Monday, April 28, 2008

Nassau as a Tourist

On Thursday, April 3rd, we braved the strong winds and choppy waves to make yet another long crossing. This time, we went over "the banks", shallower and less treacherous waters. The sail to Nassau was actually great, and we made good timing. Unfortunately, my mum and dad didn’t get to enjoy it at all, since they were downstairs in bed, feeling seasick. We managed to find a pretty comfortable anchoring spot near the town center, with a beach close by for the dogs. Dad, Darwin, and Kali were in charge of the boat security, while mum, Mark and I went briefly on shore for a first glimpse of Nassau and to find pizza for dinner.

The next day, we dropped my parents at their hotel, just across the water, and met up again for dinner. We figured they could use some land time and rest. On their last day, Mark stayed on board to relax with the dogs and I joined mum and dad to do some walking and sight seeing. We explored a huge area of the city, seeing all the historic buildings, many churches, Fort Frederica, and the busy cruise terminal. In the afternoon, we took a local ferry to Paradise Island, where we continued our adventure on foot. We relaxed at the Cloisters, followed the tiered path in Versailles Gardens, stumbled upon a fancy resort, and walked the hot and busy beach to Atlantis. This place is quite something else! My parents already saw it briefly on a tour of Nassau while they had a long stop-over here, but to me, it all looked massive and impressive. Pools, water slides, beach chairs, ponds with fish, little waterfalls, statues, manicured gardens, and of course the huge hotel, all joined together on the extensive grounds. Part of the hotel was an immense aquarium with all kinds of colourful fish and even a few manta rays! Then, there was the big casino with all its colours and flashing lights in an otherwise dark room where you didn’t even know whether it was day or night. And that was enough for an introduction of Atlantis. I would hopefully come again with Mark, to see the place in depth.

Back at the hotel, we collapsed and let our bodies rest, while we waited for Mark. I hoped he had an enjoyable, quiet day, but nothing was further from the truth. While we were having fun discovering all the sights, Mark was doing some nasty discoveries of his own. Hearing a funny noise somewhere in the boat, he checked one of the bilges and found out it was full of water. Hours later, he found and temporarily fixed the source (a leaking thru-hull in the bathroom). Out of curiosity, he then checked the other bilge, only to discover that this one was almost overflowing! The fridge pump had been leaking profusely and he had to replace it with our older, spare pump. After that, he also found a problem with the steering mechanism, something we would deal with later. And then, it was time to meet us...

Everybody was glad Mark had stayed on the boat and prevented it from sinking right there and then. And so it happened, that four very tired people went out for a delicious and welcome meal in a Thai restaurant, to spend their last evening together. My parents appreciated our hospitality and we enjoyed their visit. We hope they left with some special memories, and nice pictures. Most of all, we are very happy that they got to experience our different and interesting lifestyle, with all the good and the bad, the stress full and the enjoyable moments it comes with…

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