We’re here!!!! We arrived on Saturday and docked at the Ginn Sur Mer resort in Old Bahama Bay on the Grand Bahama island.
Last minute preparations occupied us on Friday. I took Bailey to the vet while Skip and Joe visited West Marine. The vet gave Bailey a quick once over and provided the forms we needed for the trip. He didn’t date the forms and said that it’s a common practice to help out cruisers. I’ll remember that for future trips. Skip took Bailey back to the boat while Joe and I walked several miles to the bank and the mall. I still wanted to get a set of 2-way radios. We were supposed to get a set from Boat US for signing up for their credit card but they couldn’t manage to get them to us. (They arrived in Florida the day after we left!) Back on the boat, we secured the outboard and dinghy before heading about 5 miles to the anchorage near the Lake Worth inlet. Joe suggested that we also venture out of the inlet to see what the channel looks like since we’ll be heading out in the dark. Mike also suggested that we be prepared to reef the mainsail as we head out so we raised the main and put in a reef so that we wouldn’t have to reef in the dark. As it turned out, the ‘trial’ exit through the inlet was more difficult than when we actually left due to a tremendous wake from a sports fisherman!
The alarm rang at 3am to start our journey on Saturday. We quickly dressed and raised the anchor. Ambient light from the shoreline provided enough visibility and the wind was dead calm as we headed out into the ocean. We set the course and motored along for about 3 hours before seeing a glint of sunrise. I had put a small red blinking light on Bailey’s life vest as a safety precaution in case he went overboard…a suggestion I read on a sailing blog. Both Onward and Lady of Lorien could see the light and asked us what it was!
As dawn arrived, we made coffee and breakfast. We motored for the entire trip because the wind was light and variable. I worked on crosswords and Skip read as we took turns keeping a lookout. We also took turns taking naps below. It was perfect!!!!
We had a minor disaster occur underway. When I went below to make lunch, I opened a drawer and found it full of water. I quickly discovered that a hose from the galley sink came loose and pumped all of the water out of one of our tanks. Note to selves…always turn off the water pump when underway!!! Luckily, the marina has ‘good’ water so we can refill the tank.
Around 2pm, we saw the shoreline of the Grand Bahama island and approached the marina. After docking and completing the customs forms, the men headed over to get us checked in. I took Bailey ashore for a much-needed potty trip.
The Old Bahama Bay marina was bought by the Ginn Sur Mer company which plans to build a large, fancy resort similar to Atlantis. The marina has special rates of just $1/foot due to the slow economy…a great deal for us! They have a lovely pool, beach, beach bar and 2 restaurants. We immediately headed to the beach bar to celebrate our arrival. After a few rounds, the consensus was that the Goombay Smashes were the best rum drinks! We had dinner at the restaurant and turned in early.
After about 10 hours of sleep, I awoke feeling like a new person. Bailey and I walked the beach in the morning. He loves the beach and doesn’t mind getting his feet wet (unlike Honey who wouldn’t go near the water.) I think he’ll eventually like swimming.
The resort offers free use of bikes so we decided (all except Skip) to take a ride. Most of the bikes had ‘issues’…either rusted parts or chains dangling. The guys at the beach shack managed to get 4 of them in working order. The ride along the main road (Queen’s highway) goes by small local houses, many small bars and churches. The shoreline is piled with empty conch shells. The Bahamians are all very friendly and helpful. Mike remembered a small bakery with delicious coconut pies. It was closed on Sunday so we’ll definitely have to go back later in the week.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the pool and beach. A band played lively island music all afternoon. Everyone decided that boat projects can wait until the tensions from doing the crossing were removed. It was a relief to finally get here. Anything we have on the boat will have to do–no more extensive shopping trips!! We re-grouped for more rum drinks in the evening. Joe made pizza dough and prepared a delicious meal for us on his boat.
Watching the weather is the most popular topic of conversation. Right now, it looks like the next window to head further south to the Abacos will be next Monday. Looks like we’ll have to stay here in paradise for a whole week!!!