We had absolutely no plans to come to Nassau on our way thru the Bahamas. So why have we gone from North Eleuthera to Nassau? It is not really your “typical” route. To pick up those new solar panels (300 more watts of “free” power!) and provision for the Exumas! It is kind of on the way, right…? So Nassau it was.
We sailed here from Eleuthera, where we took a couple of days to enjoy the Glass Window Bridge. I am so glad we took the time to enjoy that area. It is truly a spectacular sight.
I have read so many “warnings” about Nassau. “There is so much crime!” “If you have to go, make sure there is nothing on deck and all your hatches are secured.” But we also came here from Savannah – a gorgeous little city of 250,000. A city where a murder a day is becoming “regular”. This crew is used to being on alert in a city. And we took precautions with ourselves and our gear.
Luna Sea has now come and gone from Nassau, via sailboat- and clearly lived to tell about it. I say via sailboat because if you come here via cruise ship, I promise you that you see a different Nassau. But I want to let all of you sailboaters know that you can have a great visit as well.If you need to provision, or a night in a slip, do not be afraid to stop here.
We chose to anchor at Rose Island for 3 days before heading into Nassau Harbour Club, where we docked for one night. The snorkelling at Rose Island is great. Depending on the wind direction, it is very protected and you can see starfish, rays and turtles all around. Beach access is very shallow, but great for a paddle. Or you can just float your dinghy over to shore, like we did one day. There are multiple small reefs to explore. I do not recommend the roped off area that is meant for the cruise ship patrons. That is pretty gnarly and beat up. But outside of that is some gorgeousness. (Yes, it is a word)
Nassau Yacht Club had space for us, and at $1.75/ft, it was one of the most affordable marinas we found. They have fuel, a pool, laundry at $3 per wash/dry (you might need more than one dry cycle) with large- ish capacity machines. They have a night security guy and are fenced in. We felt very secure and met lots of nice cruisers. It is not pristine and fancy. We neither like nor care to pay for pristine and fancy.
2 bonuses for us: 1 this is where Blackbeard Cruises is based. So we were able to chat with them a wee bit. We spent our 10th anniversary with them for a liveaboard scuba vacation. Then we just had our 21st anniversary ( ?) tied up across from them – on our own sailboat adventure this time… 2 they had no problems with us installing our solar panels at the dock. Or maybe Mark was so quick about it that they didn’t have a chance to stop him.
If you need beer, the cheapest we have found in the Bahamas is at Jimmy’s Liquor on Shirley Street. $40/24 pack for Sands Light. Thankfully we haven’t run out of our beer from the States yet, but we took the opportunity to buy a few more cases. Nobody wants to run out of beer in the Exumas! And really, even at $40/case, it is still cheaper than buying it at a bar.
There is a big grocery store past the liquor store and a little further inland. I walked there mid- day alone. And short of “Hey white woman” from a car from adorable, giggly little girls, I never felt out of place. (I just walked over and said hello, while they giggled more) Everyone was friendly and helpful. And chatty. If you just smile and say hello, people are nice right back. You know, because we are all just humans, making our way.
There is a Starbucks in the shopping center across from the marina and a ridiculously expensive Fresh Market grocery store as well. But if you need some high end foods, this is a good place to go. We picked up a few more canned goods, but that was it.
*side note: Food Fair in Spanish Wells has better overall prices. Minus beer. So if you go there, take advantage and stock up.
We crammed SO much into our visit. If we are going to pay for a slip in a marina, we have to get our money’s worth. I did 3 loads of laundry, Letheria, our delivery angel, brought us our shipment, Mark installed the additional solar, we provisioned, used wifi to upload tons of new books to our Kindles, split an oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen, found beer,bought some boat hardware (Browns Boat Basin has incredibly reasonable prices) and I even snuck in over an hour of pool side yoga before we headed back to Rose island for New Year’s Eve. Clean sheets are amazing, fyi.
New Year’s Eve (last night) was quiet. We headed to bed in our now rolly little anchorage for some rest. Then we were up before the sun to check weather and winds- and to review our plotted course for the day.
Up Next: We are cruising on into 2107 thos gorgeous New Year’s day! Currently motor- sailing to Allen’s Cay, Exumas. Woooo!