31 March 2014 | Nassau Harbour Club Marina
Gail/Mostly Sunny/Winds E10-15
Been a while since my last blog. We were having so much fun in Bimini, blogging took a back seat. I mentioned that there might not be new things to write about since we enjoy going to a lot of the same places. As we approached Bimini, I had forgotten the color of the water. It took away my breath as if I were seeing it for the first time. Google “Bimini Blue Pics,” then multiply that by ten and it is still not as beautiful as actually seeing the water. You can see down many feet to the bottom through that blue water like nowhere else.
There was a good weather window to move on to Nassau three days after we got there. We chose to wait and enjoy the visit in Bimini. It has our favorite beaches for sea glass and collectible shells. We went to the beach almost every day. We love the small marina and the people. We got to know other boats. We played Canasta with two other couples.
There are a lot of sharks. There is a shark research lab. (Later in the laundry room in Nassau, I read an article on the effort Bimini was putting forth to respect, instead of fearing, sharks). We saw several, many swimming under the boat. I continued to have a respect for them by staying out of the water. One afternoon we saw a very large spotted eagle sting ray swimming out from under our boat. That was the most beautiful animal we saw. I also saw one leap out of the water in the distance, spinning like a Frisbee.
The marinas are on the east side of North Bimini. Off the west side is an area that is flat at low tide. It is nice seeing the birds standing on the flats. We love birds, especially herons and egrets. Didn’t see herons, but there were lovely white egrets, pelicans, seagulls, etc.
The local fishermen come by our boat selling lobster tail, fish and cleaned conch. We bought lobster tails twice. I like conch, but don’t cook it, so we passed on the conch.
When we finally left this past Sunday to cross to Nassau, we decided to anchor out on the banks and continue crossing Monday. There was no moon when the sun set. It was the darkest, blackest anchorage I have ever seen. No city glow in the distance. The stars looked so low, you felt you could reach up and touch them. We were sailing with one other boat. When we pulled our anchors early Monday, the other boat had an engine belt problem. Frank launched our dinghy and went to help. It appears there was a water pump problem that they couldn’t fix. They made arrangements for a tow to the closest island with a marina. We pulled up anchor two hours later than planned. We had a really lovely motor sail. It would have been a nice sail only day, but since we started later than planned, we had to scoot on to get there before dark. That is such a nice stretch of our trip because the water is so deep, it has a deep Mediterranean blue, almost lapis color. It is called the tongue of the ocean. Occasionally, when the sun hits it just right, you can see purple water. When I read that in the past, I thought it certainly couldn’t really be purple, but it is. We were fortunate that the sun was just right this trip and we saw the purple water in the afternoon. It is unforgettable.
We, of course, had reservations at Nassau Harbour Club. While we were docking, Frank looked up to throw one of his lines to a dock-hand. Then he noticed it was our dear friend from Dreamketcher. We sailed with them in 2011. We hadn’t seen them since then. It was a head-jerking shocked look on Frank’s face when he noticed it was Dave. We have picked up right where we left off. We play the Chicken foot option to Mexican Train dominoes. We have gone to Atlantis to eat pizza and see the aquarium. The aquarium never gets old. It is still as breathtakingly beautiful as always. It is bigger than life.
We have our dear friends from Niceville arriving Tuesday, April 1, so we will wait in the marina until then. The wind has been blowing quite a bit, we likely wouldn’t have moved yet anyway. So we will keep playing dominos, eating good food, reading good books, catching good basketball, and provisioning the boat to move to the Exumas. (P.S. Our buddy boat that had to be towed is expected to arrive here Sunday/Monday. They met and graduated from the University of Akron. Not everything is negative for them, basketball is quite exciting!)
And on a serious note, while we were in Bimini, we lost one of our dearest friends Fred Hurlburt. He loved to sail. He loved life and oh how he did live it. He coached basketball for several schools. He was affectionately known as “coach.” He touched and molded many people’s lives. He had such a passion for playing Canasta with us, as he was with most everything he did. We loved him dearly and he will be missed. When we sail we think how much he would love being here with us. God blessed all who will miss Fred for having known him.
Until next time…..