|A starfish! Much petted but still alive in the water off Tilloo Beach. Click on any photo to see a larger version.|
|Insert your favorite seafaring song [here].|
|Le Boat. Called Le Bel-Air. Because it sailed over from Le France.|
So, I don't know what else to do but just plunge ahead and post a few photos (in no particular order) and update you on perhaps the two most important facts:
|Smart-assing around at Nippers.|
1) I SURVIVED THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE. Barely (but we'll get to that).
2) Oh my God, y'all. I. HAD. NO. MOTION. SICKNESS. Whatsoever. This is nothing short of miraculous. If you aren't a sufferer, you just won't understand, but cripes, for me to be able to stand in the TINY sleeping cabin of a small ship whist the vessel is being tossed about on the waves and NOT lose my lunch or even have a SHRED of nausea is just...something I would not have believed had I not experienced it myself. This was accomplished through months of taking ginger (2 capsules at night after dinner) as well as through the constant wearing of the Meclizine patch beginning an hour before we sailed. I knew the ginger was effective when I experienced no nausea during take off or landing during the flights to the islands (we flew Nashville-Ft. Lauderdale/Ft. Lauderdale-Marsh Harbour). Once on the boat, however, I was never without the Meclizine and continued to take ginger every day, so it's impossible for me to sort out what parts each treatment played in the suspension of my nausea on the water. Suffice it to say: Meclizine. Ginger. THEY WORK.
|The lot of us.|
What to say otherwise?
|Tilloo Beach. Yes, we had to take The Dingy and a box of white wine there. You can see Le Bel Air (not my favorite boat name) anchored out to to see on the right.|
Native cab drivers ferry entitled tourists to and from the airport in ramshackle cabs driven the English way in the left lane. I was told a permit to drive a cab is among the most coveted of all possessions there and the these are often passed down for generations Grandparent to parent to son/daughter and so on. The fare is best settled on before committing to the ride, lest your bourgeois ass be taken advantage of (and, lets face it, you deserve it).
|Your own. Personal. Island.|
The culture is unhurried, soaked in rum and fresh fruit juice, and the food conch-heavy and salty. Seafood most often "cracked" (fried). I never waited less than an hour for meal service. Fortunately one is easily lulled into slack-jawed complacency about this with a strong rum drink.
That is, if you can even manage to retain any residual angst that hasn't already been lulled away by the rocking of the boat or gently puffed into [at least] next week by an island breeze or chased away by the relentlessly cheerful sun. I never journeyed far enough from the edges of that world to experience many of the native people, but instead existed (inappropriately) among the floating elite.
|I'm congenitally unable to pass up a dog photo. This guy swam over from the buildings you see in the distance with his master. He's a paradise dog.|
And, people? I do mean elite.
|Sunset at Guana Cay|
|The view from Nippers. Pictured here is the rock we stood on to take group photo posted earlier. This is a pretty immense vista--see two tiny sunbathers to the right.|
|Landing at Lighthouse Marina|
|This girl was shy and retiring. And shopping. In that.|
|Your Bahama beer choices: Kalik or Kalik? Fortunately, it's yummy.|
|Man o War Cay|
|Man O War again.|
|At "Nippers" on Guana Cay|
There is something about boaters and sailors that makes them think their insides need to be as awash in liquid as their boats, I've decided. Albeit in fermented liquid. I've never met a sailor that didn't enjoy a drink or twenty-seven, thankyouverymuch.
|And the answer is: I demand this be more idyllic and relaxing! Category: Shit We Never Said Except for that One Time|
|A panoramic of the view at Elbow Cay from the candy striped lighthouse. You can see our boat in the center of the photo. It's the one docked on the right.|
I suppose it was about day two that we decided to go snorkeling. Our fairly disinterested often uncommunicative captain (not that I cared!) offered to take the four of us excited to snorkel to some picturesque locale supposedly perfect for the activity.
|That's El Capitan managing the rope.|
I don't suppose you can tell much about it from that angle, but suffice it to say it's a smaller fishing boat, a skiff is what I would think of it as, and it looked much like this:
Except not inflatable. Anyway, that isn't the point (But I love this photo, right? Another at Tilloo. Blue! Turquoise! *sob!*). The point is to snorkel, an activity I'd participated in exactly once before in the glassy smooth waters off Key West. The four of us set off that day excited about the prospect. When El Capitan stopped the skiff in choppy water not too many clicks from a fairly jagged looking rock formation, I won't lie, I was a little confused. Choppy water? Snorkeling?
|"Well, hello gorgeous!" A seafaring lady. I. We. Didn't. Know what to make of this. So, like everybody else, we just stared. Well, except I, of course, took photos. Because I'm always thinking of you. YOU and only you.|
|An eventful trip in the the Danger Dingy|
|Snapped with iPhona on a stroll around Hopetown. One of my favorites|
|View from Hopetown Harbor Lodge|
|View from the room at Abaco Beach Resort|
|Sunrise at Boat Harbor, our beginning and ending point.|
I managed to tread water, right my mask, and get the breathing tube into my mouth. Then I kicked my feet back, put my face in the water, kicked, took a breath...and breathed sea water. The choppy water proved to much for the length of my tube. What's more, I was being swept toward the jagged rocks.
|We had this entire beach to ourselves (complete with ocean kayaks) for one whole day. [Insert Lou Reed's "It's Such a Perfect Day" here.]|
|Dinner at "Mango", Marsh Harbor|
|More of the view at Hopetown Harbor Lodge|
Not a shark but I was close enough to the rocks that my foot had found their underwater edge. I could actually stand on it as I readied my mask for another try. Mask, tube, kick back...
|A very lucky somebody's backyard in Hopetown.|
We ended up back in the boat. And fairly waterlogged. Then, good ol' El Capitan blithely drove the effing boat on over to the "snorkeling bay". I'd randomly assumed this impossible in the first place due to shallowness. He picked up the other two snorkelers who remarked about the "strong undertow" when they climbed back in the boat looking none too relaxed.
So, yes, El Capitan tried to kill us.
UNSUCCESSFULLY, I might add.
Happily, that dicey ten minutes was the exception to the rule.
|Dinner on our last night at Abaco Inn.|
Mostly, it was lazy, sunny, rum soaked, salty, turquoise, sloe.
Mostly, it was heaven.