- Katharine Hesmer
DAY 69 | March 12, 2022
Downtown Nassau to Clifton Bay, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map.
This morning I did my F.I.T. workout in the pilot house. The weather is fine for doing it outside on the bow, but I'm not a big fan of jumping up and down in front of other boats in a crowded marina. I'm sure I shouldn't care what these folks think, but I'd rather retain what little dignity I have left and look like a complete fool in private. I'm extremely grateful that I can pull off these workouts on a boat — it's crazy that Fonda can manage to kick my hiney from a distance in a 3' x 8' space. If you're the least bit curious or tempted to try these full-body workouts, they are incredibly convenient and surprisingly motivating. I'm so mental when it comes to exercise — maybe we all are to some degree — so to find something that inspires me to the point that I've stuck with it consistently for two years is a pretty big deal. I think the fact that the classes are "live" and interactive is everything, and Fonda is such a stickler for correct form that you'll get the most out of every movement without risking injury. She also designs the workouts to be suitable for all fitness levels, whether you want an extra push or are just starting out and feel completely out of shape. I don't know many gyms where you can workout with your dog (!!), OR where you can "hide" (by turning off your camera) if you're just not in the mood to be "seen" that day. But one thing is for sure: this is a non-judgmental, mutually supportive and encouraging community. And the music she plays is pretty great too. Join me some time! It's fun that this format is open to anyone anywhere! I've worked out with my sister in Greensboro and my college roommate in Maryland. Not many gyms let you do THAT, either!
After my class I noticed a stream of cute young women heading for a yacht just down the finger pier from our slip. They were all decked out in black bathing suits, matching cover ups, carrying matching beach bags, and they looked so happy it makes me smile just thinking about them again. It didn't take long to figure out this was a bachelorette gathering, and if there was any doubt, that faded away when I saw one of them toting a gigantic inflatable pool toy shaped like an engagement ring. I'm not sure where they were off to (bad grammar/don't care), but it seemed like a fantastic way to celebrate a bride-to-be.
We made a plan to leave the marina today, refuel, top off our water, and head for a protected anchorage on the western side of Nassau. The winds are expected to be 30 knots and will shift 180 degrees in the middle of the night. I’ve mentioned this before, but one thing that’s been so fascinating to me about this adventure is seeing where other cruisers are from. Anchored within several yards of each other just outside the marina was a boat from Germany, and another from Norway. My imagination can run wild with thoughts of where they might have traveled, and it makes me want to follow in their footsteps and just go, go GO. Ron and I talk about this a lot — about places we’d like to visit near and far, about how much of that wish list is realistic, and about what kind of boat is best for the job. I’m very attached to KORKZcrew as it suits our family perfectly, and has a certain charm to it that makes it hard to imagine ever owning anything else. But the reality is that if we ever decided to do blue water cruising, such as crossing the Atlantic, we’d need either a sailboat or a power boat with a v-hull. This Great Harbour N37 is absolutely perfect for everything we’ve been using it for, especially for navigating the shallow waters of Wilmington. It’s also been ideal in the Bahamas, and has allowed us to seek protected anchorages that other boats cannot access due to their deep keels. But along with the advantages of only drawing three feet comes the disadvantage of only drawing three feet: we are limited to traveling when the seas are essentially flat or else the ride can be pretty uncomfortable. Anyway, who knows what the future holds, but it sure is fun to talk/dream about.
Downtown Nassau is extremely busy on the water, with the Atlantis Resort and a fleet of cruise ships dominating the landscape. We also saw the ferry that routinely makes deliveries to George Town in the Exumas.
The cruise ships are absolutely monstrous floating cities. I’m not sure that even photos and videos can adequately convey their scale. And they all seem determined to outdo each other with the most elaborate “toys” imaginable, including their own water “parks”. It was pretty wild to be able to watch people going down the transparent slide you'll see in one of the videos below.
Somebody wants to come upstairs and enjoy the view, too:
Once we passed through downtown Nassau, it was a scenic and peaceful ride, and felt amazing to be reunited with this insanely gorgeous water. I could be imagining it, but it seems to me that the water around Nassau is mostly teal, and once you hit the Exumas, it morphs into what can only be referred to as impossibly blue. Like a blue you wouldn’t think you’d find in nature. The blue of those popsicles from when you were a kid. But teal or impossibly blue, I love it ALL. There’s an inherent therapy in it, on it, and around it. A release — a peace — a calm. I should work on a marketing team for the Bahamas because I have a very obvious crush on their country. “It’s better in The Bahamas” pretty much nails it.
As we rounded the western side of Nassau, we could see what looked like an abandoned amusement park along the shore. And when I consulted ye olde internet to learn more, there were parts of me that wished I hadn’t. Suffice it to say that the owner/developer of this property, Peter Nygård, a Finnish-Canadian fashion executive who founded Nine West, is a truly disgusting human being. What a scandalous story. It’s extremely “R” rated — and worse — if there are any young eyeballs out there who might stumble across this, so I'll limit the discussion of his laundry list of atrocities to the controversy about Nygård Cay. (Renamed after himself. But of course.🙄) Here's the Cliff Notes edition from Wikipedia about what happened to the property:
"In 1984, (Nygård) purchased a beach bungalow for $1.76 million and in 1987 built a 14,000-square-metre (150,000 sq ft) compound at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. On April 14, 2010, Nygård announced he was planning a $50-million renovation of Nygård Cay, which would take two years to complete and repair the damage and employ 200 construction workers.But a letter from the Bahamian prime minister's office rejected his construction application, citing the improper expansion of his property through intentional accretion of land over the seabed. On September 28, 2018, Nygård Cay was seized by the Supreme Court of the Bahamas as part of a legal battle surrounding Nygård’s efforts to dredge the sea floor around the estate. In 2022 the property is in a general state of disrepair."
Sprinkle in a major feud with his neighbor, a boatload of accusations, indictments, and arrests, and you've got yourself the perfect ingredients for an American-made reality tv show. Unfortunately. Thanks but no thanks.
Back to the peace and calm of this water. PLEASE.
Ron found an anchorage far enough away from crazy town that would protect us from narcissistic predators (!!) as well as from the high winds headed our way. We all enjoyed a late afternoon swim where I tried out a cool dome attachment for my GoPro that Ron gave me last year.
I’m still figuring out how to work with it, but basically it lets you take cool pictures and videos above and below the water. It also has a filter that will capture underwater colors more accurately. It’ll be fun to experiment with this in the weeks ahead.
I also found this leaf floating on the water which pretty accurately conveys my general sentiments about the Bahamas.
No anchorage is complete without losing SOMETHING overboard, and that SOMETHING is usually a towel. Once we managed to retrieve this escape artist, we enjoyed watching a beautiful sunset off the bow.
2 hours underway; 13 nautical miles traveled