Nassau to Royal Island

We spent much more time than anticipated in Nassau – 6 days. After the larder was replenished, we explored. On Paradise Island is a casino/hotel complex called Atlantis which has a huge aquarium containing rays, sharks, snappers, barracuda, etc etc. It is a huge area and we spent an afternoon there. We also stopped in to the casino and left behind $5! Last of the big spenders. On the way back to the boat, we found a restaurant with happy hour drinks and a free buffet. Lunch for two for $6 ! What a deal! That is rare in Nassau where meals are very expensive.

The next two nights were very lumpy with high winds and waves. But our anchors held well. Our neighbour had anchored very strangely placing his anchor chain in large arcs on the harbour bottom. With the high wind, he started to come back on us and refused to move. So, we dragged our anchor backwards and away from him.

On Monday, we did the laundry and picked up a couple of items we had forgotten at the store. Late in the day, we prepared to leave but Murray came down with a “bug” and was running a fever. I bundled him into bed with some tylenol in hopes that he would feel better in the am.

Tuesday dawned windy but ffrom the right direction to sail to our destination. We got the anchors up and waved farewell to our friends. On the way out the harbour, we met two ships coming in but managed to slip through. The next stop was 40 + miles away across the tongue of the ocean.

The fishing line was rigged with the new lure that had been guaranteed to catch dolphin fish and catch one we did. But did we land it? No! Just as Murray was bringing it up the transom, it shook itself off the hook and disappeared. What a pretty fish it was – all bright gold and blue. It looked to be about 2 feet long. Oh well, the lure does work. We tossed it back in.

The wind had increased as usual, and we had to reduce sail by reefing the main. Just after 2 pm, we entered the banks and the waves calmed down. Shortly after that, the fishing line went off again. This time we landed a mutton snapper – also a good size. The entry into Royal Island is a little tricky, so the fish had to wait till we were safely anchored. When Murray cleaned him, we had 3 lbs of meat. Which we cooked on the grill with some honey, soy sauce and garlic. Mmmm good.

The next day was spent exploring this island with its abandoned houses. There are many stories about why the people left and who knows what is true. The tile floors in the house are still intact. But the roof and upper story floors are gone. There are remnants of bathroom with sinks and showers. The only living things on the island seem to be roosters and snakes. We saw two of the later and heard the former crowing.

One of the boats in the anchorage is owned by a man who was a weather forecaster and he helped me read the weather fax. He has invited us to visit him in the Chesapeake this summer. Perhaps we will.

Friday morning, and we are alone here. All the other boats have left. We spread the foam from our bed on the foredeck and enjoyed some sun bathing. Then, we jumped in the dinghy for more exploration – this time the reef offshore. It was a long dinghy ride but we drifted over the reef for quite a while, looking through the “look bucket”. This is a bucket with a clear bottom. Then to a beach to hunt for shells and swim. Finally, cocktails and a steak bar-be-que as the sun sets. What a wonderful day!

We will stay here for a few days, then stock up in Spanish Wells and sail to Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera to meet Robin and Jane Hewson. We will certainly bring them to Royal Island to enjoy its peace and quiet. And beaches.

Now, I seem to be catching Murray’s bug and have trouble keeping my eyes open. So, bye for now. I hope to send this in Spanish Wells soon.

Love to all,

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA