Steen Rally

Follow us on our sailing adventure from France to Australia

30 December 2015 | Sydney
29 July 2015 | Sydney
15 January 2015 | Sydney
22 December 2014 | Sydney
21 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
02 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
21 October 2014 | Port Vila, Vanuatu
01 October 2014 | Fiji
20 September 2014 | Fiji
08 September 2014 | Fiji
24 July 2014 | Neiafu, Tonga
06 July 2014 | Tahaa. French Polynesia
23 June 2014 | Moorea
23 June 2014 | Moorea
15 June 2014 | Papeete, Tahiti
14 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia

Atlantis, Paradise Island

07 June 2012 | Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Voahangy
Bahamas, May 3-7, 2012

And then there is Paradise Island across from Nassau, the ultimate fun destination. We never planned to stop in Nassau or anywhere near it, but a few family boats convinced us that the Atlantis resort was not to be missed.

The brainchild of South African magnate Sol Kerzner, this is the most surreal experience which from the hotel’s own admission is designed to “blow away the customer”. Based on the ancient mythical lost continent of Atlantis which sank without a trace 11,000 years ago, I don’t know that you could call it a mere resort: with 6 different types of accommodation (for thousands of people!), the largest waterpark in the Caribbean’s, a giant casino, fantastic aquariums, dozens of restaurants and a marina designed to cater for megayachts, and over 7000 staff members, Atlantis resort is a city in itself! Our (i.e. the children’s) main interest was Aquaventure, the 141-acre water park which includes a mile-long river, nine screaming fast water slides and millions of gallons of water fun. But at US$120 per person for a day pass, Terry and I were not so keen…

Then we found out that we could dock the boat at the marina for US$4.50 per foot, not cheap by any means, but for that price we’d enjoy full guests privileges at the resort included access to the waterpark, exhibits lagoons, pools, restaurants, movie theatre, casino, and more…So for 3 days, the kids enjoyed unlimited rides on slides called The Abyss, The Drop, The Fall, The Leap of faith (you get the idea!) while Terry and I explored the massive resort which features high-bridged towers, tapered cupolas, a statue of a leaping sailfish, and (the best part) the Dig, an assortment of walk through tunnels made to look like an archaeological excavation site surrounded by a glass-sided fish domain. Come night time, Marc dreamt of having room service delivered to the boat, but then discovered CRUSH, the resort’s own teen night club and ended up spending every night there. Not to be left behind, Anne joined CLUB RUSH, “the coolest place for tweens to hang out in the evenings”, and since both clubs were parent-free zones, Terry and I ended up enjoying 2 nights of bar hopping here, romantic dinner there, and casino strolling. Of course, none of these activities were free, and the kids learnt the concept of cover charge! And as tempted as they were by the water adventures on offer (swim with the dolphins, be a trainer for a day, pat a stingray…), they realised that they just could not have it all! By the time we added our 2-night stay at the marina, eating out, clubbing, etc…I’ll be the first to admit that it was an expensive week end. But it was fun for everyone and very different from what we’d experienced before (in an over-the-top kind of way!)

And one last thing for the cruisers out there: this has to be one of the best value fun destinations, if you are in a group. Here’s how it works: Each boat docked at the marina, gets allocated an access card for each guest (up to 6, I think). Then each card entitles you to 4 passes in Aquaventure each day, effectively allowing up to 24 guests to enjoy the waterchutes or sports and swimming facilities for free. So if you’re travelling with other like-minded boats, only one needs to dock at the marina, while the others stay at anchor outside the channel, and share the cards amongst themselves. You’d have to be good friends though, because these cards also act as charge cards, so you may end up with unwanted things billed to your account!!

Want to know more about Atlantis? Check their website www.atlantis.com

Oh, and for the record, by the time we finished with Atlantis, we decided to leave for some quieter surroundings so we saw nothing of downtown Nassau!

Bahamas, 3-7 Mai, 2012

Et puis il y a Paradise Island, en face de Nassau, l’ultime fun destination. Nous n’avons jamais eu l’intention de nous arrêter à Nassau, ou ses environs, mais quelques bateaux amis nous ont convaincu qu’il ne fallait surtout pas rater Atlantis.

