Oh Bahamas, the adventures you take us on 😊. After our one night anchored off Chub Cay, we set off with our boat buddy “Lola” to head towards New Providence Island. Both Lola and ourselves wanted to avoid the bustling city of Nassau and were looking for ample protection for the winter wind storm that was forecasted to hit the entirety of the Bahamas late Friday and through the weekend. Our solution for both issues came in the form of a private dock in Coral Harbour that Steve (Lola) had heard about by chance while we were in Bimini.
In the southwest of New Providence Island, Coral Harbour is a quiet, low-key and mostly residential area. Perfect. And the private dock that we had heard about was nestled within a very wind and sea-state protected canal system. Extra perfect.
The entrance to the canal system is alongside the Royal Bahamian Defence Force Base. It was incredible to see the military ships docked and ready as we scooted along towards our dock. Arriving at our destination, it was clearly a small dock wall, with enough room for just three boats. But the canal is wide so this easily grew to nine boats, with rafting up employed. The private dock is owned by the Wardles, a lovely couple who make their dock accessible to sailors needing a long-term home base or a short stay through poor weather. They do not advertise their dock space, preferring to have word-of-mouth spread by friends of friends. Their focus is on having community-minded sailors sharing their dock rather than making a bunch of money from whomever. To this end, they charge very little for dockage but really amp up the social scene.
Carolyn and Nick, both in their eighties, greeted us warmly and expertly assisted with getting us rafted up to Karuna, a 49-foot Beneteau, and then with getting Lola rafted up to us. Immediately, Carolyn put her whole attention on ensuring that our dock lines were secured for the “big winter blow” and giving us an overview of the dock amenities and what the town had to offer. We were very much impressed. This was a lady with moxie and reminded us of our own moms back home 😊.
What came next can only be described as “summer camp-esque”. Yes. Summer camp. Carolyn and Nick made sure that all their dock-ees were properly entertained and socialized. Mornings were a walk with Carolyn and her pup “Jager” around the peninsula, with lots of chatter about local birds, fauna and flora. It was a nature walk with a local who loved being a local. Interestingly, Carolyn and her husband Nick hail from Great Britain but have lived in the Bahamas for a good portion of their lives. Their love and knowledge of the islands is very strong and addictive.
Afternoons were croquet tournaments followed by “happy hour.” Every single sailor there participated actively and we were all richer for it. We met really interesting people and made some amazing friends in those four days of waiting out the “big winter blow”. Note to our Canadian families and friends – it got as cold as 15 degrees Celsius. We totally remember that this is not “Canada cold” but, in the Bahamas, it is frigid. Jeans, mittens and blankets were worn while we all gathered in the gazebo for happy hour.
As the weekend and the wind began to die down, Wild Horses and Lola started to make plans for leaving New Providence Island. We knew we would continue our journey with Lola and we wanted our next destination to be Highbourne Cay in the Exumas. The two wonderful surprises for us were that our newfound friends Peter and Laura on Karuna would be joining us and that Sensai, our wonderful buddy boat from Trident Yacht Club, would still be at Highbourne Cay when we arrived. Yes!
Our journey to the Exumas (i.e. Highbourne Cay) was under 0 knot winds. Yeesh! No sailing but we were able to use the seven hour journey to run our Rainman water maker to fill up our water tanks and to also do a load of laundry. There isn’t a lot of wasted time in this lifestyle!
Highbourne Cay has been a joy. Not only did we get a chance to catch up with Ted and Evelyn but we also took the dinghy to Allan’s Cay to check out the very tame iguanas that inhabit the islands of the Cay. They are a very unique and endangered breed of iguana that goes by the genus “iguana iguana”. Nice. At Allan’s Cay, the guys also took a shot at snorkeling the coral reefs to try to find some lobsters. It was a good try but, yeah, more pasta for dinner that night!
Tomorrow we will weigh anchor once again. We have a very short two-hour sail to Norman’s Cay and then onto Shroud Cay. Both of these locales offer more snorkelling options as well as ventures among the mangroves for turtle and sting ray sightings. Our time in the Bahamas continues to be bliss!
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.