Bimini - Part III
14 February 2009 | Bimini Islands
3:00pm Position: N 25*42.647 W079*20.030 Wow the color of the water is changing to an amazing variety of light blues and turquoises. It's so clear and looks so shallow. You can see coral heads sticking up under the surface of the water. I can see why they say to come in during this time of day so you can pick your way through with the sun lighting up the path. Time for Wayne to hoist our quarantine flag (a yellow flag that we need to fly until we check into customs)
I'll have to learn to read the colors of this water better. Going into Bimini I was trying to keep the red markers on my right and before I knew it... bump, bump, bump... the water got shallower and shallower. Luckily it was sand and we managed to turn around and get back off it. A friendly soul in a smaller boat came by and told us the path to take to come in to the channel. So we went from 4.3 ft to 12 ft. We tried hailing Blue Water Marina over and over but they never responded to us as we circled and circled so we went further down and hailed Bimini Bay Resorts. Channel 16 is evidently not the hailing channel here and someone came on and told us that they answer on channel 68. Right they were - Thank you thank you! So at 5pm we were tied up with all the large mega yachts and motor yachts at Bimini Bay Resorts. What a place! It's gorgeous. New and huge and gorgeous! They sell condos, houses; have their own island facilities, stores, restaurants, etc... We're also the only sailboat here and people keep looking at us. We're parked on the 3rd T-Head #12, behind a motor yacht (mega yacht) on the 2nd T-Head, called Princess Marie Ann - registered in Road Harbor BVI. Yikes he's huge and keeps looking over here.
The young man that helped tie us up is very friendly and gave us the papers we need to fill out for immigration and customs and then pointed us towards the office and sent us with a younger fellow (around 11 yrs old?). This place is amazing - very upscale! The grounds, buildings, floating docks, stores, shower facilities (I don't need my flip flops in these showers), and Internet access 24 hours a day. They have a customs office on the premises so we headed over after checking in at the office only nobody was there. We were told that he'd be there until 6pm and since it was only 5:15 figured he'd be back. Another man came in and said all his stuff was gone off his desk so he was probably gone for the day. Oh well. Quarantine flag will stay up until tomorrow. After we settled on the boat for drinks - the same guy apologized and said after we left that he (the customs guy) returned, so Wayne scurried back over since it was 5:50pm but to no avail... He wasn't laughing though
We toasted our landfall with my "Bosca Verdi" Spumante. Even after a long day, running aground, and having and facing a lack of humor - I still felt we needed to toast our first crossing - Even if the mood fell through - Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy... I need to smile and feel up beat. We thought about doing this for a long time and have taken that large leap. I want to feel good about it....
We had pizza at Amicci's Pizzeria & Gelateria this evening. Not like ours back home but very good. We wanted one with pepperoni, mushrooms, onions but they had no mushrooms tonight so it was just pepperoni and onion. They charge $2 a topping and I couldn't figure out how they came up with $24.00 until it occurred to me that they consider cheese a topping too - aha! The guy that made our pizza (I'll call him D) was a beautiful young man - one of those guys whose whole face lights up when he smiles. Dr. Holman (Dentist) would love his teeth - dazzling white and perfect.
While we were eating our pizza the cashier that had taken our order had left so "D" was working solo - taking orders at the counter and cooking too. Two kids (from one of the mega yachts) came in that I'd recognized skateboarding on the docks near a large motor yacht and were looking at all the ice creams. "D" was eyeing them speculatively and being patient, waiting to see what they wanted. I thought - they're going to bug him for samples or something and sure enough they wanted samples of the various ice creams so "D" indulged them. They savored the samples in their mouths while staring at each other and you could just tell they weren't going to buy anything. They shook their heads and said "Nahhhh" and left... Right... and as I looked at "D" I could see that he knew all along that they weren't going to buy anything either. He went back to his station and sat down. I wondered how many times he went through this kind of thing with a quiet patience and I thought about the kids and their treatment of him like he was their personal hired help. It made me feel sad that the kids felt they could do this. I wondered at their parents. I wondered if they did this a lot. The kids acted like they owned the docks and the computer room too. They'd come in banging around on the keyboards when I was in there earlier. I wondered if Bahamians viewed all of us cruisers like I viewed these kids - like rich, spoiled Americans (?) who owned boats registered in the Cayman Islands. It made me sad...I'd be ashamed to say those were my kids, if I were their parents, but I've seen so many parents that teach their kids that it's alright to be arrogant.
There appeared to be a wedding or something going on in the main restaurant (it turned out to be a Valentine's dinner celebration) as we walked back to the boat and when we got to the boat the Princess had these brilliant blue lights in the water and their name was all lit up in a green/blue color with loud country/rap music playing pretty loud on two wide screen TV's facing our boat on the outside outer decks (upper and lower). What a treat - we can watch their music videos! This surprised me because the owner appeared to be on the older side of middle age and his young lady friend wasn't so young either. Maybe they're hard of hearing or something. Anyhow, they did appear to be enjoying their evening cocktails.