Nov 18: We've arrived in the Bahamas!!
We woke early Saturday in the dark of the morning, slipped past Peanut Island and out to the ocean. The inlet was already busy with fishing boats rushing to their catch of the day, and other sailboats also making the crossing to the Bahamas. Only a single loaded cargo ship sat amid all the mayhem waiting patiently for a local captain to guide it into the shipyard.
We jostled over wakes, then settled into our cruising speed. Smaller sailboats fell away behind while fishing boats disappeared ahead creating a quiet space filled only by our engine. We were really on our way!
The crossing was fairly uneventful. Flying fish skipped by, a Carnival cruise ship appeared in the horizon and many more fishing boats passed keeping us company along the way. The waves were a bit crazy at first but died down over the day.
Before we knew it Old Bahama Bay Resort and Marina was ahead, in West End of Grand Bahama Island. At first view the island seemed to be covered in snow. Brightly painted, white roofed houses lined the edge of the white sandy island like a Christmas village. An intriguing and welcoming sight.
The Bahamians were so helpful and, outside of a LOT of customs papers, our arrival went very smoothly. Before long we were touring the resort where boaters also have access to all of the amenities.
We discovered a stunning pool lined with palm trees and deck chairs, with an accompanying Tiki bar/restaurant would be a must for tomorrow. The patio overlooked a white sandy beach with welcoming hammocks on palm trees and lounge chairs next to clear, warm turquoise water. A few Kayaks, paddle boards and surf boards sat ready in case you wished to explore.
In the meantime the marina had been filling with huge 3 tiered fishing boats. Each arrived, cleaned their boats, then carried clothing bags to one of the colourful houses before joining a growing throng of fishermen near white dinner tents.
It seems our arrival coincided with the last day of a fishing tournament. Rows of boats glowed, each under their own colour of LED lights. The marina had turned into a small partying city, celebrating their awards and the days catch, complete with many fish stories I'm sure.
We enjoyed a very fresh seafood dinner on the restaurant patio nearby, meeting people and enjoying the stories then headed to the boat. The water nearby was lit up and you could clearly see white jellyfish, rays and a variety of large fish swimming in the marina waters. They were enjoying the lights from the boats and a fabulous dinner of fish carcasses dropped by fishermen. It was incredible! A boat-side aquarium for the viewing.
Who could ask for more. A great end to a great day.