Paradise Next Door - Bahamas Cruise
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BahamasIcon/BahamasIcon.gifObtaining an Aspiration

“We’ll be in the Bahamas by next year!”

That was my 2010 mantra, though there was no stimulus for such a precognitive proclamation.  Many happy days had passed living in the Florida Keys, but I had begun to grow restless.  We’d moved aboard Re Metau with the intention of sailing around the world, and though we’d only meant to stop in Marathon for a short while, spending blissful days on beautiful ocean waters with best friends had bound us to this area like none other.  It seemed our cruising goals were getting buried under the sands of time and I'd begun to feel the need to uproot the anchor.

Believing in the power of intention, I’d found that verbalizing an affirmative statement would turn the tides in obtaining an aspiration.  With vocalization, visualization, and tenacious endeavor, all ideas become reality.  To draw us away from the magnetism of Marathon, I could think of no other, more perfect destination than the beautiful azure waters and secluded islands of the paradise right next door - the Bahamas.  So I tossed my thoughts around out loud, and though Don was onboard with the idea, he believed his commitments continued to be an obstacle that confined our cruising to the Florida coast.

Then, an incident occurred that - though on the onset looked despairing - severed Don’s ephemeral responsibilities and bought us the freedom to cross over into foreign waters.  Additionally, this life change proved to be the impetus for both a physical and an emotional journey.  It provided us with the duration and dollars we’d sought to make the passage, and it provided us with the opportunity to prove both our vessel and our own capabilities in self-sufficiency and sailing savvy.

In this mariner's life, we'd met many a former dreamer with an infinite list of causes for their aborted cruising dreams; missing family, misinformation, misfortune, misadventure.  But truth be told, at the root of all these scuttled aspirations was fears that proved unconquerable - fears brought on by the very real and often overwhelming risks for which one must prepare to safely make a blue-water passage.  My biggest fear was that we'd also succumbed to this sort of paralysis.

Bahamas Passage

Before us was a daunting pursuit; sailing away from the safety of the familiar into the undisputed vulnerability of the unknown. This was not the coastal cruising we’d known. It was crossing unfathomable waters, landing on untamed coasts, and having none but ourselves in which to rely.

In reality, the Bahamas was considered the kiddy pool for newbie Caribbean cruisers and ultimately, our journey around this island nation turned out to be tranquil and carefree.  Our weather remained agreeable, Re Metau performed without fail, and most important, the voyage quelled many of our anxieties.  Not only were the rewards of achieving our quest immeasurable; the experience rekindled the flame of our original desires.

“We’ll cruise the entire Caribbean by next year!”