Fruit de l’imagination du magnat sud-africain Sol Kerzner, c’est une des expériences les plus surréalistes qui d’après l’hôtel lui-même est conçue pour « en mettre plein la vue ». Base sur le mythe d’Atlantis, ancien continent perdu sans laisser de traces il y a 11,000 ans, je ne sais pas si on peut le décrire comme un simple « club de vacances » : avec ses 6 types d’hébergements différents (capables d’accueillir des milliers de personnes), le parc aquatique le plus grand des Caraïbes, un casino géant, des aquariums fantastiques hébergeant quelques 50 000 espèces sous-marines, des douzaines de restaurants, une marina conçue spécialement pour les megayachts, et 7500 employés, le resort d’Atlantis est une ville en elle-même ! On (surtout les enfants) était surtout intéressés par Aquaventure, le parc aquatique qui s’étend sur 141 acres et qui comprend une rivière de 3 klm de long, neuf toboggans vertigineux et des millions de litres d’eaux ou s’amuser. Mais a $120 par personne pour un forfait journalier, on n’était pas très chauds avec Terry…

Jusqu'à ce qu’on découvre que pour $4.50 le pied, on pouvait amarrer le bateau a la marina, bon ce n’est pas donne, mais pour le prix, on jouit des mêmes privilèges que les clients de l’hôtel, c'est-à-dire accès au parc aquatique, les lagons, les piscines, restaurants, cinéma, casino, etc…Donc pendant 3 jours les enfants se sont éclatés sur les toboggans dument baptises L’Abysse, La chute, Le Gouffre, Le Saut de la Foi (traduction ?), bref, vous voyez le genre…Pendant ce temps-là, Terry et moi avons fait le tour de cet énorme complexe ou figurent des tours reliées par des pont suspendus, des coupoles pointues, une statue d’un voilier bondissant, et surtout « the Dig » une série de tunnels conçus comme un site archéologique cerne par un domaine aquatique. Le soir venu, Marc ne voulait rien d’autre que se faire servir dîner a bord, puis il a découvert CRUSH, le night-club pour ados propre à l’hôtel, du coup il y a passé toutes les nuits. Non contente d’être en reste, Anne s’est inscrite a CLUB RUSH « le club le plus cool pour pré-ados le soir » et comme dans les deux cas, les parents étaient off-limits, nous en avons profités pour passer 2 soirées sympas à faire le tour des bars, dîner en amoureux, et tenter notre chance au casino. Bien sûr, aucune de ces activités n’étaient gratuites, et même les enfants ont appris le concept de prix d’entrée pour les clubs ! Je ne parle même pas des tentations telles que nager avec les dauphins, être un entraineur pour la journée, caresser une raie…ils ont bien du se faire à l’idée qu’ils ne peuvent pas tout avoir. Le temps qu’on additionne les 2 nuits à la marina, les sorties au restau, clubs, etc…je suis la première à admettre que c’était un weekend end assez cher. Mais c’était tellement « over the top » et diffèrent de ce qu’on a connu jusque-là, on en garde un souvenir inoubliable.

Un dernier mot pour nos amis plaisanciers : Atlantis est une destination qui offre un excellent rapport qualité prix si vous voyagez en groupe. Voilà comment ça marche : chaque bateau a quai se voit attribue une carte d’accès par passager (maximum 6, je crois). Et chaque carte donne droit à 4 forfaits par jour pour Aquaventure, ce qui permet donc à 24 personnes de profiter des toboggans et autres plaisirs aquatiques gratuitement. Résultat, si vous naviguez avec d’autres bateaux aussi intéressés, il suffit qu’un de vous soit à quai, et les autres peuvent rester au mouillage à l’extérieur tout en se partageant les cartes entre eux. Attention quand même, mieux vaut être bons amis, car ces cartes d’accès peuvent être utilisées comme cartes de crédit pour l’emplacement, donc méfiez-vous des dépenses imprévues sur votre facture !!

Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur le site www.atlantis.com.

Oh, et pour info, une fois finis avec Atlantis, on avait envie de calme et de sérénité, donc on est repartis en mer sans rien voir de Nassau !
Comments
Vessel Name: VOAHANGY
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 560
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
About:
Terry, 71, skipper, ex-pilot, surfer, aerobatics champion, can fix anything, never sea sick, loves a beer, hates the cold, is happiest anchored off a deserted beach. [...]
VOAHANGY's Photos - Main
84 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
2 glorious months, cruising various parts of Fiji. So many different experiences in one country: lush rainforests, colourful indian towns, blue lagoons, traditional villages, great fishing, fancy resorts... And the best part was sharing the cruising with family and friends. Can't beat Fiji with company! Here is a collection of our favourite moments (and there are a few!!!)
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 12 October 2014
Some of the whales actions we witnessed in Tonga, to read with the Whales action post by Anne!
7 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
Whale watching, snorkelling, bonfires, making new friends...One of the most remote and austere destination, far away from big tourism, with friendly people holding on to their traditions. Weather a bit chilly, but who cares???
46 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
49 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
15 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
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Created 25 July 2014
38 Photos
Created 30 June 2014
20 Photos
Created 30 June 2014
72 Photos
Created 28 June 2014
55 Photos
Created 23 June 2014
27 Photos
Created 15 May 2014
37 Photos
Created 11 May 2014
40 Photos
Created 30 March 2014
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 15 March 2014
The time finally came to leave...a month of celebrations and sadness!
30 Photos
Created 5 March 2014
Another holiday within the holiday! Spent 13 fantastic days in Whistler, British Columbia joined by Aussie friends David and Denise. First time on skis for them, perfecting camps for Marc and Anne, loads of fun for everyone.
70 Photos
Created 8 February 2014
Nothing like having family and friends coming for a visit in the sun. Lots of eating, drinking, swimming, laughing...showing everyone our small paradise.
99 Photos
Created 30 January 2014
End of school year in Puerto, many get togethers before flying off to Paris for a family Christmas.
25 Photos
Created 23 January 2014
Day of the Dead festival, a friend visiting from Australia, Anne participating in her first martial arts tournament,...As usual a lot of eating and socialising!
40 Photos
Created 2 December 2013
68 Photos
Created 6 November 2013
Having visitors means putting on our tour guide hat "Voahangy & Co in Mexico", much exploring and eating: ruins, cenotes, beaches, villages, markets,... . I shared Mexican cooking lessons and was repaid with Dutch baking classes from our French guest. We ate a lot of cakes this month! So much sugar, no candies needed for Halloween this year, just parties...
74 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
This is the slowest month of the year in Mexico: hurricane threats, hot and humid weather, torrential rains drive the tourists away and confine the rest of us indoors. It poured for 22 days non stop! We still managed a dive (in the rain) for Father's Day, a day of all you can eat and drink at the local resort for Terry's birthday, and as usual lots of cooking and eating. Just on cue, the weather cleared at the end of the month for the arrival of Marie Suzanne, a French girlfriend. So lots of touring and catching up. Celebrated Mexican Independence Day all month long (it seems), eating black beans and pork verde!
47 Photos
Created 10 October 2013
No excursions this month. Just hanging around Puerto Aventuras, school, friends, ...Sat thru a couple of storms, torrential rains, big winds...Nowhere to go so more time spent in the galley and writing about it!!!
33 Photos
Created 12 September 2013
Holiday month for everyone: visitors from the USA, kids in and out, parties, US National Day celebration, French National Day celebration, Tulum for a night (bliss...) The start of a new food blog meant a month spent in the galley experimenting. Not much in terms of local food, mostly home cooked French. Chocolate cake anyone?
41 Photos
Created 24 August 2013
Holiday Seasons with old and new friends, provisioning and preparing to leave the USA...
54 Photos
Created 16 July 2013
End of school year performances, lots of baking/cooking for school festivities, Marc hospitalised, first tropical storms testing our nerves, road trip to Belize... Eat ceviche, my latest food addiction!!!
15 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 July 2013
Lots on! An interesting road trip to the Chiapas region, wonderful ruins of Palenque, green and lush Tabasco, Anne's birthday, Cozumel by boat, Kids sports graduation...Eat chilaquiles, breakfast with a difference.
26 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 2 July 2013
