Sunday, February 7, 2016

Nassau - It's Not Always Paradise In Paradise.

At day break this morning a cold front passed through the anchorage in Nassau
As I write this the wind is howling through the rigging, halyards are rapping constantly on the mast. The noise gnaws at you, filling you with apprehension and unease. You can feel the force of the wind as it whips up the water around us and hurls the boat this way and that. A huge power yacht is holding position along side us, unable to do much else in this wind. We watch as a cruise ship abandons pulling into their snug berth, choosing to ride this one out at sea. We've been up since day break when the front first passed over. This anchorage is notorious for boats dragging and while we have done our best to make sure our own anchor is set in the continually shifting currents and weedy bottom - we can't be so sure about the boats around us. 
Sun up and wind and rain are whipping through the anchorage.
We are in Nassau, New Providence. A place we love to hate. It's the metropolis of the Bahamas. While parts of it are stunning with its glorious beaches and cyrstal clear water's; and the obvious bounties of wealth with mega yachts to one side of us, the famous Atlantis hotel on the other and a line of cruiseships in front of us, you don't have to look far to see what a seedy, crime ridden place this is. Sail boats have been boarded and robbed both in marinas and at anchor. Five minutes walk out of the glitzy cruise ship area with its fake designer shops and tacky souvenir stores, you are clutching your bag a little tighter as you walk past the decrepit and derelict buildings boarded up on Bay Street. The haves and The have nots, living so close, side by side - you can understand why the place is rife with crime. We don't go out at night or leave our dinghy anywhere we can't lock it, we are more alert and vigilant than usual. 
The gorgeous beaches on Paradise Island
We are here for two reasons - 1. My silly seaglass obsession...the beaches are great for little glass treasures. and 2. A cheap wheel of cheese!- lead by our stomachs we bought a huge wheel of Brie here last year for only $10 - sadly they've cottoned on to the pricing error and now, at more than double the price -its no longer the bargain it was but I had to entice Sim somehow.
A king Mackerel - first catch in a year!
We left Eleuthera last Tuesday on a warm balmy day with not much wind and headed towards Nassau. We were fine with a motor, the trip was short, and unlike when we are sailing, we can potter onboard much like when we are at anchor. We threw a line out and almost immediately caught our first fish, the first in an exceedingly long time. A king mackerel, no less - even Sim enjoyed it. We stopped at Rose Island for a swim - the first of the season too, before heading into Nassau Harbour. And for the most part we have been blessed with gorgeous weather. Our friends on Hunda are here, as well as a couple of other boats we know. With the sunny days came the feeling we had finally arrived in the Bahamas especially after all the grey days of the Abacos.
Is it really a hardship to walk on these beaches?if
Now the beaches have been walked, now we've met up with friends and now we know the Brie is no longer available, we are ready to leave. Only we can't because we are playing that old game with the weather. We want to leave but the weather won't allow us. Instead we are stuck in yet another front, the hot balmy days are gone and a cold wind blows down from the north. The skies are grey and overcast. Its most certainly a day for staying onboard.
Dorothy and I go for a walk on Paradise Island

The famous Atlantis hotel

Local boats tied up at the docks

"Letters for the rich, letters for the poor"

Landing the dinghy on a tiny bit of Beach near all the cruise ships

Digging a hole so we can lock the dinghy to a tyre....a deterrent if nothing else.
No one can pass the cruise ship until its docked.

The lighthouse at the end of Paradise Island.

One of the better looking abandoned buildings.

Enjoying an ice cream with Dorothy and Duncan downtown.

Sim blends in well! 

Down on the docks locals sell their wares - conch shells and starfish.

Local boats in the harbour

The local police force.


  1. At least when you are anchored close to megayachts, you can sleep knowing they have 24/7manned watches.

    1. You'd think, wouldn't you. But I just read that boats at the Bay street marina - with the bigish boats got boarded. Glad to be out of there.