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.
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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. 

Bird Island

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.

Sapona Wreck, Gun Cay stops

Today we woke up in Bimini, motored south to the Sapona wreck. Hilde and Eddie followed. When we arrived, we took the dinghy to pick them up and take them over to the dive.
  
  
Unfortunately, there were high waves, which was too much for Emily’s first dive, and she had to get back in the dinghy to catch her breath after 5 or 10 minutes. Clark had to reset the dinghy anchor a couple times while the others dove, and overall the dive didn’t last long. We decided it best to head for Gun Cay.
It was beautifully sunny at Gun Cay, and we anchored, walked along the beach, took the dinghy to see the lighthouse on the island, and then met up with Eddie and Hilde back at the beach, where we saw lots of stingrays, and Emily got used to using her mask and snorkel in the shallower water. 
In the evening, Hilde and Eddie invited us over for spaghetti bolognaise and we got to see their boat, which was much more modern than ours. We decided to leave the next day for Nassau. We’d be going different directions, but they’d catch up with us on a couple days. 

Bimini

Today is our last day in Bimini. We spent over a week there waiting for the wind to stop. There were 4 boats squished into the anchoring area at Bimini Resorts World. On one particularly windy day, we all had to re-anchor and dance around each other because we dragged into the airplane landing area and moved around.
The area on land is partly developed, with a Hilton hotel, huge marina with hardly anyone in it yet (slips going for $100k), pools, restaurants and a soon-to-open Casino. There were sea airplanes landing and taking off right near our anchoring place daily. We saw lots of construction workers and hospitality staff, but no guests, except 20-30 spring breakers who seemed to be staying on a large boat. It looks like this place will be very busy in the coming years. 
We spent more time outside the development gates, exploring the beach on the west side of the island, walking through the local neighborhood and cemeteries, passing conch shops and lots of weathered houses and storefronts. Groceries were very expensive, so we decided to go without until Nassau. We have plenty of food on the boat. 
Here in Bimini, we met Hilde and Eddie, who are from Belgium. They invited us over for a drink, and the following night, we had them over for curry and carrot cake (we had lots of aging carrots that needed to be used). The carrot cake recipe Emily found online had canned pineapple, shredded coconut and walnuts (we subbed macadamia nuts), and it turned out a by too oily for our taste. Tomorrow we leave for Gun Cay again, our stopping point on the way to Nassau.