On Sunday, January 31, just after sunrise, the yellow quarantine flag was hoisted up Smitty’s halyard as we entered the Bahamian waters just off of the islands of Bimini.
With completed forms and cash in-hand for fees, Stacey “got dressed up” (notice she has shoes on!) and walked to Customs and Immigration to get the boat and crew checked into the Bahamas.
After receiving clearance to be in the Bahamas for 90-days, we spent the first couple days exploring Bimini.
Ashely Saunders has been hand-building the Dolphin House for over 20 years using only what he finds around the island. The second floor (which is amazing inside and has incredible views outside) is available for rent. He is currently working on the 3rd floor, which he expects to have completed in another 3-5 years.
After leaving Bimini, we spent the night in the middle of nowhere, literally! We anchored in 10 feet of water on the Bahama Bank on the way to the Berry Islands. It was quite freaky to wake up in the morning and be completely surrounded by water as far as the eye can see. I had to trust in our compass and GPS to get us moving in the correct direction.
Our second port of call was Fazier’s Hog Cay, a little island in a chain of islands known as the Berrys. This was a stop-over to hide out from some weather and to contemplate our next stop. We did not go to shore here besides the beaches to walk Summer and an impromptu birthday party with friends on Long Gone, Sojourner, High ZZs, and Compel, whom we traveled over from Florida together with. We did collect some pretty cool Sand Dollars and saw a ray gobble up a star fish that I had just taken a picture of. We also thought it would be a good idea to let a conch try to escape from the Smitty Ditty II (the dinghy) – pretty creepy to watch the thing move across the floor – even more creepy that we then later ate that conch!
Our next stop was Nassau. We really did not want to go here, as we had heard nothing positive, but the weather was not looking good and we needed a place to hide. The trip across the Tongue of the Ocean was nice and included a visit from a pod of dolphins. In our opinion, Nassau kinda sucked – don’t go here if you do not have to; but if you do, then hit up the Fish shacks -3 beers and conch fritters for $10 – best deal in the Bahamas that we have found yet.
From Nassau we sailed to Hatchet Harbor, in the outer island chain of Eleuthera. To enter Hatchet Harbor Smitty had to pass between a cut in rock cliffs.
We had an epic sail as we went from Hatchet Harbor all the way to the Rock Harbor Sound on the southern part of Eleuthera. We had dolphins swimming right along with Smitty.
Check out the write up of that day here.
While in Rock Harbor we hung out with Shep & Deb from High ZZs. We hiked to the Atlantic Ocean (the Eastern side of the island) and had a picnic, we jumped into the Deep Blue Ocean Hole (Jesse jumped, me – not so much), and we went spelunking.