Great Joy in Great Harbour!

The water and sand are totally worth the headache of dealing with Covid-19 testing.

Countless times I have forced myself to sit down and write this blog but I am constantly distracted by opportunities to bike, walk the beaches, take dinghy rides, or hang out with friends. Hmmm, sit in front of the computer or take advantage of every fun moment…the blog can wait! Now I’ll backtrack to the beginning of our path to the Bahamas…

What a relief! I was extremely worried about passing out while someone poked on my brain during my covid test. When the woman said she would be swabbing around the perimeter just inside our nostrils for 10 counts rather than going deep I almost cried with relief. Scott was the first victim. It tickled him so much his leg was jerking like a dog on its back getting its belly rubbed. He couldn’t help laughing while the swab was circling his nose.  Immediately after she removed the swab he commenced sneezing and giggling.  I was prepared for the worst… slow yoga breathing is my go-to during stressful times like these.  Anti-climactic…nothing. No tickles, no discomfort, nada. So far, easy-peasy!

So disappointing that in the midst of the speedy test I forgot to document our experience with pictures, or even better, a video of Scott. In less than 1.5 hours we received our negative result and a follow-up inquiry to confirm that we had received our results from FGStuart.com. I highly recommend this company for both their testing procedures and their online sign-up. A couple of hours later we had our finalized Bahamas health Visa and we were ready for action. We were home free and it was still easy-peasy!

We left Lake Worth at 1:00 p.m. and as I driving about a 1/2 mile offshore, I looked at the gorgeous blue water and the depth finder and felt a physical whoosh of relief flow through my body and wash through my arms and fingers. Joy and excitement replaced stress and filled me up. We had looked forward to this day since March of 2020 when we returned to the US after an abbreviated stay in Turks and Caicos and it was a joyous day. The weather was great. Sunny skies reflecting on sparkling waters were followed by a starry, starry night that was capped off by a glorious sunrise.

Some boaters have passed on traveling to the Bahamas during the pandemic by perceived difficulties. It was literally smooth sailing for us. Even the check-in process was easy as the customs and immigration officials came to our aft deck to complete the paperwork. We had our follow-up covid test on day 5 here at the marina and we spent about 15 seconds daily completing a health survey for 14 days. As I said, easy-peasy!

Now we have a huge sense of freedom. Yes, we all still wear masks when out and about as it is the right thing to do and it’s the law here. However, we feel safe hanging out with our new and old boat friends as we have all tested negative and there are no cases here. This is the first time since March 14, 2020 that I wasn’t scared to be near other humans. Oh, the joy to have close interaction with humans.

A small male manatee, much lighter color than those we see in Florida.

Two of my favorite aspects of boating in the Bahamas are the people we meet and the animals we see. One of the 3 resident manatees was lounging on his back right next to us. He was a lighter color from the ones we are used to seeing. We have seen a very large spotted eagle ray right next to our dinghy and we saw many rays, 2 young nurse sharks, and a ginormous crab while on a dinghy adventure with good friends Bob and Denise from Canada. We met them while staying here two years ago and are thrilled to spend time with them again.

In general, boaters are very friendly people. Here in Great Harbout Cay Marina it is even more so. If you walk down the dock and say, “Hi, how ya doin’?” that pretty much translates to, “Wanna hang out and be friends?” On our last dinghy ride with new friends, Dave and Cyndi, we traveled through extremely shallow waters (at high tide) and polished our props. We polished them so well we actually lost a couple of chunks, despite it being sandy bottoms. Dave speared a Cubera Snapper and was kind enough to host a potluck with Larry, the Cubera Snapper as our entree. Even more joy eating delicious food with 2 other couples and enjoying great conversation. Not sure why, but Scott bought Dave’s Hawaiian sling. Between the sling and some new fishing equipment we should be able to catch something edible.

Two weeks and 3 days ago we pulled into Great Harbour Marina. We had no schedule but we certainly didn’t plan to stay this long. Spending time with good friends and high winds kept us here originally and now a davit issue has us in limbo. The davit decided it was no longer willing to move the dinghy side to side. We had to set up a 5/2 Come Along and get help just to pull the dinghy over the boat. Scott then made about 50 calls to the manufacturer, repairmen, the local airline, etc. After much deliberation Scott concluded that our best bet was to travel to Ft. Lauderdale to have Marquipt, the manufacturer that was located there, fix the problem. BUMMER!!!! But, when our friend Bob, a retired aviation mechanic engineer, said he was willing to give it a try we took him up on his offer. The 2 guys spent 6 grueling hours removing the very, very expensive rotary activator (doesn’t that sound like a made-up name?). A new one was delivered to Makers Airline this morning. Crossing our fingers that they can install the new one and that it is actually the solution to the problem. Bob is such a blessing, saving us a trip back to the states, and thankfully we are in a location where there is an airport. Secretly, other than spending the money, I’m glad to extend our stay here.

The beach at Shark Creek at low tide. Australian Pines are an invasive species that are actually not pines, they are deciduous, leaving a lovely carpet of faux needles.

I feel “Great Joy” here in Great Harbour. I could see us with a place on the 7 mile, white sand beach, hearing the waves lap, while kids and grandkids play in the sand at low tide…pure joy!

One thought on “Great Joy in Great Harbour!

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  1. That sounds utterly divine! Wow what a wonderful place to be! Do you have any idea how lucky you are oh never mind I think you do. I on the other hand spent the winter in northern British Columbia it was sad To not have been able to travel to Florida and be in the sun for six months. However I had some health difficulties and needed to be here and with all the restrictions it would’ve been difficult for us to go. We love reading your blogs and living vicariously through you LOL keep on living the dream stay happy and stay safe !!! miss you Sending hugs your friends Barb and Maurice

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