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Bahamas Cruise
2011
Bahamas Blues
~ Bahamas Blues ~
Bimini
Safe, Sound & Lounging Around
Seductive Seas
After a mere 4 hours sleep, we rose from a fitful night of bouncing around to find ourselves floating in the most beautiful crystal clear blue seas. I found myself spellbound by a skiff wandering around our little cove towing a diver in search of conch. I wanted so much to join them – just jump into that mesmerizingly seductive sea for a sunrise swim.

With South Bimini just to our North, Don and I radioed to the Bimini Sands Marina to confirm dockage was available. The operator assured us there was plenty of space, and suggested we tie up to any of the slips near the fuel dock. Coming in on a high tide, he also proclaimed that our 6' draft shouldn't be a problem. Believing the marina was just ahead we aimed for the group of pilings we saw in the distance, and entered what appeared to be an almost abandoned marina with no fuel docks in sight.

Bimini Sands Marina
~ Bimini Sands Marina ~
Navigating Over Crystal Clear Water
I double checked the cruising guide to discover this deserted basin was the Bimini Sands Yacht Club Marina – not to be confused with the Bimini Sands Marina (creative naming is not a Bahamian trait). We made our way out and around to the western side of the island. The narrow channel into the Bimini Sands Marina had some pretty skinny water – at its shallowest we'd only 1 foot under our keel, and the translucent water gave us an amplified and alarming view of the jagged boulders sliding by underneath. We'd have to wait for a weather window AND high tide to leave.

Inside the marina was a big rectangular basin with floating docks on each edge, nearly all of them empty. Busy season doesn't start for these folks until May, so we were a bit of a distraction to their pre-season preparations. But this facility appeared far more luxurious than the dilapidated Yacht Club at the other side of the island. We tied up to an empty slip and before I could finish cleating the stern lines, the only other mariners in residence were greeting us and peppering us with questions.

Don on South Bimini Beach
~ Don on South Bimini Beach ~

Mia and Dietrich were Germans who had chartered their American boat for a few weeks. We chatted for just a moment before they kindly excused themselves to allow us to get settled. I felt that they were perhaps lonely and looking forward to having company, but our first order of business was clearing customs.

Don took all our necessary documents into the marina office and soon returned with the forms that needed to be filled out. After some debate as to whether I was 'Crew' or 'Passenger', my captain took a cab to the airport to officially check in. Upon returning he claimed it took longer waiting for the cab than it did obtaining clearance. $160 rendered from the cruising kitty, and we were free to move about the country.

Great Beach Chairs
We were completely beat and finally able to succumb to a much needed nap. There is no deeper slumber than the one that falls upon an exhausted sailor tucked safe in a harbor. Around forty winks and 4:00 PM we managed to roust ourselves and begin our Bahamian fling. Soaking up some sun on that azure shore was the perfect proposition. I could not get enough of the vista of breathtakingly blue hues, so we slung our chairs over our shoulders and stretched our legs straight over to the resort's little spit of sand.

Back in the Keys, Don and I had a set of folding beach chairs that, despite all the exposure to sun, salt, and sand, continued surviving quite well oddly enough. However, at our local marine chandlery I'd begun lusting after new and improved chairs that were ingeniously engineered with integrated awnings. I just couldn't come up with an excuse to spend the money until one fortuitous evening when yet another hoopla broke out on our dock and those interminable surfside stools were engaged.

Diana on the Beach
~ Diana on the Beach ~

Brought to a state of total ambivalence, Don and I marooned our rust-laden recliners on the dock when we retired in the early AM, heedless of the heavy winds ensuing. Apparently Poseidon needed a portable throne. Earlier risers Rick and Debbie tried to rescue the chair that blew into the bay, but alas it was firmly and forever sunk in the muck.

When we all eventually gathered for our hangover huddle, I told Don that his chair was lost at sea. As the two chairs were identical, Debbie inquired how I knew the casualty was Don's, and not mine. "Well mine is still safe and sound on the dock. If I claimed the one in the water then I wouldn't have anything to sit on. I mean, what's the point of claiming ownership of something that's gone?" I explained. In any event, it was the excuse I needed to buy the deluxe beach chairs that I'd been coveting.

Unwindin' Time
Comfortably shaded in our next-gen loungers with cerulean seas before us, Don was all full of smiles until I reiterated the question I'd been asking over and over during our exhaustingly arduous month of cruising preparation: "You know what you gotta do?"

"What?" Don replied apprehensively.

I flashed him a mischievous smile and exclaimed – "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!" Thus, our island Zen began.

2011 — Bahamas Cruise
Articles
Obtaining an Aspiration
Paradise Next Door
18 Feb thru 23 May
Obtaining an Aspiration
Bahamas Bound
Bahamas Bound
Feb
A Windfall of Spare Time
AWOL for the Boat Haul
Preparing for a Bahamas Cruise
Feb
AWOL for the Boat Haul
Provisioning Scents, Cents & Sensibility
Provisioning for the Bahamas
Mar
Scents, Cents & Sensibility
Going to Anchor before Going Abroad
Boot Key Harbor Departure
23 & 24 Mar
Going to Anchor before Going Abroad
Safe, Sound & Lounging Around
Bimini
25 Mar
Safe, Sound & Lounging Around
The Wonderland of Alice Town
Alice Town, North Bimini
26 Mar
The Wonderland of Alice Town
In Search of the Queen
Bimini Flats
27 Mar
In Search of the Queen
Exotic Excursions
South Bimini
28 Mar
Exotic Excursions
A Great Harbour Hidden in the Berries
Berry Islands
29 & 30 Mar
A Great Harbour Hidden in the Berries
Decline of the Concubine
Great Harbour Cay
31 Mar
Decline of the Concubine
An Endless Honeymoon
Sugar Beach Caves
01 Apr
An Endless Honeymoon
Strange Worlds
Great Harbour Blue Hole
02 Apr
Strange Worlds
A Phenomenal Day
Fanny Cay, Berry Islands
03 Apr
A Phenomenal Day
Soldiering On
Sailing to Soldier Cay
07 Apr
Soldiering On
Cosmic Waters
Hoffman Cay Blue Hole
08 Apr
Cosmic Waters
Barry and the Beguiling Bay
Little Harbour Cay
10 Apr
Barry and the Beguiling Bay
Paradise Lost
Sailing to New Providence
12 Apr
Paradise Lost
Spirit of Serendipity
Death in Paradise
13 Apr
Spirit of Serendipity
Nassau Anew
Nassau
14-17
Nassau Anew
Kaleidoscope
Allen & Leaf Cay
23-25
Kaleidoscope
Sorry Lore of Normans
Norman's Cay
25-27
Sorry Lore of Normans
Treasured Island
Shroud Cay
28 Apr
Treasured Island
Bluebloods, Brits, Banshees, Bones and Buccaneers
Warderick Wells
29 Apr
Bluebloods, Brits, Banshees, Bones and Buccaneers
Bumming with a Different Breed
Big Majors Spot
01 May
Bumming with a Different Breed
Sundries of a Sailor's Life
Staniel Cay
04 May
Sundries of a Sailor's Life
It Was Neat
Thunderball
10 May
It Was Neat
The Pendent on the Emerald Necklace
George Town, Great Exuma
7 & 8 May
The Pendent on the Emerald Necklace
The Wild Isle
Stocking Island Hike, Great Exuma
12 May
The Wild Isle
Bush Medicine
William's Town, Little Exuma
13 & 14 May
Bahamian Bush Medicine
Bush Medicine
Exuma's West Coast
18 May
Catch-a-Fire
Cruising Blogs
2011 - Bahamas
Paradise Next Door
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