Ship Channel Cay

After crossing yesterday, we woke up in Ship Channel Cay, and explored a small private island which seems to be used by Powerboat Adventures. We discovered a small path and climbed a trail to see the top, where we were rewarded with 360-degree views. We made our way to another beach where we found the remains of huge lobsters, and abandoned sleeping shack with tons of conch and beer bottles. Someone must have spent a good deal of time on this beach.

Inland, we found a freshwater pond and lots of trees with small orange fruit (we have yet to learn exactly what they are). We saw a stingray as we left.

When we got back to the boat, Clark took the thermostat out of the dinghy motor to work on it, and we both had a swim. Emily made plantain patties and leftover caned potroast for lunch. Then we played some music, Clark read a book, Emily jumped in the water again, and we saw a fish that we can’t yet identify (some sort of needlefish with royal blue, turquoise and silver horizontal bars, and a yellow tail).

We had steak, mashed potatoes and sautéed peppers for dinner. As night fell, we were bit by lots of no-see-ums so we re-anchored the boat farther from the beach. The water is calm, now and there is a little breeze.

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Rose Island to Ship Channel Cay

We finally left Nassau! After Emily downloaded the bulk of her of Coursera video lectures using the local gas station’s high speed internet, and enjoyed a Starbucks frappaccino, we went to the post office to send a packages to some friends. Unfortunately, it was closed for Good Friday (and all of Easter week). But the long walk was not a total loss. We got to see the architecture, hills and explore a fort on the way home. We headed out to Rose Island.
When we arrived at Rose Island, it was crowded with motor yachts and jetskis, but most everyone left before nightfall. Our friends from Belgium (S/V Jabiroe) were there, but headed out shortly. We explored the beach a bit in the late afternon. It has been used as a charter destination party beach, and there was a tight rope and rope swing there, along with a makeshift volleyball court and a bar. We went to the beach at night with lots of bugspray, but still got lots of bites!
After we woke up in the morning, we explored “Gilligan’s Island,”a small island off of Rose Island where we found abandoned buildings, lots of seagull feathers and a fresh coconut. There were several small ruined buildings, including a conch or coconut stand, a bunk house, and a bath house.
Then we hung out at the boat today. This morning, we left at 7:30 am and sailed in rough seas with wind on the nose from Rose Island. We began with the intention of reaching Allen’s Cay, but decided to stop at Ship Channel Cay instead.

Nassau

On the 19th, we left about 11:00 for Nassau, land of cruise ships, and lots of city noise. After we arrived and anchored, we met a couple neighbors–Daniel, from Quebec aboard S/V Bésamé, and Italians Alfredo and Nocoletta aboard S/V Jancris. They invited us for wine another day. In the evening, we went to visit the aquarium inside of Atlantis resort. We had no trouble parking the dinghy on the dock before we went it, but on the way out, we got scolded by a guard on an ego trip, because apparently the resort is only for mega-yachts.
The following day, we hung out at the boat, did schoolwork, and went to have scotch and apple cake with the Italians on S/V Jancris in the evening. They have a very nice big boat, with 4 bathrooms! Alfredo writes for a sailing magazine. They sailed around the world on the Millennium Odyssey in 1999 and finished 3rd overall.
The next two days we spent hunkered down in the boat due to weather. Luckily the Sprint signal was quite strong, so Emily got to do some schoolwork.
Yesterday we went grocery shopping in Nassau, and took a longer walk to get better prices.
Made spring rolls with garden fresh ingredients. Had the Italians and Belgians over in the afternoon pm for wine and spring rolls, and played Carcassone. Then we had our last dinner in Nassau.

New Providence Island

Two days ago we headed from Bird Cay to New Providence Island (West Bay). The weather report called for no wind at all, so we planned to motor, but surprisingly, we got 4 knots of wind and sailed 3-4 knots all day. Clark says it’s delightful to have a boat that can perform so well under sail. We arrived at New Providence, snorkeled around a very clear bay, and met a couple from Montana (aboard SV Submit). We saw a lionfish and some conch while snorkeling from boat to boat. Our friends Hilde and Eddie, on Jabiroe, are here too.
Today we dove at an island off New Providence west bay. It has one palm tree, and is too rocky to climb onto or tie up the dinghy. But the diving was fantastic. We saw blue real, parrotfish, a puffer fish, and others. Our GoPro hasn’t been used in a while, and died almost immediately, so we might not have any footage.
When we got back home to the boat, Clark gave Emily a lesson in surface diving so she could start to dive the surface when we snorkel in the future.
In the evening, we played Catan with Hilde and Eddie on S/V Jabido, shared some of our scotch and went home for dinner.

Gun Cay to Bird Cay 

After anchoring in the middle of the Bahamas bank (15 ft of clear water, and no land in sight), we had a long slow sail to Bird Island. We started behind Hilde and Eddie because they had better charts, but once we got through the reef, we had to pass them, since we had more sail out and we keep having to zig zag to slow down. Overall, it was a nice sail, with light air off the wind. 

When we arrived at Bird Cay, the water was as clear as a swimming pool, and we jumped in to cool off, then napped before dinner.