The Last of the Bahamas and Some News from “Home”

We left Pig Beach on August 24, 2017 with Nassau, Bahamas as our next destination.  There was a storm that seemed to follow us as we sailed.

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A storm behind us
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Not quite as scary in front of us

The sail didn’t take too terribly long.  We came upon Nassau at about 7:30 PM…still enough daylight to find an anchorage.  We passed the Atlantis Resort on our way in.  Last time John and I were in Nassau, it was 1998 (I think) and the whole city was flooded from a tropical storm.  We were aboard the Disney Cruise Ship and did as many excursions as we could in the pouring rain.  We managed to tour the city of Nassau by bus, and we took a ferry to Atlantis and walked around for several hours before returning to the ship.  This time was quite different.

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The Atlantis Resort with no rain

John had previously told me that Nassau had the first bridge that we would have to go under, but it didn’t really sink in until I saw it.  With a 60′ mast, I felt that we would for sure hit the bridge.  I can remember closing my eyes and crouching down really low in the cockpit waiting for impact as we went under.  I felt a huge wave of relief when we ended up on the other side without a scratch.  John was just laughing and laughing and laughing at me.

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The bridge in Nassau

We thought that we would have a little time to walk around the city, but the sun was setting quicker than what we had anticipated.  We ended up not leaving the boat.  We did, however, have a visit from the Bahamas Customs Boat needing to see our papers.  John had everything that they needed, so they didn’t stay long.

We left Nassau the next morning as the sun was rising.  It was August 25, 2017.  Hurricane Harvey was currently headed towards the Texas Gulf Coast.  We were checking our phones for updates as often as we could get service, and our renters were preparing our homes for the storm.

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Atlantis Resort in the background
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Beautiful pastel skies as we leave Nassau

Our trip from Nassau to Berry Island was uneventful.  We arrived in time to fuel up the boat, check the marina prices (yea…not happening), and anchor just off the shore.

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A ship we saw on the way to Berry Island
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Berry Island

Berry Island was very small and seemed very much like a movie set.  It was almost too clean.  There were not very many people.  The homes all looked fairly new.  There were people waiting at the fuel dock for a boat to another island.  Other than that, we didn’t see any people except for the man who filled up our boat with diesel.

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Beautiful empty beaches of Berry Island
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I wonder what happened to this little boarded up house all alone at the tip of the island?

John and the boys decided to cool off in the clear blue waters before any large fish decided to perch themselves under the shade of the boat.

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Snorkel Time
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The cutest snorkeler of all time

The boys saw a very large orange starfish among other pretty sea creatures.  I jumped in briefly to cool off just before the Barracuda showed up.  The views were so clear, and the bottom of the ocean was so close we could almost touch.

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My Boys
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Pretty Orange Starfish
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John found a Conch shell

 

The clear waters make checking the anchor and the bottom of the boat easy.

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Anchor chain
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Checking out the bottom

After the big fish with teeth arrived, we got back on the boat.  We had enough sun on our skin at this point anyway.

The next day’s sail was short.  Berry Island to Bimini, Bahamas.  We had storms all around us again but clear skies overhead.  We were visited by a little bird.  He perched himself right next to the captain’s chair for around 20 minutes and then flew off.

We had heard that Hurricane Harvey had made landfall and that Houston was impacted.  I was able to contact a neighbor near one of our rent homes, and she reported good news as far as our area was concerned.  The rainfall was just beginning at this point though.

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Storms on the way to Bimini
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Glen and I on watch while Dad takes an early afternoon nap
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Our little bird visitor

We were very unimpressed with Bimini, Bahamas.  It was a small island, customs for check-out was easy enough to find, however there was not a good spot to anchor, and maneuvering in and around the island was difficult with the width of our boat.  There were shallow walls of sand just below the water’s surface.  We ended up leaving the island and finding an anchorage that was well offshore.  In fact, it was kind of in the middle of nowhere.  It was dark by this time, and I failed to take any pictures of Bimini itself.  I did capture a beautiful sunrise the next morning as we started our voyage to Florida.

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View from our anchorage offshore Bimini, Bahamas

 

Erik

My trip from Pig Beach to Nassau.  

We got to Nassau and anchored.  These guys came to our boat and checked our papers. Then we left and went to Berry Island.  We had a pretty good anchorage.  We snorkeled for a pretty long time.  It was sunny.  We saw a giant starfish.  It was orangish.  Glen hung on the anchor chain.  Then we got out and played on the boat.  It was lots of fun.  We left and went to Bimini.  We went to the city and Daddy got off the boat to checkout of the Bahamas.  We got an anchor spot that was kind of out in the ocean.  We went to sleep and had good dreams.

Glen

We left Pig Beach heading to Nassau. We went on a day sail that was pretty calm. We saw Atlantis and went under our first bridge. We were pretty scared, but our boat was small enough. A cop pulled us over and we thought we were in trouble, but he was just checking our papers and was nice. We tried to find a place to moor, but we had to anchor. We tried to connect to WiFi but Atlantis was being mean! I think we had burgers that night.  Liam, Erik, and I started playing hide and seek. I guess it wasn’t that smart to hide in the hatch that we keep all the bumpers in. Liam decided to jump on the hatch and stay there. I had air, I just needed to pee really badly. I told him to get up, so he did, and I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could and made it. We went to bed. That morning we pulled the anchor up first thing and we were off to Berry island. The sail to Berry island was boring, Nothing happened. We stopped at a gas place that said they had WiFi, but they lied. We filled up on gas and headed to an anchorage. We went and snorkeled around the boat and saw a starfish. After that, Mama made a melted sandwich for everyone, and we went to bed. That morning we were headed to Bimini. We heard a hurricane was coming to Texas. Liam, Erik and I started to play Uno, and Mama called me out telling me to bring a cracker. So I did and heard a bird flew on the boat. He drank some water but didn’t eat the cracker. Later he flew away never to be seen again. When we got to Bimini, it was in the middle of nowhere. We were in the Bahamas.

Liam

We left Pig Beach and were on our way to Nassau. We had a calm ride there, and we managed to stay ahead of the storm. The ride didn’t take too long, and we made it there around dusk. We didn’t get to explore the island, but we got a visit from the Customs Boat. They just needed to see our papers. We showed the papers to them, and they left. 
We left and were on our way to Berry Island. About halfway there, we saw a big ship motoring around the ocean. The boat left our line of sight eventually. When we got to Berry Island, it looked normal. As we got closer, I began to notice that it looked strangely “doll-like”. It was almost completely empty, and really clean. Soon, we found a nice spot to anchor. The water there was so clear, and it was cool to look at the ocean floor. We saw a big, fuzzy, orange starfish, and he looked pretty dangerous to touch, so we stayed away. We managed to get some pretty cool looking pictures though. We swam around for a while, and then climbed back onto the boat. 
   
Soon we left to Bimini. The small island was pretty, but to get in, we had to dodge shallow water. Eventually, we ended up anchoring out in the middle of nowhere.
   
Soon, we were on our way to Florida.

 

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