Day 5 – Hitting Up Our Go To Spots

I was up early to soak in the morning calls of the birds and watch the day begin.

Our plan today was farmer’s market at 8 a.m. return to the house and revisit some of our favorite places, our go to spots.

We had breakfast of an omelet with toast smeared with locally made guava jam. After breakfast I had my second attempt at making johnny cake. I used a smaller pan, lowered the oven temperature and lessened the baking time. It worked I made johnny cake without a burn! It came out of the oven just before we left for the farmers market, perfect timing.

Well the farmers market today was not bustling, only a few vendors were around and not much food stuff. We picked up a papaya, starfruit jam, onions and passionfruit! We thought we would drive by a little later to see if more vendors would come. Well they didn’t.

View from the farmer’s market parking lot

We unpacked the few items and then packed up for the day. Our first stop was Dean’s Blue Hole, the world’s second deepest blue hole. On our first visit here, I was too chicken to swim over it, in it or near it. When we returned home, I was upset with myself and vowed next trip I would get over my fear. Yup over that fear. We snorkeled the hole and around the area. It was a workout as the current was very strong. We spent about an hour here, finding sand dollars and sea biscuits. We left our sea treasures behind and headed off to our next destination.

We drove up south to Ford’s Landing. We always walk to the right (amazing shelling here) but today we turned left, as there was more sand to walk on, hopped in the water and floated. The blues here always take my breath away.

After all that sun and water, we needed lunch. We turned towards the north and went to Galloway beach because we knew the casuarina pines would provide us with shade. We found a shady spot and enjoyed our sandwiches and my yummy johnny cake. After lunch we were beat and returned to our home base.

I had hoped to go for a snorkel when we landed at the apartment, but the tide was way out, so a snorkel wouldn’t work very well. Instead we went for a float. In certain spots the water was hot today, not warm but hot. You could compare it to pedicure soaking water hot.

After the float, we made a papaya lime no bake cheesecake. By then I was spent, I needed a nap and I took one. Mike researched our adventures for tomorrow. Dinner was leftover casserole and broccoli salad. We wondered why the horizon looked so hazy and come to find out it might be the Sahara dust blowing over us.

After dinner and cleanup, Mike went for his sunset swim, bringing me a gift from the sea while I sat absorbing all the beauty.

Today we revisited three of our go to spots for snorkeling, views and shade. It’s always good to have a few go to spots.

Day 4 – Follow the Bush Trails

Today we took two bush trails that led us to beautiful beaches and amazing snorkel spots. First though we had to wake up, appreciate the morning light and make food for the day.

Our meal plan for the day was breakfast of hash browns and eggs. Lunch was pasta salad and for dinner Mike made lentil sloppy joes. I also attempted my favorite johnny cake recipe, but sadly it burned and was dumped. I learned that this oven bakes at a higher temperature and faster than what I am used to.

After breakfast we had a grocery store run to complete and then return home to make lunch and pack up for the day. When we returned home, our host gifted us with two ripe fruits and informed us of the bush trail to Cape Santa Maria Beach away from the resort and what to do if the caretaker of the nearby property questioned us.

View from the grocery store parking lot

Our first stop was Newton Cay over the Busted Bridge. On first trip here in December of 2017 we walked over to the first beach, but couldn’t find the path to go to the other coves.

Today we found the bush trail and went exploring. You might be able to see the trail on this map.

go to the end of the first beach, turn left where you see a faint path, follow it, don’t go to the first cove on the right.

We hit the first cove, said keep going and went to another one. Oh the views and photo ops.

We found a spot to drop our stuff (note to ourselves, take all foodstuffs and swim shirts when going on any adventure). We planned our snorkel route, start in one cove, ride the current through the cut in front of the rock and snorkel the other area before getting out. See the google map below to see the area.

Because we didn’t bring all our foodstuff or snorkel shirts, we didn’t snorkel as long as we could have. The snorkeling was phenomenal and we do plan on returning.

We did take a different path and ended up at the first cove, when we corrected ourselves, we found the trail back to the busted bridge. Really all you need to do is look for this palm tree to guide you.

At the car, we lathered up with sunscreen and headed south to Galliot Cay and the Cape Santa Maria Beach area, away from the resort. We took the bush trail to the beach, following a property wall.

At the beach we found a shady spot and lunched. We both agreed the mediterranean pasta salad was better than our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, our typical beach fare.

The water was inviting, I went for a snorkel and Mike went for a float. If you know us, it is usual that I float while Mike snorkels, it was a reversal for us.

