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March 2007 : Bahamas (Part I)

We left Fort Lauderdale at 0500 (bridge opening) on March 12 and had to wait for a few cruiseships to get into the harbor before we could finally depart. It took too long for our taste. Then the swell greeted us - not fun if you have not been sailing for about six months. After about five nautical miles, we were "greeted" by the gulf stream - with higher and rather uneven seas. It did not take long before I felt nautious... so I took a little bit of vitam C every so often. I should not have taken the first pill but waited till later to take bits and pieces. I felt miserable. But Juergen, who had to go down to burb the propseller shaft, did not feel so great either.

We thought we could go at about 7 knots of speed. Instead, we were slowed often enough by strange waves. After a while, Juergen checked whether going to West End would be shorter than going to Port Lucayan. It was by about 15 nautical miles. So we changed course for this new destination. A Coast Guard helicopter came by twice to check us out. I waved. They did not respond. But then they disappeared. We saw another container ship and a fishing boat at a distance. That was pretty much all for the entire day. We arrived at West End - Old Bahama Bay marina - around 1700, had lots of help to tie up at the dock - the wind was pushing us too hard against it - signed some marina papers and were permitted to roam around the property. We just could not leave the property as we missed the custom /immigration officials by a few minutes. No problem. The TIKI bar was open, the drinks - two for one - delicious, the company interesting - Andy told us lots of things about the various harbors, particularly in the Abacos Islands. The conch fritters were delicious. What else did we want.

We were quite tired after two drinks and lots of fritters and talk, went to bed early to read, did not even manage that much. Well, we had gotten up at 0400. No wonder.

Today, March 13, we got up late. Actually, I got up around 0800 to walk on the beach - somewhat disallowed as we had not checked in yet, but I considered it part of the "property". When I got back to the boat, Juergen had already a weather forecast from a dockhand. I made breakfast - served in the cockpit. After a few games of backgammon, we both started working - Juergen on the dinghy, I don the deck and the stainless steel. Both needed a good washdown and some polishing. The stainless got polished, the deck will be tomorrow, I hope.

Last night, I took some pictures - our first impressions of West End Harbor on Grand Bahama Island...

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Strange Florida Sky 3 days before our Departure

Another View on the same Day



Our First Impressions of West End Harbor, Grand Bahama

West End Harbor - 4
West End Harbor 5
Impromptu at her Dock right behind the Beach
10 Minutes after our Arrival
Outer Harbor Basin
Our Beach by the Tiki Bar
Juergen and Andy, a great Source of Information for Bahama Sailing
Marina Office

Our Beach - a Different Perspective
Pool to Beach View


March 15 - we attended a "Junkanoo" festival at the beach, hosted by the hotel manager, Howard:

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Buffet at the Beach
Buffet Decoration
Mixed Salad
...and Dessert
...someone is happy...
the Band
more Limbo...
... done!
and under a burning pole...
Dance Competition
Award Ceremony
"Swallowing Fire"
Carneval - not in Rio, but at Grand Bahama Bay

Below are pictures of the conch cracking "session" as well as of our bus trip to Freeport and Port Lucaya

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Conch ready to be cracked
...more conch, pronounced "konk"
...waiting for the bus...
Juergen checking out the Garbage Truck
Bahamian Kids Playing
Checking out our Bearings

Juergen's haircut - my first! He even likes it. Do you???

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What do you think - please let me know.

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International Bazaar
Palm Trees rising into the Sky
Gekko-type Creature
Same Gekko again
Waiting for FedEx
Juergen with Arthur, our trusted bus driver

A few pictures of Old Bahama Bay - taken of the fishermen who sold us six lobster tails of spiny lobster and, on March 25, of the band near the TIKI bar where we had drinks, listened to the band (young people turn old, old people turn cold) and took pictures of the water and the beach in the wind.

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"our Fishermen"
Juergen and amazing Tree
Gitti under the amazing Tree
Drinking while enjoying the Music
Susann (from KAOS) and Juergen in conversation
"Goombay Smash"
My favorite Tree
Cocktail spread at Alice and Andy's
Susann, Alan from KAOS, JHT
our hosts, Alice and Andy
Roger, Diane and husband Bret