conch and fish. The shack eateries are on both sides of the bridge to Paradise Island. It was neat to watch the guy cutting the conch. We messaged Mike to tell him we would be bringing back supper. Jody and I took some photos of the menu and the cheap prices. The conch salad was delicious as was the fish burger. All freshly caught that day. Don’t forget to try it if you ever find yourself in Nassau! My fitbit showed 16,986 steps that night when I rolled into bed. That was a big day! I have more photos of downtown Nassau that I will post at another time. Maybe save it for a day when there is nothing to see on an ocean crossing. Lol
The day, Scot, Jody and Margie return to the land of ice and snow. We were all up early showering and they finished packing while I started the laundry. It seemed like they just arrived. They had a taxi booked for 10:00 and we said our good byes. And just like that, they were gone!
After the laundry was done and our water tanks were full, we shoved off the dock and out into the anchorage to wait for Amber to arrive later in the day.
Thank you Scot, Jody and Margie for the wonderful visit and memories. Loved having you on board Persuasion. We know you will be busy the next few weeks once your maple trees are tapped. There will be lots of sap buckets to empty so you can make your delicious Mountwood maple syrup. Love you all. xo