Return trip to Nassau
06 January 2013 | Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas
We did four stops on our way up the Exumas to Nassau. Our first stop took us to Cambridge Cay, also called Little Bell Cay. This is also part of the Exumas National Park so there were well-maintained moorings available and great snorkeling near by in a place appropriately called Sea Aquarium. Here schools of Sergeant Majors and Yellowtail Snappers were following us around (obviously asking to be fed and wandering how long it would take us to cough up the food). We saw our first Queen Triggerfish-es, several colorful Queen Angelfish, Trumpetfish, Yellowtail Damselfish, etc. so many and so beautiful, it was hard to leave.
Next stop took us back to Warderick Wells (and, yes, Alec and Roan are roaring with laughter as we speak). This time we hiked to the Blow Holes - holes open to the sea below where water shoots out when there are heavy seas. We played a game of frisbee on the middle shallow spot, and Roan had his first close encounter with a shark. Roan had been in the water swimming and fooling around Por Dos stern for most of the afternoon when Nicola spotted a shark just few feet from him. At her scream of "shark", Roan leapt out of the water at the speed of light, so much so, that I am considering enrolling him for speed try-outs for the next Olympic Games. It was a nurse shark coming to what we assumed was his regular cleaning station as he proceed to settle down at the bottom between Por Dos hulls and got a thorough cleansing from a couple of Bar jacks. He came back the next day at about the same time, and similar "cleaning" fish took care of him again. This second time we were sort of used to him so there was no screaming and no leaping :-)
We sailed back up to Allen's Cay, but this time our special single-boat anchorage was taken. We anchored with another half a dozen boats just across from another beach full of iguanas (and people from Nassau, in what it seemed a one to one ratio). Mark caught some conch that I prepared sashimi-style for snack and Mike and Alec caught a fish which we finally agreed could be a Margate. It was a bit small for the nine of us. We decided to keep the fish and the left over conch for next day appetizers.
For our last night together we stopped at Rose Island about six miles East of Nassau. A short one hour hop to Nassau but a different world all together. Mark, Mike, Roan, and Alec went snorkeling and caught a small lobster to add to our fresh "tapas-style" appetizers. We explored the North of the island which has a nice looking beach and a day-resort which seemed closed. Gail, Nicola, Mike, Roan and I walked through the resort. It was a bit eerie as if everybody had run in the middle of having a party. The bar stools, terrace sofas and seats, hammocks, inflatable tubes .... it was all there, just not people. Some parts looked new, while others were run down and broken. As Mike said, it felt like the beginning of a bad horror movie. In the middle of all of this, there was a pen with a little but well-fed piggy who was very happy to have company. We discussed all sort of possible scenarios some extracted from horror movies, other a bit more realistic. [Later I learnt that this resort is only open for day excursions on Wed, Fri and Sun - we were there on a Sat.]
Next day, we had to say good-bye to our friends. It is always a sad business. Even before they left, we were already missing them and all of the things that we did together: the Boogle games (one can only bow to the masters - Nicola and Tim - and pray that next time a miracle occurs and I find words that they cannot - maybe if we played in Spanish!), the million chess games that Mike tirelessly played with Alec and Roan, the hikes and snorkeling trips, the spontaneous frisbee game, the swimming and paddling (Roan's paddling "business" with Sammy as his first customer), the succulent chicken dinners curtesy of Tim and Gail, and just plain sitting and chatting. Two weeks flew us by in no time. Until the next time,