Stuck in Nassau
25 January 2009
We ended up having to spend a whole week in Nassau. Now, don't let me give you the impression that this was purgatory, certainly not compared to what we understand has been going on in the northern climes. It's been cold (60ish Fahrenheit) and blustery but nothing compared to a good ole Canadian winter.
So, we spend three days at the Marina and then decided to "anchor off". Marinas generally offer more security and certainly ready access to land based stuff, but at a cost, in our case about $70 US a day. Anchoring is free but it can be more uncomfortable, and there is always the worry about draggin' anchor or someone else draggin' on to you. In any event after three days, we left the marina and headed to an anchorage across the way just below "Paradise Island".
Yeah, you know this place, home of Atlantis the mega-ostentatious resort, apparently build by Trump but has changed hands several times. It is amazing resort, with glamour and glitz galore. We're anchored not far from this place with several other boats.
The holding (extent to which the anchor is catching on the bottom) appears good but there's a strong current running through here and it switches every six or so hours. Combine this with the strong winds from the east and we have several very fitful nights. I usually get up several times a night to poke my head out the companionway (front door) to ensure we're still in the same place and no one is bearing down on us. To make it worse, we're just off the main channel where there are many, many vessels moving all hours o fht eday and night, including ferries, mail boats, cargo ships, booze cruisers, fishing boats, etc. So, it was somewhat tumultuous but always an adventure.
In no particular order some o the stuff we dd; went for walks, went for a run, shopped, visited Atlantis, watched movies, etc. etc. But, we weren't the only ones, many sailors were stuck here, waiting for better weather to move on down the Exumas. One thing I did do was commission my watermaker.
OK, a bit of a short lecture here..... Obtaining potable water to keep our tank topped up in the US was not a problem. Water is plentiful and "free". So on our way down, we'd fill up our tank (76 gallons) every few days and really did not worry about consumption. In the Bahamas it'll be different. Water is scarce and most communities have to produce water by a taking sea water and subjecting it to a process called "reverse osmosis". Don't' worry, I won't try to dazzle you with my knowledge of hydrodynamics/physics but suffice it to say that this process takes sea water, subjects it to great pressure through a membrane to extract the salt and other impurities and leave behind clean water. To do it this way is expensive and complicated so water is at a premium. But, we have our own "reverse osmosis" watermaker. On Sea Sharp, it is a relative complex system with filters, pumps and membranes. We take sea water from a hole in the bottom of the boat, filter it, subject it to great pressure and force it through a membrane. The reject or brine is sent back overboard; the good stuff is put into our water tank. It takes a lot of energy (battery power) but gives us a reasonable supply of our own water.
So, I had installed this unit long before we left for our cruise but did not commission it until now. Once you start using it you need to continue or else you have to "pickle" it by running biocide through it.. So, I finalized the installation, turned it on and after some fine tuning, had a small trickle of potable water coming from the sea. Good for us!
It blew fairly hard (over 30 knots) and was gusty for several days but our anchor held and we were quite comfortable (better than shovelling). Nonetheless, we are anxious to leave 'cause Nassau, despite it's temperate climate, is just another city. We want to see the real Bahamas.