While we would have loved to have stayed in Bimini for a day or two to check it out, an upcoming weather front unfortunately dictated otherwise. If we didn’t continue on right away, we’d be stuck there for quite some time. And so, on we moved to Nassau, New Providence, the next stepping stone in our journey toward the Exumas.
Many cruisers choose to make this jump in two hops, overnighting at anchor on the Bahama Banks. While it’s probably pretty cool to be anchored out in the middle of nowhere, and with no land in sight, we decided to leave Bimini around 11:30am the morning after we had arrived and do an overnight straight to Nassau, which would have us arriving there around nine the next morning.
As night fell, we motored through flat calm waters, the skies were clear and the stars (including a few of the shooting variety!) were amazingly fantabulous! There’s just something so magical about being on watch by yourself in conditions like these. We don’t have a set watch schedule for short trips like these, but if conditions are calm, I love being out there by myself while Jim catches some shut-eye in the wee hours of the morning and as the sun starts working its way back up over the eastern horizon (on this particular passage I was up there by myself from 2:30am until just before 6am when Jim came up to join me).
We had one calm day on the dock at Nassau Harbour Club before the north winds came barreling in at 1:44am, startling us awake. It blew like stink for over a week, and we ended up spending nine nights at the dock, which is so very much NOT our style! It was so friggin’ windy that many times I wasn’t even able to get off our boat onto the dock without Jim getting a line on a dock cleat and winching the boat closer in. Crazy!
We weren’t thrilled to be stuck at a dock for so long, but like they say, when you’re handed lemons, make lemonade, and so we did. I took advantage of the free wi-fi at the marina and got a lot of work done (yup…I do consulting work for my former employer while we’re out here) while Jim worked on various boat projects, of which, as anyone who owns a boat knows, there is never a shortage! And of course we got off the boat (when the wind wasn’t also accompanied by rain!), made some new friends and did some exploring.
If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you won’t be surprised to hear that we managed to find a microbrewery, Pirate Republic Brewing Co., located right where the cruise ships dock. We honestly weren’t expecting much, but figured we were there anyhow, so why not? Much to our surprise, they actually make a pretty decent IPA! Unfortunately we were too busy chatting with our bartender Marco and managed not to get any pictures.
And then FINALLY the winds died down and we were able to escape the dock! Happy, happy, joy, joy!!! Six hours later we dropped the hook in the lee of Highborne Cay for the night and the next afternoon were happily anchored off Normans Cay, our first REAL stop of the season!
We will most certainly be stopping in Nassau once more when we turn around and make the trip back to Florida. Hopefully our stay won’t be quite as long next time, but just in case….if you’ve been to Nassau and have any recommendations for things to do/places to see, please share!