25 Jul Bimini and Berrys: Life is Surreal
Bahamas we made it. After a much anticipated Gulf Stream Crossing where we have heard about tumultuous sails and motors across, praise the Lord we made it in bathtub like conditions. However, flat seas generally mean no wind so yep, we motored the entire 12 hours. We sailed up from Marathon to Key Largo to get a better staging point for the crossing. Other cruisers recommended Rodriguez Key so that is what we did. 4 am came and we were ready. We took Bax to shore to relieve himself at 3:30, came back and hoisted the dingy up, then took off. Poof we made it to Bimini.
Sorry if I get a little trigger happy on posting photos but the beauty here is unreal. And I guess the fact that we are in another country, which I will go over how different it really is here at some point in the future. Randy nor I had any expectations about the Bahamas so we weren’t sure what to expect. Bimini is tiny: only 6 miles long by less than a mile wide. But walking 6 miles in the this heat is a little much so we rented a golf cart and split it with our Catamaran cruising friends for the first day. We were able to go to a gorgeous Catholic Church and visit the infinity pool at Resorts World at the opposite end of the island where we were staying.
Luckily the weekend of our arrival was Bahamian Independence Day! So we got to experience a party funded by the Bahamian government and really spend some time with the locals. At first glance, we didn’t find the customer service great in Bimini, but the more we took time to talk to people it got better and better. Baxter really likes it here too. He has endless swimming options in gin-clear water and has no allergy or itching problems like he faced back in Bama. After a few days of enjoying Bimini and another highlight: Cuban food, we decided to set sail for the Berry Islands. Before I get into that I just wanted to make a comment about the other travelers we have met along the way. The people have been great! We were dock neighbors with several Cuban families and boy did the entertain us and make us feel like family for 3 nights. We had Cuban stew, rum, and paella. Seriously a treat to have this cultural food and meet neat people. Bimini also has a famous wreck for diving, the Sapona, but choppy conditions we didn’t want to brave in the dingy prevented us from seeing it. We also heard about a “healing hole” natural spring that we searched and searched for but to no avail. But the dingy tour through the mangroves was worth the search.
Week 2 here welcome to the Berry Islands. This part of the Bahamas is considered the “out islands.” The first island to the North of the Berries is Great Stirrup Cay where you see Bax admiring the cruise ships. Two or three of the major cruise lines own this one area so we couldn’t stop there if we wanted, we just ooohheed and ahhhed at how huge the ships really are. Day sail from Bimini to Great Harbour Cay. The first night we anchored at Bullocks Harbor.
Luckily while searching for wifi at the one marina on GHC we met two wonderful couples. Gwen and Dennis generously shared their beautiful beach front home with us where we played cards and ate dinner every night. They also gave us an inch by inch tour of the island where we could never have had that experience without them. Larry and Eileen on that beautiful cat Kokomo made the trip too. We learned all about the secret anchorages in the Exumas, ect, and we can’t thank these four people enough for all the generosity and knowledge they shared with us.
If anyone is planning to vacation on GHC, here are some not-be-missed sights:
- snorkeling in Little Petit Cay
- dingy ride up Snake Creek
- hike up Haines Bluff
- Sugar Beach (the spot with caves)
Eating out was quite an experience. Not the best, but an experience. Flies are rampant here so make sure you dump as much hot sauce as you can stand on your food and line the plate completely with hot sauce, and that sure minimizes the flies. But don’t plan on AC in the restaurants. Beach Club was our favorite there for sure and just to have that experience we are talking about visit Until Then…
We were very sad to leave our new friends and this piece of paradise, but we set sail for a short 15 mile jaunt to Little Harbour Cay further South. If you want to swim with stingrays and be in isolation and pure beauty, this is your place. We saw one human at the infamous Flo’s Conch shack and then no one the other two days. But to have a deserted beach to relax on for 2 days, there are no words to describe this. Sadly the weather kept us from taking the dingy down to a blue hole we heard amazing things about. So on the one day it rained all day, we just enjoyed chit chatting up in the cockpit listening to the rain and cooking.
We made it to Nassau and are enjoying city and marina life for this week. Our fam arrives Friday and we set sail for our next adventure to Eleuthera. In the meantime we are eating ice cream, Chinese Food, sightseeing, finally able to run and do yoga again (major sigh), and working on some boat projects.
Cheers to all of our friends back Stateside and please drop us a line and a like on our social media sites.
Lindsay and Randy