Settling down and mixing with the locals: kids are off to school, birthday parties, more of Tulum, unexpected reunion with fellow cruisers. Eat: black bean soup!
30 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
Not much tourism this month. We finally made the decision to stay for the rest of the year. So it's head down with school, get together with cruising friends ( they're passing thru while we stay behind) and switching to "landlubber's" mode. Resolved to eat at home more often, back to healthier diet.
19 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Exploring the Yucatan peninsula by car, to Uxmal ruins and Merida. More of Tulum. Marc's Birthday. Try Flyboarding. Join in the local community of Puerto Aventuras. Xel-Ha. Discover Playa del Carmen. Eat nachos.
27 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Landfall in Isla Mujeres, find our way around our new home in Puerto Aventuras, excursion to Coba ruins, discover Tulum, swim with dolphins, eat tacos...
31 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Our last few weeks (even months) have been spent in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. Not much cruising for us, more like enjoying company of new friends, safety of a protected harbor, and relaxing for a while, knowing we don't have to go anywhere for a while...
25 Photos
Created 2 April 2013
2 weeks in an island where time has stood still for 50 years! Road trip La havana - Vinales- Cienfuegos - Trinidad - La Havana. Cruise down the west coast, beautiful beaches, good fishing, diving,... Warm waters at last!!!!
3 Sub-Albums
Created 5 February 2013
To be enjoyed while reading the post!
43 Photos
Created 31 December 2012
Exploring Charleston and Savannah
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 27 December 2012
2 weeks shore leave, driving to Shenandoah National Park: lots of hiking, eating "country style" food, looking for bears, avoiding bears...Long drive across to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to visit the Wrights brothers memorial and Cape Hatteras.
28 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Caught up with friends, left the boat on display at the 2012 Boat Show, toured historic downtown and US Naval Academy, watched a football game...welcome to the US sailing capital!
51 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Unforgetable summer cruising around Block island, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 16 December 2012
46 Photos
Created 17 October 2012
A leisurely cruise from New York to Newport. Quite anchorages, fresh ocean breeze, ...a million miles away from Big City living!
37 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
July and September in the Big Apple. Cruise, Eat, Shop, Walk,...Look at some of our best memories (work in progress, I am still sorting thru thousands fo photos!)
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 3 September 2012
Museums, memorials, parks, bike trails...the most photogenic city.
85 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
First voyage in July, on our way to Washington DC. Passing thru quaint and historical towns, sampling crabs and oysters in hot summer nights... Returned in September, enjoying all Annapolis has to offer (well, nearly), and the spectacle of autumn foliage.
20 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
Where there are some seriously clever people!
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
29 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Shore leave: Make believe, dreams come true, thrills, fast food...Anything goes here!!!
42 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Welcome to America! Our port of entry, last moments with friends, base for a mini-refit, and our first taste of the USA...
18 Photos
Created 30 June 2012
59 Photos
Created 31 May 2012
17 Photos
Created 25 May 2012
33 Photos
Created 25 May 2012
52 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
19 Photos
Created 14 April 2012
30 Photos
Created 14 April 2012
28 Photos
Created 30 March 2012
28 Photos
Created 5 March 2012
40 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
36 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
25 Photos
Created 28 January 2012
49 Photos
Created 8 January 2012
37 Photos
Created 4 January 2012
40 Photos
Created 28 December 2011
What happens during a transat?
40 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
44 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
22 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
40 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
13 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
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Created 19 November 2011
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Created 17 November 2011
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Created 30 October 2011
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Created 22 October 2011
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Created 1 October 2011
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Created 8 September 2011

S.V VOAHANGY

Who: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
Port: Sydney