After leaving Turks and Caicos, it was time to head to the Bahamas. We spent the entire day sailing and arrived to Mayaguana, Bahamas near midnight. All we could tell from the shoreline lights was that the island was sparsely populated. We successfully anchored and went to sleep.
As morning arrived, Captain John took all of our documents and headed to shore in the dinghy to find customs, a SIM card, and phone that would work in the Bahamas.
While he was gone, Juan and the boys swam and snorkeled around the boat finding all kinds of seashells, sand-dollars, sea urchins, and small fish. I did some laundry, and after getting too hot, I joined the boys in the water for awhile.
After many, many hours, Juan and I started to get worried about John. He had been gone much longer than his normal Customs check-in. I took some pictures of the coast with my longest zoom lens but didn’t get much information. There were no people, two boats (neither of which were our dinghy), some dilapidated buildings, a cell tower, and tons of shrubbery.
Juan tried again and again to contact the Customs office on Mayaguana via radio with no luck. He ended up getting an international cell phone plan so that we could contact them that way. That led us to every island in the Bahamas except for the one we needed. We were really starting to worry.
I read in some of our cruising guides that Mayaguana was not an actual point of entry and people who have tried to enter have failed…what does that mean?!?! I have a very active imagination, and all sorts of visions were running through my head as to what could be going on.
I decided to take a few more pictures in case I missed something. As I was doing this, we could barely make out a small boat coming our direction. It turned out to be John. We were so relieved. He got back on the boat and said that everything was perfectly fine. He had gotten updated information on Customs procedures from Active Captain and said that some of our cruising guides were out of date. We were successfully checked-in to the Bahamas, had a new cell phone that would work in the islands, and were ready to head out to our next destination.
There was a storm heading our way, so the guys altered the original route to the sheltered location of Atwood Harbour. We sailed the rest of that day and arrived late at night. We couldn’t see ANYTHING…no lights, no other boats, no nothing. It was eerie as we anchored.
As we were winding down from the sail, we heard some strange noises coming from the back of the boat. We came to find that it was a dolphin playing in the water and blowing through his blow-hole. I could only catch a glimpse of him, but Juan had gone down into his room where he saw the dolphin come right up to his window. Pretty cool!
The next day we awoke to Atwood Harbour, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The water was crystal clear, white sands surrounded the harbour, and there was only one structure that didn’t look inhabited.
We took the dinghy over to the beach to play in the sand. While there, we saw a stingray and an eel, and the boys found little treasures.
The boys had so much fun playing in the sand. I think they enjoy the beaches more than anything else that we do. They buried Erik turning him into a MerMan with a Robot Hand and Giant Glove.
Erik loves to swim, and showed me all his snorkeling moves.
We spent a ton of time at the beach and probably got way too much sun, but we had fun!
When we returned back to the boat, John grilled burgers while the boys swam around the boat. All of a sudden, Erik was attempting to scream with a snorkel in his mouth. It sounded like he was screaming “barracuda”. He was pretty much walking on water trying to get back to the boat. The other boys were saying that they didn’t see anything but came back on the boat anyway. We took underwater video and found a 4+ foot barracuda just hanging out under the boat.
I didn’t end up eating the majority of my burger, so I shared. I don’t think that barracudas typically like hamburger, but since there was nothing else, he ate it. Erik decided to make friends with the fish and enjoyed watching him for the rest of our visit.
While I was inside, we were visited by two men in a small boat that were selling gigantic lobster and conch. The men turned it down but tried to flag them down when I said that I wish that we could have gotten a lobster. The only lobster I’ve ever eaten was horrible. It would have been an experience for sure. Maybe next time.
Our nights were pretty incredible at Atwood Harbour. Since there were no lights nearby, the stars were especially bright. The storm had come close to us but stayed far enough away that the skies were cloudless. We laid out on the trampoline and stargazed for extended periods of time seeing things that we had never seen before…like the Milky Way. It was incredible! My night photography is lacking, so I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any photos.
I was sad to leave Atwood Harbor and hope to return and spend more time in the future. What an incredible place 🙂
My trip from Turks and Caicos to The Bahamas.
Daddy went to Customs for a very long time. We thought he was lost. We snorkeled and found sand-dollars. They looked cool. The next day, we went to the beach and I got buried in the sand. I snorkeled and saw an eel and a stingray. Daddy tried to teach me to touch the stingray. I was too scared. I was swimming to the boat ladder, and there was a barracuda under the boat. I was frightened. I had a sandwich and everyone else had a burger.
On our trip from Provo was an overnight trip. I went to sleep and the next thing I knew we were there. We got to a place in the Bahamas called Mayaguana. It got cold and there were gnats and mosquitoes which was surprising because of how windy it was.
In the morning Daddy went out to check us into customs. While he was gone, we went swimming. It was about 12 feet deep, and we could reach the bottom. I got a conch shell and a sand dollar. Liam and Erik got sand dollars too.
It was taking a long time for Daddy to get back, so we started an Uno game again. After two hours, we were starting to think that daddy had gotten kidnapped, and we got out one of our books. Where we were anchored was not an official spot to park boats. The book said that some people have gotten jail sentences for parking there, and we had no phone to call him. About an hour later he came back, and were checked into the country.
Then at about mid day, we were going to a place called Atwood Harbour. It was a big island with 1 house on it. We went to the beach and we buried Erik. We gave him a mermaid tale, a robot arm, and a glove, and then took his picture. We saw a huge sting ray and an eel. After we dug Erik up, we went back to the boat. Erik saw a giant barracuda, and then we all got out of the water. Daddy cooked up some daddy- patties and Mama wanted hers really cooked so she gave it to the barracuda. I think Erik found his favorite stick.
After Turks and Caicos, we were headed to Mayaguana. We anchored out next to the island and swam for a while. There were a bunch of little shells at the bottom of the place where we parked. The water was only like seven feet deep, so we were able to grab a few sand dollars, and Glen got a conch shell.
Our dad went to the shore to check in with the customs department and was gone all day. After about three hours of waiting for him to return, we were starting to get worried. So Juan, being the nice person he is (mostly), bought the data plan for that part of the world so he could try to call Dad. Well that didn’t work, so we tried to use the radio, but they acted like they seriously didn’t care.
Another hour of waiting, getting angry at the radio station, and playing Uno, brought him back. Apparently, he had to walk the whole island to find a new phone. He had to purchase a sim card and set up the new sim card. So all the waiting brought a new phone!
After a while, we headed out to Atwood Harbour. We arrived there at night, and as I’m told (I was asleep), the people watching couldn’t see a thing. In the morning, we were greeted with a big circle of sand and trees surrounding us. To go into more detail, the beach (the sandy part, duh), had a few dead trees and small shells. But further away from the water, the beach turned into a waist high pool of grass.
We were the only ones there, so we took the dinghy to the beach. There was also no one on the beach. Now that we had a whole beach to ourselves, we stayed and played for a few hours.
When we got back to the boat, a couple of people selling lobster and conch, came up to us. They were wondering if we wanted to buy any of their seafood. At the time, we didn’t and they left. But not five minutes later, our mom is regretting not getting a lobster.
We made burgers, and a barracuda came under our boat! I think it could smell the burgers. Since our mom couldn’t finish her burger, she fed the rest to the visitor under our boat.
After that we slept, and sailed to an airport to drop Juan off.