It IS Better in the Bahamas!

“It’s Better in the Bahamas!”
I remember hearing and reading this when I was young, coming here with my parents by sea plane or on our boat from Miami, and later when I started doing long distance races to Bahamas. SORC, Memorial Day Regatta, any excuse to cross the Gulf Stream and be here.
There is truth to the statement It’s better in the Bahamas.
What’s better?
1) The water. I’ve never seen such gorgeous hues of blues and turquoise in layers on the horizon. Looking down in deep water, or in shallow, the colors are breathtaking and a camera does not do it justice. The Med, US East or West Coasts, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, sorry, but this water wins.

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2) The Beaches. The whitest whites of the most pure sands, set against a blue water, and blue sky which can reflect the turquoise on one side of an island and true blue on the other. You can see both at the same time where the island separates them.  You can easily have a beach all to yourself anytime. They are everywhere!


3) The friendly people. The locals we’ve met are happy, content, and smile a lot. Ask a question and they try to help. The Greek Islands felt like this too. When you live on an island like these, Bahamian or Greek, why wouldn’t you be happy?!

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4) Fishing. We’ve caught fish almost every time we sail if we put the lines out. Yes some have been thrown back, and some have escaped our clutches, but we can’t complain. There is such a thing as too much fish on a sailboat.


5) Related to 4, the seafood. Every restaurant has conch, fish, and shrimp on the menu. You can tell when it’s fresh because it takes the cook (yes, one cook per establishment) about an hour to make your meal. But just like the sign at the restaurant says, “One Cook, One Line, Good Food Takes Time.” If you can’t stand the wait for the fresh fish, you can always go catch one and serve it up for yourself!

We’re having a great time with daughter Chelsea on board and yesterday was one of those days where you say “YES! We are so happy to be right here right now!” It’s been my dream to come back here and play as my memories of childhood days are so great, that to repeat them as an adult has been a top priority.
And I am so lucky to have Eric in my life, living the collective dream, and sharing this with our kids! So far 3 out of 5 have come to visit and we expect the other 2 this summer. 5 means the boat is too small for everyone, especially if they want to bring friends.

We’ve visited Booby Cay, Mayaguana, Acklins, Long Island, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Staniel, Warderick, and Shroud Cays in the Exumas, and are about to explore the Abacos.

Super fun to see a friend from the “old days” of Windsurfing, Dave Calvert and meet his wife Trish. They built a house on Cat Island and showed us Hermitage and a good time.

 

We had one of those perfect days while off Staniel Cay!

It started with 6AM wake up and departure from Eleuthera to Staniel Cay Exumas. Port tack close hauled we caught 2 Dorados that escaped. Heave to! One escaped right after the photo op, and the other never touched our deck. But we still have Marlin and Tuna in the freezer so it’s OK. Upon seeing the channel, we carefully navigated through the opening between reefs, and wound our way around the small Cays to find an anchorage right next to the Thunderbolt Grotto. It was filmed in the 1968 007 movie of same name that Eric saw for his 7th grade birthday party.

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It was better than Milos!!! Which is saying a lot because we absolutely loved it there. The Grotto is a cave inside of a small island that has an underwater entrance and exit, so the tourists (like us) get to it by snorkel. Once you’ve passed the sub-sea level entrance covered in tropical fish, there is a large opening lit by holes in the top of the cave that let light shine through. The pictures show how cool it is, but really, being there is always better and photos can’t compare.

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Deciding to go for a tour as there are Cays and Cays and Cays with small and large beaches of the whitest white, we cruised on Raton and took very few photos as it wouldn’t do it justice.

However on one of the beaches we saw a big fat pig, as the guidebooks had warned. As we approached, a huge spotted pig (not the British dessert) came out to the boat looking for a hand out. Once it realized we hadn’t brought treats with us and instead were playing paparazzi, he skulked back towards the shore. (When we returned the next day, we brought him and his buddies treats.)

We grabbed the kite board and Chelsea and Eric took turns skurfing. Chelsea saw a surf break so we went there and watched her catch a couple waves.

We went to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club which seems more like a restaurant bar than a YC, and there were about 40 nurse sharks looking for hand outs from some guys cleaning fish or conch.

Huge Manna Rays were also present, and we often saw them as we were cruising around on Raton.

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Evening was spent going ashore to look around and we found a locals restaurant that served up the best coconut shrimp, cracked conch, and blackened fish! Cheap too.

Yes indeed, it IS better in the Bahamas!

 

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