24 March 2009
We had an easy crossing from Allan's Cay the thirty or so miles to Nassau. You have to cross what is called the Yellow Banks where there are scattered coral heads which can be only a couple of feet below the surface. So for a half hour or so, I stood at the bow of the boat and kept watch while Judy steered (actually the autopilot steered but Judy kept watch). We spotted a couple of heads but did not really have to alter course much to avoid them.
As we approach Nassau, there are big nimbus clouds with rain squalls. We get hit by one; it rained hard for a few minutes but the wind sheer was not bad. We anchor in the harbour not far from the series of marinas. Our plan is to anchor for a couple of days then to a marina to clean the boat, reprovision, and generally have better access to facilities.
We find a good place to "drop the hook" and while there is not much water behind us, we are secure. Later in the day, a boat comes in to our side and behind us and runs hard aground. The tide is falling so despite our best efforts we cannot get him off. He'll just have to wait until early morning for the tide to rise. And so it does and he's gone when we wake up.
We want to move into a bit deeper water so we start bringing in the anchor but to no avail. Obviously it is caught on something. Upon closer examination, we note that we're caught in some large chain and cannot extricate ourselves. I solicit the help of two guys on a neighbouring boat, Blue Moon, originally from Nova Scotia and now from Ontario. With their help we are able to get off the chain and move forward a hundred feet or so and re-anchor.
There is a lot of traffic through this harbour and we are constantly rocked by various boats; a bit annoying but this is a busy, commercial harbour.
As planned, we move into a marina, the same one we stayed at on the way down - Nassau Harbour Club. It's is in close proximity to a mall with good grocery store and other amenities and there is a pool on site. We are assigned a slip three away from where we were the last time and obviously Chopin recognizes this place as he starts to wander down the slip we used to occupy, figuring that this is home.
Our slip neighbour is Joy, a Beneteau Evasion sailed by Rowan and Chris from Maryland and we quickly start up a friendship with them.
I take advantage of the availability of water to give the boat a real good cleaning. There is so much salt over everything and rust starts to show so I delight in giving Sea Sharp a real good bath and I wax the topsides and clean the stainless steel. She gleams again!
I go for a run, the first in many weeks. It feels great even if I'm way out of shape and sore.
On Sunday we go to church in the company of our dock mates Rowan and Chris. A nice long walk in the afternoon across to Paradise Island, home of luxurious homes, Atlantis and upscale shopping places. I promised to take Judy out for supper and we finally decide on Outback restaurant. The fare was only fair.
Looks like we may be stuck here for a few days with big lumpy seas and high winds. From Nassau, we have to figure on at least three days for our transit to US and we don't want to get caught in a poor anchorage if the wind is strong. In the meantime, we're relaxing. I've done a lot of boat maintenance and am pleased that as shabby as she looked when we got here, a bit of elbow grease (and lots of cleaners and chemicals) can bring her back to Bristol condition.