Tuesday, December 24
We started the engine at 645am and Phil raised the anchor while I listened to Chris Parker weather using head phones. It wasn’t too long until we were in the steeper waves in the cut and shallow water that I came up getting seasick down below. Then I had a great idea! Use the extension for the headphones and that helped to hear the sponsors more. Note to self, remember this for next time.
By 730am we were in water over 400′ deep and the waves had calmed down and the wind was <2 kts, so we didn't put up the mainsail. Today will be a motor boat ride to Nassau with our eta about 1230pm. We started having 4' 10 sec ocean swells, which weren't a problem at all. 1020am I put out my trolling fishing pole and 1145am caught another barracuda! This one was small and got off the hook saving us the trouble.
Finally As we got close to Nassau, I had cell phone signal and was able to call my Mom to wish her happy birthday. Phil called Nassau Harbour Control and we were cleaned to enter. A few miles out we saw the cruise ship Serenade of the Seas which AIS said was going 16 kts so didn't have to worry about our oaths crossing, and sure enough the pilot boats had her in the Harbour and her berth by the time we arrived. We scanned the different marinas to see if the cheaper ones had any room, which they didn't so we stayed at Nassau Yacht Haven for $2/ft and $10/day for water. We chose not to,take the $10/day minimum for electric. We don't consider ourselves to be Marina people, but wanted to be able to get off the boat to attend Junkanoo on Boxing Day. First thing after checking in and getting Changes set, was to walk with our bags and rolling carts to the grocery store called Fresh Market. This store is equivalent to,what we have at home which is usually not the case on the family islands in the Bahamas. Things are expensive, but we got fresh broccoli and asparagus, chicken, pork and ham along with other needed items on our grocery list. We loaded our carts then stopped at the liquor store for hope for boxed wine, but no luck. The a stop at the BTC store to add minutes for Christmas calls. The store is about half a mile in the Harbour Bay Shopping center. Once again we walked on the side walks that are RIGHT next to the two lane street with the cars racing past.
After we had the groceries out away, we stopped at the dive shop for new dive booties as ours are just too right now. I also got new goggles with silicone instead of the rubber which were leaking during my ill fated dive attempt. These should last longer, give me better vision and be more comfortable. Phil also got a new strap to replace his that broke in the Berry Islands. We also got plastic cards with sport and reef fish and a book on fish and corals of Florida and the Bahamas.
We had fresh pork, potatoes and broccoli for supper and relaxed for the evening.
About 930pm it got cloudy, cooler and rained for a little bit. We wonder if the front that was predicted is going through.
Wednesday, December 25
Merry Christmas to all our family and friends. We hope you all have a blessed new year with only good things coming to you.
We do have internet today from the Marina so I took advantage and called my daughters. I'm glad to hear that Katie is spending the day with her cousin Maggie and Rachel is spending it with Kate.
Phil washed down and cleaned the deck and stanchions while I washed 3 loads of clothes at the laundry right here at the Marina. Each washer and dryer takes one $2 token bought at the office which is open 9a-5pm. Use an extra token if drying towels. This is the cheapest laundry comparable to what we pay at home.
At lunch we talked to Victoria. The boys like the hats I knitted them which fit and Henry states his hat is indeed cool. Yes! We are glad to hear they are doing well and Vic is enjoying her time off work.
I took a nap while Phil did his thing. I worked on the blog then fixed our Christmas dinner of ham, sweet potatoes, asparagus and carrots.
I was able to talk to my sister, Robin but unfortunately not reach Glenn or Cheryl. We spent the evening reading. I went online line to find a taxi company as were farther way than last time. The man I called was too tired to pick us up at midnight but gave us a number to call instead. At 8pm I laid down taking a nap for Junkanoo which is to starts at 1am. I woke at 1115 pm and woke Phil at 1130.
Thursday, December 26. Boxing Day
We walk to the security gate and are told that it doesn't start until 3am because of the weather. We go back to sleep and wake at 345am. I call a taxi and he'll be there in 3 minutes. Quickly I get my shoes on and we rush outside grabbing a couple bottles of cold water. The driver is on the left side of the road. I'm glad he's driving not me. We rush down the street then careen to a halt as someone back out into the road. I swear that we are going to hit someone, so with relief we pay the $12 and walk down Bay St. We get to a check point where them men are patted down. I'm not frisked but a woman police office checks my pockets and asks if I have any sharp objects or cans. She checks my backpack which I wear on my front and we go through. Unfortunately we are behind a chain link fence and after we see the first couple groups continue walking and find a place that we can cross over to be behind a shorter fence. Much better for photos.
This Junkanoo is different from our first in that it's 15-20 min between groups. We spend our time people watching. The guys like Tommy Hillfinger logo wear or Michael Jordan and Nike. The ladies wear tight fitting clothing and event house a little overweight strut their stuff.
I'm glad that we have some really good groups go by and get videos using my iPad once we a space opens up next to the short fence. It's really something to watch the ladies dance in their costumes, head the whistles blowing, the cow bells shaking, the drums pounding just inches from you.
I will post a video once I have enough WiFi to do that, but the internet at the Marina just didn’t cooperate and I’m posting using my cell data on the iPad. We talked to Harold in the office as we were checking out as the Junkanoo was on TV live and he says there are 3 different broad groups based on size. So when we left thinking it was over, we were wrong. It will continue until 1pm today or so. Harold says that he sleeps,through the night, gets up and to the parade by 8am to watch it through the morning. He explained how some of the groups have 1000-2000 people and the time between the groups is them getting set up. While we were across the street in the bar/liquor store, the Junkanoo was on TV along with the Prime Minister in one of the largest groups. The guys were outraged saying that it’s illegal that they shouldn’t win the prize with the PM walking in the parade. Imdid get a bottle of Nassau Royale liquor but no boxed wine.
We cast off the dock line at 1116am to go get diesel which we found at Harbour View Marina. The wind was pushing us on the dock and the wake from the many boats had us bouncing. They have a high speed pump so I think that we shouldn’t have any problem with the diesel given the previous purchase was 700 gals for $3500+. We did need a funnel to fill the jerry jugs as the nozzle was too big to fit inside. We cast off again at 1149am and then turned west to hunt for a place to anchor.
West Bay Area in the harbor is different now. Where the green Parrot Restaurant is/was is a new marina for the big yachts. Phil still had the slot saved on the GPS where we last anchored and we were able to set our anchor first try! Our friends Charisma and Truant are near by. MV Miss Penny is near by and Rick came by in his dinghy after we were settled to introduce himself saying that he would watch our boat while we were away if we would watch his. Agreed! He is quite the fisherman catching lots of fish both trolling and in the reefs. He was kind enough to look at our gear and I was glad to see that I had at least some of the right lures. My trolling pole is a little light but hopefully it will,work ok for me. I’m not up for paying $200 for a better one even if it would last 10 years. He offered to go lobster hunting with Phil as we will be going down the Exumas likely about the same time.
I made chicken and rice in the pressure cooker and this time it turned out right. We had the leftover veggies from yesterday’s dinner at lunch time.
I can’t get internet without paying for it where we are, so posting using cell phone data.
We may stay one more day here tomorrow then leave for Allen’s Cay. We need to be in Georgetown by January 14 to renew our visa. Maybe if we’re lucky, we can get it taken care of in Staniel Cay.