Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nassau and Alan Cay

Crab anyone?
We arrived in Nassau in the late afternoon and were delighted to pull in to the Nassau Harbor Club Marina instead of fooling around trying to anchor. The currents are very strong and the bottom is scoured so it's difficult. The best anchoring if necessary is the southern most, just after the Nassau Harbor Club. Kevin found good holding there and we've anchored there before.
This marina isn't fancy but they are very nice and $1.50 a ft isn't bad, and they have a pool. The supermarket is right across the street.
We ate that night at Poop Deck looking over the Nassau Yacht Haven Marina. If you have a drink during happy hour they give you some free conch fritters. The food is good and the view fun.
Right away I did 4 loads of laundry, a lot of catching up to do. It's $6 a load there (and $10 a load at the Great Harbor Marina in the north Berrys, so I waited) and they have 4 machines of each.

Fun and instructive to watch an expert clean conch
We also did a lot of provisioning at the big supermarket across the street, the best selection in the Bahamas. They will take the cart right over to your slip for a tip. Our friends Sherry and Lee on "Allesto" came over for lunch. I made conch chowder - yum. We've known them for many years. They used to have a Nauticat 33 but have switched to a catamarin.
In the afternoon we took a local bus downtown with Julie and Peter and walked around. A big water taxi took us over to Paradise Island for $4 each and then we walked around gawking at the mega yachts before having dinner at one of the casual restaurants surrounding their marina. It was a pleasant walk over the southern bridge and back to the marina afterwards.

Conch are ugly but delicious. Luckily they don't look like
this when you eat them
Our last full day at the marina we did boat projects, then enjoyed the pool. Julie and Peter's son Kristian flew in from Toronto for a week's vacation. They and Marie and Ron took him over to Atlantis to look around. Scott and I explored the fish and vegetable market, bar and restaurants under the bridge. Fun place but probably not a good idea later at night, although it certainly is lively. While talking to some of the vendors we heard our names being distantly yelled. It was our friends up on the bridge peering down at us!
We left the dock the next morning at 8:30AM and had a quiet trip across the banks, mostly motoring.   There are a number of coral heads on the direct route so we took a dog leg around them, still keeping a bit of a watch.
Alan Cay is a very pretty anchorage and if not too crowded, easy to find a good spot. At this time of the year it's not a problem. Otherwise it would be good to try and get there early.

This is a typical open air restaurant under the bridge in Nassau- check the menu out.

Anything Goes at the Marina across from us at dawn.
Yes, this was accidental! I'm afraid Peter and Julie lost a
good deal of sleep over this. We were a bit oblivious.
Tourist motor boats come in twice a day from Nassau but they only stay a half hour to see the lizards. The rest of the time you can have them to yourselves. We stayed 2 days, swimming and exploring by kyack. One difficult experience was running into Anything Goes several times during the night. We had anchored too close and with no wind drifted differently with the current (they were on the shallow bank in the center). They reanchored in the morning. No damage done luckily.

The iguanas at Alan Cay are big - they are well fed by the
tourists and the cruisers

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