While waiting for weather, the boat is getting some nice rain shower washes, and Mark is replacing the main supply wiring with larger gauge, which reduced the total amps drawn for the watermaker. Thus, allowing the watermaker to be more efficient and able to be operated by the solar panels alone, without draining the house battery bank.
On an exciting note, the marina staff pulled a five foot long “dead” boa constrictor out of the water next to our boat. Angie is very thankful it was dead. She has not seen any snakes so far in the Bahamas, and is consciously making an effort to believe there are no snakes (Well, at least LIVE ones, now) throughout the entire Bahama island chain. She can take spiders, bugs, vermin, bats, and sharks, but does not like snakes. NOPE, NOT AT ALL.
We are not at a floating dock, so are constantly adjusting and checking our docklines with the tide changes. Uno Mas goes up and down about 3 feet four times a day. Nassau harbor is known for a lot of surge and chop due to its narrow and long harbor, and we experience it continuously during all daylight hours and sporadically at night. We are really glad we installed the rub rails before this trip. The current movement pushes the boat off of the fender boards at times. When this happens, the huge posts are pushing directly against the rub rail. Before the rub rail, we would get stress cracks and hull wear at these spots. We really have to watch the cats when they are out and about, since this is the first time they can actually just STEP OFF the boat, if the tide is right. A neighboring boat also has two cats that like to roam the docks. They are younger and much more adventurous than our two, thankfully. Mean Kitty now seems to enjoy looking over the edges of the sugar scoops at the water.
Unfortunately, Mark missed getting back onto the boat from the dock once and ended up with the nastiest bruise, EVER.
Mark went on a few touristy walk-abouts and stumbled upon a Pirate Museum. Arrgh!! (That wasn’t very good, and not too accurate, according to a revised history of pirating in the early 1700’s that Mark has been reading.) The Heritage Museum was much better, and definitely worth the time. It is across the street from, and funded by, the Gurkha cigar factory, restaurant, and resort. (This was all originally an old plantation encompassed by Nassau). The cigar factory looks like a 20×20 old school classroom with work stations (desks) in rows. The resort would be spectacular to stay at with all of the water features and flora, if anyone is thinking of a trip to Nassau.
Mark also found the John Watling’s rum factory. He would call this a boutique, higher end rum, that is only available in the Bahamas. The tour was typical of what is seen at the higher end, US whiskey factories, except they use stainless steel fermenters in lieu of copper.
Mark also found two forts (both reconstructed with nice views) and The Queen’s Steps. Most developed islands we have been on seem to have these “steps” as monuments in anticipation of when the Queen of England was to visit the island. Sometimes she showed, and sometimes she didn’t. Apparently, in Nassau this is an easy place to mug tourists, since there were four armed guards hanging around.
Nassau would be at the bottom of the list of places to revisit. Glad we went there to see what it was all about, but the extreme crime rate and occasional gun shots at night do not instill confidence in the local government, nor provide any sense of security. Our “security gate” at our dock didn’t work half the time and was left wide open. One of the yachts in the marina had local swimmers come up on the back of the boat, trying to steal the tender. There are other Bahamian large-ish cities we visited that had much better marinas, groceries, hardware, and international airport access.
We probably should mention Atlantis, which is situated 2 miles from Nassau, across the channel, on Paradise Island (where Oprah has her house.) The skyrises can be seen from 30 miles away at sea, and it is built specifically for tourism. People that go there probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish it from any other all-inclusive resort speckled across the Caribbean, except for the drive to and from the airport. The grounds are beautiful, you feel safe, and you never need to leave the premises due to all of the activities and restaurants. And yes, we have stayed at a few. Atlantis doesn’t reflect the true Bahamas, which is fine for the thousands of people that visit. Most people do not want to see the local people that are in need or the local riff raff when they go on vacation, which we completely understand.
Thankfully, the weather is cooperating for a few days, and we get to go hang out in The Berries. We stayed there in 2012 and LOVE these islands. Then, we are heading back to the USA via either the Biminis or cutting between the Berries and Grand Bahama for a more northerly route. It all will depend on the weather windows we get for crossing back over the Gulf Stream.
The weather has definitely changed at the end of April. While in the harbor, the wind was stagnant and the temperatures were getting into triple digits. The boat AC could barely keep it at 85 degrees inside while the thunderstorms kept the humidity high and sticky. Time to go find some wind!