Windfall Of Spare Time
Windfall of Spare Time
~ Bahamas Bound ~ February, 2011 ~
The blood draining from his face, Don muttered “I just got laid off”. I had just settled down in the salon to quietly work on a website project I was creating for a local business while Don had his weekly teleconference with his employer up north. He mouthed those five, bone-chilling words to me and we both sat stone statue still, listening intently to ...
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AWOL for the Boat Haul
AWOL for the Boat Haul
~ Preparing Re Metau for a Bahamas Cruise ~ March, 2011 ~
It is an ironic fact that the very first thing most sailors do to prepare for a long, offshore sail is to put the boat onshore. Checking, repairing, and preparing every portion of your craft to reduce your risks is the rational, but ...
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Provisioning Cents, Scents and Sensibility
Provisioning Cents, Scents & Sensability
~ Provisioning for the Bahamas ~ March, 2011 ~
How many provisions should be purchased for two people making a passage for an indefinite period? So many contingencies to consider and countless challenges to confront! There’s ...
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Going to Anchor Before Going Abroad
Going to Anchor Before Going Abroad
~ Anchoring Off Boot Key Before Departure ~ March, 2011 ~
The tides had been extreme so we were going to anchor off of Boot Key for the night in preparation for our departure. Tomorrow we would cross the Gulf Stream, but not too early so our entry into Bimini would occur with the sunrise.  We left Boot Key Harbor with the intention of ...
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Safe, Sound and Lounging Around in Bimini
Safe, Sound and Lounging Around in Bimini
~ Bimini Sands Marina ~ March, 2011 ~
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 ...
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The Wonderland of Alice Town
The Wonderland of Alice Town
~ Alice Town, North Bimini ~ March, 2011 ~
Even after our 4 hour snooze the day before, it took another full night of sleep before we fully recuperated from our crossing. A bowl of Grape-Nuts and bananas began the day, and then we splashed the new dinghy for a trip to ...
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In Search Of the Queen
In Search of the Queen
~ Snorkeling for Queen Conch in Bimini ~ March, 2011 ~
Our earlier costal cruise in search of a dinghy dock inspired us to spend the next day snorkeling North Bimini’s shallow sand flats on the eastern side of the channel. We loaded our gear into Dinky Duck, and joined the morning flow of migrant mariners. The pace of life on the Bahamian islands is leisurely; however ...
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Don Reynolds Getting Younger
Exotic Excursions
~ The Fountain of Youth in Bimini, Bahamas ~ March, 2011 ~
We opted for one more day in the marina - a situation that we weren’t planning to repeat for the remainder of our journey. The flies were quite a nuisance and the no-see-ums seemed to be getting thicker, so we closed up all the hatches and enjoyed our AC afforded by shore power and a website development barter. It turned out to be a good idea as the ...
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A Great Harbour Hidden in the Berries
~ Sailing to Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas ~ March, 2011 ~
If one observes a satellite photo of Earth, one can see a very distinct region of brilliant sapphire-blue unlike any other area on the planet. That little patch of paradise is the Bahamas, and the reason for that beautiful hue is...
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Decline of the Concubine
Decline of the Concubine
~ Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas ~ March, 2011 ~
Prior to sailing off to distance shores, we’d consigned both the tender and the outboard to Marathon’s best known inflatable dinghy repair man. To cruise economically, our intention of anchoring offshore made sturdy, dependable transportation to shore essential. Sadly, Dinky Duck’s transom was...
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An Endless Honeymoon
An Endless Honeymoon
~ Sugar Beach Caves, Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas ~ March, 2011 ~
After a healthy breakfast, we bundled our beach attire and bikes into the dink, leaving barely enough room for ourselves, and departed for our landing by the bridge. Wally, our coconut cutting counselor highly recommended making the journey to the Sugar Beach Caves at the northern end of the island. A rather hilly region, he’s encouraged us to...
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Beaugregory Popping Out of a Conch Shell
Strange Worlds
~ Great Harbour Cay Blue Hole ~ April, 2011 ~
A front had arrived and the morning started out fairly windy, so we decided to get some laundry done at the marina - $10 to wash and dry! I could have done it onboard but then we’d have been faced with paying for the potable water at...
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Christmas Tree Worm
One Phenomenal Day
~ Hunting Lionfish off Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
Too much wind – not enough wind – it’s always something! We opted to stay put because our next destination was uninhabited isolation and the preferred mode of transportation was always free wind. After a leisurely breakfast, we decided to devote the day to...
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Soldiering On
Soldiering On
~ Market Fish and Soldier Cay in the Berry Islands, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
Foul weather kept us in our secure harbor for many more days than we’d planned, but Don and I made do. We returned to the Sugar Beach caves, where I spent a very meditative day building sand castles, then invited some...
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Cosmic Waters
Cosmic Waters
