Tuesday, January 20, 2015

We've Moved South

Hello from the sunny islands of the Caribeann Sea.  Today we are on Paradise Island, Atlantis Marina.  We made way from Old Bahama Bay at West End to Chub Cay on Sunday.  It was a bit of a rough go at first, with seas at 4 feet.  

This is what my blinds looked like when we made fast in our slip.  The boat really bounced around for some time at the beginning of the day.Things calmed down as we made our way onto the Bahama Banks.  We did try fishing, but got one strike and lost it.  No fish for supper that night.

Things are looking up for the Chub Cay Club Marina.  A new buyer (they say he's from Texas) has bought them out of years in receivership.  The new buildings are painted, enclosed and under inside construction once more.  Yippee!  A lovely place to visit.

In the event of an emergency, people better have shovels.....

We stayed one night in Chub and as sea states were rather benign the next day, we made a leisurely crossing to Nassau.  This big cruise ship came up behind us as we entered the harbour.

On any given day, 3-4000 tourists arrive to this small island.  They are all that keep this economy going.  All anyone is talking about, in the Taxis, on the buses, on TV or the radio, in parliament, is the newly enacted VAT of 7.5%.  Prices have increased, even above the tax increase.  Jobs are so scarce, many people only work a maximum of 10 days a month, sharing the jobs between three and four people.  

Last evening, Captain B treated us to dinner ashore in the Atlantis Village.  We were early, hungry and impatient.  I snuck in to see the 31 wait staff of SeaFire at roll call and then a time of prayer before the restaurant officially opened.  As I chatted up the hostess, she said, 
-Yes, we are all full time here...but...the restaurant closes four days a week.

Steadfast does our bit:  we pay marina fees, we eat in restaurants, shop in the stores and we hire boat cleaners.  A pittance in face of the great need here.

Today I revisited my favourite part of Atlantis, the aquarium.

This is the new baby Manta Ray.  Atlantis studies them, protects them and nourishes them until too big to keep.  At the point they become too big for the aquarium (a spectacular 20 feet wingspan) they are airlifted out to sea and followed by satellite for the rest of their lives.

Today they were two tiger sharks in residence.  They did not swim together though.

 Nassau Grouper...the big ones!

As a child, I always thought sea horses were big enough for a person to ride on.  These guys are only 2.5 inches long!

We are hoping to meet up with friends here in the morning.  Seas and weather are looking good for us to make run for Highborne Cay after lunch.  The Exumas, Mon.  Heaven on earth.

How is winter going at home?  Are you all still keeping warm?  
 That's our news for now.

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