We were hoping to “make lemonade out of lemons” which was what we were feeling after docking 6 days early in New Providence due to predicted high winds. We definitely made some delicious lemonade while docked at Palm Cay Marina on the southeast side of New Providence for 1.5 weeks. Yes, New Providence is home to Nassau where the US State Department Advisory says not to go but we never felt unsafe nor were fearful. We walked on the streets many times, drove around most of the island and visited Paradise Island three times. From what we saw of this island it was much cleaner than any others we had visited. There was also fewer run down and unfinished homes.
The first night we docked we met our next door neighbors, Geri and Heather, on This Little Piggy. The next day we met Katy on Remedy and Richard and Jeannine on a KK48, Almost Perfect…how easy it is to meet new people and make lovely new friends. Now we had buddies for daily happy hours and dinners. Heather, Katy, and I even visited a yoga ashram on Paradise Island which was a new experience for me. It seemed to be a popular place with people staying in tents, cottages, and huts.
We made several trips to Solomon’s, their grocery store that was similar to the average grocery store in the states. The primary differences are the prices, which are less here than other islands, plus the 12% tax. The bags of spinach and large avocados were actually reasonably priced but the sunblock…NOT! It was $13.99 for a can of No-Ad spray. I don’t know how the average family can afford to eat.
Palm Cay Marina is a great place to stay. The staff is super friendly, in fact, Ullen stayed until after 6 p.m. on our return to help us dock. There is a playground, nice restaurant, cafe, tiki bar, and more. There was also a courtesy car that we could use for 2 hours.
The highlight was a week long visit from son, Ryan, daughter-in-law Lindsey, and 5 yr. old granddaughter, Juniper! What a blast! She was a delight from the time she awoke with a smile until bedtime when we read her books and gave her a back rub. Juni lost a tooth at breakfast one morning while eating oatmeal. Despite being on a boat in the Bahamas, the tooth fairy managed to find her tooth under her pillow and leave her Bahamian coins. She was one excited girl!
When Ryan and Scott were diving on the anchor they saw two remoras beneath the boat. They have a flat sucking disc on the top of their heads which allows them to seal onto sharks, whales, rays, turtles and even boats. They are gray on top and white on bottom.
After a bumpy ride to Highbourne Cay Juniper enjoyed feeding the Iguanas on Allen’s Cay. We were amazed at how many there were and how bold they are while eating grapes off sticks. The Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas are endangered and only live on 3 islands. Seeing the stingrays, nurse sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks at the marina and by Unforgettable was also pretty exciting. She tried out her new full-face snorkel mask but wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge.
At Shroud Cay we saw turtles on our way through the river to the Atlantic. We built sandcastles, collected shells and explored the beaches. Juniper squealed with delight while riding our new inflatable behind the dinghy. She asked me if she could go on it every time she comes to visit since it was her favorite part of the trip! Unfortunately, we returned to Palm Cay two days early to avoid bouncy waters. We made more “lemonade” at the marina by enjoying the protected beaches and beautiful, long pool (Scott could swim laps) and restaurant. We also spent an afternoon checking out Atlantis and Marina Village on Paradise Island.
It is always sad saying good-bye to our guests but after a big clean-up and 12 hrs. of laundry we were ready to head out the following day. We have allotted the month of April to explore Eleuthera and perhaps a couple of days at Cat Island.