~ Hoffmans Cay Blue Hole ~ April, 2011 ~
While having breakfast, Don read in the cruising guide that there was a Blue Hole and some ruins on Hoffman Cay, just 3 miles to the south. Unlike the one we’d snorkeled off of Great Harbour Cay, this blue hole was inland, surrounded by high cliffs and shallow caves. With the day’s plan set, the crew was soon ...
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Barry and the Beguiling Bay
Barry and the Beguiling Bay
~ Visiting Flo's Conch Bar on Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
Don and I pulled anchor around 10 in the morning, and motored out the Market Fish Cay passage into a windless day of smooth motoring. Our course to Little Harbour Cay was a mere 6 nautical miles to the south, and our last destination in the Berry Island chain. Little Harbour Cay’s entire population consisted of ...
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Paradise Lost
~ Nassau, Potter's Cay & Atlantis on Paradise Island ~ April, 2011 ~
The weather gods remained complacent for the 40 mile trek across the Tongue of the Ocean to New Providence Island. We sailed across smooth, sapphire blue depths of over 8000 feet, at a pace perfect for trolling palagics. Don had both the Cuban yoyo and the rod running, and snagged a couple of throw-backs before a keeper took the bait. The bend in the rod and the bursts of iridescent silver, blue, green, and gold told of a big, beautiful ...
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The Spirit of Serendipity
~ Bad News from Home ~ April, 2011 ~
Two decades deep into the 21st century and the internet, our most economical means of immediate communication, was still unstable in many areas of the world. We’d been unable to make a solid connection before leaving Great Harbour Cay, the last place where Wi-Fi was even possible. So it’d been close to two weeks since ...
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Nassau Anew
~ Western Esplande Beach, Sacred Space & Potter's Cay ~ April, 2011 ~
Although a great deal of sadness regarding the death of Don’s father overlaid our mood, we had a few days until our scheduled flight took us back to the U.S. for the funeral. The distance from our family members, and the general aura of touristic delight surrounding Nassau put us in a surreal state of ...
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Kaleidoscope
~ WestIndies Rock Iguanas - South West Allen's & Leaf Cay, Exuma, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
Roger’s death remained on our minds, but we honored his life by returning to our journey with rejuvenated hearts and an acute presence of the moment. Don was more willing to follow any whim, and I threw lots of whims at him. More importantly, we were about to sail to ...
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The Sorry Lore of Norman's
The Sorry Lore of Norman's (and a Story of a Moron)
~ Carlos Lehder - Norman's Cay, Exuma, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
We left the Allens Cays for a 16 nautical mile jaunt to an island with a scandalous past, Normans Cay. A smattering of raindrops met us outside the pass, foreshadowing a big threat that hung overhead our entire journey. Thankfully, the clouds held until we were safely sheltered on the leeward side of the island. With the hook set just south of Skip Jack point, Don got the snubber on the rode the moment ...
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Shroud Cay
A Treasured Island
~ Shroud Cay, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
With the wind right on our nose, we opted to motor-sail to our next destination, Shroud Cay, just over an hour away. Putting the jib up made us feel even more ‘nauti’ because we looked like we were sailing, but it saved on fuel. The ease of sailing through this newbie cruiser’s kiddy pool that was the Bahamas was becoming very apparent. Only when ...
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Bluebloods, Brits, Banshees, Bones & Buccaneers
~ 'B'eing on Warderick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas ~ April, 2011 ~
Around 11:00 AM, we departed for the headquarters of the Exuma Land and Sea Park, Warderick Wells. We started out under sail, but within an hour had to turn into the wind, drop our canvas, and wake up the mistress. The wind whipped the waves into a sloppy chop that sent Neptune to the onions, but luckily, it would only take four short hours to get behind the ...
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Bummin' with a Different Breed
~ Big Majors Spot, Exumas, Bahamas ~ May, 2011 ~
It was difficult to leave the majestic beauty of Warderick Wells, but the warm southwest wind urged us on toward other adventures. Our course was plotted to the very secure and protected anchorage off the isle of Big Majors Spot. The advantages of this cay were ...
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Staniel Cay
Sundries of a Sailor's Life
~ Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas ~ May, 2011 ~
Located about halfway between the big city bustle of Nassau on the island of New Providence, and the small town tranquility of Georgetown, Great Exuma lies the petite isle of Staniel Cay. Though less than two square miles, this cay offered ...
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Thunderball Grotto
It was Neat
~ Thunderball Grotto, Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas ~ May, 2011 ~
Being the sole author for our website, I’ve often prodded Don for his input so that I might write more complete, well rounded articles that included both of our accounts. Typically, I believed we had similarities in the way we perceived our shared exploits, but it was just that kind of inquiry that made me ...
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Copyright © 2015 Diana E Reynolds - SV Re Metau.  All rights reserved.

A people without written language, the Re Metau commit their seafaring acumen to memory through song, ritual, myth and magic.