Our son, Alex and girlfriend, Jenna flew in to Nassau on Thursday afternoon, April 4th. They each had only one carry on backpack. Alex’s was very heavy and nearly half filled with spare parts for us. TSA entertained them in the US by trying to guess what the parts were. They didn’t guess any correctly. Bahamas customs only wanted to know the name of a marina or dock our boat was at. We were anchored off Junkanoo beach near the cruise ships so our boat was not near a dock or marina. Rather entertaining to see them insist on the name of a nearby dock. They finally used the name of the cruise ship dock. The taxi ride and picking them up at the beach via dinghy went smoothly. Around 10 PM, the hull started vibrating with deep bass music that was playing on shore. It didn’t stop until 1:30AM. Welcome to Nassau!The next day after breakfast, we sailed down wind out of the harbor heading northwest for the Berry Islands, 35 miles away. The wind was lighter than expected so we motor-sailed occasionally.
As soon as the anchor was down near Pigeon Cay, guess who went for a swim?After dinner, Alex & Jenna went out on deck to watch the sunset.
Jenna wanted to call her Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday 🎈🎂 🎉. Alex scrambled below, dug in his bag, and raced outside again. Mommy radar was blipping. Eventually, we hear happy giggles. It seems our son asked a question with something shiny and was accepted; on our boat at sunset in the Bahamas ❤️ 🇧🇸 🥰. We were all surprised and very happy. They couldn’t stop smiling and inspecting the very pretty ring.Alex had asked her Dad for permission to marry her. Which is why he needed to propose before her call home.
We stayed another full day at this private anchorage. Alex & Jenna took the dinghy for a long run, so they could walk on the beach of Bird Island and swim in the shallows. They brought back a few very small shells and saw some little silver fish. Sunsets are a time to be outside:On Sunday, we sailed a few miles to Chub Cay and anchored by the beach. Tom & I drove the dinghy to the marina to get two loads of water. Alex and Jenna swam to the coral wall to see more little fish.
Alex captured the best photo of the gorgeous sunset at Chub.Tom and Alex just had to finish the project they started; installing the new Tank Tender gauge. Completed at 8:30 PM. Tom had earlier installed a pickup tube directly in the deepest part of the water tank. Now we can measure how many inches of water we have in the tank. Much nicer than running out!The next day, we motored a mile or so to the south coast of Chub Cay and tried to anchor at the entrance to the mangroves, planning to dinghy into them to see the turtles. The anchor just skidded along the top of the hard bottom and it was a lee shore with 12 knots of wind that were increasing. Time for Plan B.
Off came the sail covers, up went the sails, we turned off the engine and sailed 14 miles to the north end of Andros Island. Our entrance into the harbor was quite exciting as a brief rain squall came through with heavy rain and 20+ knots of wind. Alex expertly steered Lone Star through the reefs on both sides. Then hovered in the wind while Tom and Anita lowered and wrapped up the sails. We had plenty of protection from the southerly winds for the next couple days and a new place to explore! We waited until afternoon when the sun was lower to dinghy ashore. We poked around a few wrecks on the beach:Lone Star at anchor, a beached Tug, and Tom for perspective.
We explored Henry Morgan’s caves and (lower picture) his lookout point where the pirate is alleged to have watched for ships to plunder. This place is now called Morgan’s Bluff.Our full day on Andros Island was a mix of sun and clouds. We also started the day with light winds that turned gusty in the afternoon. We went ashore in the late morning to make 3 dinghy runs for water and walk around a bit. It was too hot and not much more to see. We went back aboard to hide from the sun. The next day was also supposed to be cloudy with occasional rain showers steady 10-15 knot winds with gusts in squalls around 25 knots. However, southwest winds would carry us downwind back to Nassau. The forecasters got only the cloudy part right. Winds were under 10 knots all day, we motor-sailed for 9.5 hours, rotating the watch every hour between the three of us.No rain for us until after sunset. We were safely anchored at a little island just east of Nassau called Athol Cay.
Snorkeling here was pretty good. Both Tom and Alex took video. Tom and the affianced couple took the dinghy to a beach on the south side of the island in the morning. In the afternoon, they snorkeled again near Lone Star on the north side. This was actually better; more fish and variety of coral. Somehow Tom still squeezed in an engine maintenance project: replacing the salt water pump and belt. He also went swimming and scrubbed the bottom. Busy day and everyone is tired, but happy!
It’s hard to believe eight days have flown by so fast! We raised the anchor and jib for the short motor sail through Nassau Harbor. We anchored off of Junkanoo Beach again and met Bahama John’s Taxi on shore. He took this picture for us:It was a nice vacation for Alex and Jenna and we are so glad they could come for a visit and leave engaged to be married! Congratulations you two, we wish you a long and happy life traveling the world to your hearts content. We hope you visit us often as we sail about.
After a few days to do laundry, restock, and wait for winds other than straight east, we sail east to Eleuthera in the Bahamas.