The snorkeling was the perfect type I like, calm waters, close to shore and millions of fishes with amazing coral to view. Ok I did come face to face with a huge barracuda (sorry, no pictures), but I only had that one encounter and I think I scared him more than he did me.

I had to end my fun earlier though because I’m was turning very red on my back. I floated with Mike for a while and we snapped some photos.

We returned home late afternoon and I really wanted to snorkel at the beach here at the apartment, but common sense prevailed and I didn’t, to much sun for my fair skin.

We made dinner of lentil sloppy joes and a salad, enjoyed it down by the water. After dinner it was make dessert of a dilly fruit on a ginger nut cookie and write this blog!

Sunset was the best one yet this trip, still lost the sun behind clouds at the horizon, but it had its own certain beauty about it.

Lesson today, take those bush trails, take that path because you might discover a gem of a place.

Day 3 – Mother Nature’s Amusement Park

Oh Mother Nature you provided us with such joy today, we loved your visual presentations, wild rides and underwater adventures. We certainly felt like we were in Mother Nature’s Amusement Park.

I was up early and went to see the drama of the clouds down by the water. Overnight we had a downpour, much needed to fill the cisterns here. The dark clouds enveloped us most of the day.

After savoring the quiet of the early morning, I returned to the apartment and made dinner for tonight, tuna noodle casserole. It is so hot here the best time to cook dinner is in the morning and reheat in the microwave at dinner time. After that was made it was time to make breakfast. Our host, Cheryl gave us a very ripe papaya yesterday, which was a perfect topping for our french toast sticks for breakfast.

Remember the rain I mentioned? It really brought out the frogs and this one was carrying her baby.

After breakfast we prepared our gear and lunch for the day. Our destination was Galloway Beach, but further out than we have driven before. On our way to our destination, the ancient island woman that sells fruit by the roadside had a bunch of dilly fruit. We stopped and I asked her how much, she said 3 for $5, which I thought was a bit steep. We had stopped and I didn’t want to give tourists a bad reputation so I said sure. I picked my 3 dillies and then she told me to take two more. I don’t know what happened next but she grabbed all the fruit she had and walked it to our car. In total she gave us 13 dilly for $5, what a bargain, now we just need them to soften up.

Oh my Mother Nature outdid herself today with the views and the “river” adventure we had. We walked the beach, the sandbars, we had a wild ride down the river towards the ocean and then we lunched. It was a blast and oh yes we plan to return here this trip.

After lunch we headed out to Lochabar Bay area to walk a bit. While walking we spotted turtles swimming about.

As I was starting to crisp up, we decided it was time to head back home. At home I went for a snorkel, Mike paddleboarded and then enjoyed a float. I worked on my underwater picture taking skills, as I haven’t done it in a while. I still need to work on it, but the little jetties on our beach provide for a great practice area.

After our snorkel and paddle/float, we retired indoors until dinner time. After dinner and clean up, it was sunset time and another float for Mike. Sunset wasn’t grand, but we will cut Mother Nature some slack as she provided a great amusement park for us all day, she worked hard!

Day 2 – All the S words

Sunrise, scrambled eggs, shopping, snorkeling, sandwiches, swim, snooze, snack, supper and sunset. There that is our day!

I watched the clouds change as the sun rose and then had my coffee savoring the song of the birds while devouring a plate full of scrambled eggs. Then we were on to our next S word, shopping.

After shopping was completed for more necessary food items, we made a plan to visit a beach close to our rental, McKanns. We explored this area on a previous trip, discovering a hurricane destroyed resort, where the owner tracked us down, wanting to know if we were investors.

This adventure we went the other way. We went above the beach to check out the cove area, find a path down to the area. Once on the beach we had a little swim followed by a small beach walk.

As we walked, we debated on whether or not to go for a snorkel, the water was a bit rolly, the water a bit churned and we knew the reef was a bit of a swim for me. We decided to go for a snorkel and see if worth returning on a calm day. I mustered up my courage to go way out as I’ve a huge fear of being sucked out to the ocean (I blame my sisters for this, they told me stories as a kid of being caught in undertows and how scary it is) and we went out. Boy are we glad we did, what a great reef, not many pictures because Mike has to get used to using the underwater camera again and it was a bit rolly, like I said.

Time to find a lunch spot and enjoy our typical peanut butter and guava jelly sandwiches on a beach. We drove about 12 miles down north to Deals beach, where we knew we had shade and munched on our lunch.

We were pretty tired for our adventures so back we headed to have a little snooze before snacks, supper and sunset. However, as I slipped into snoozing wear, I discovered I was full of sand, so down to the beach we went so I could swim around and clear out all the sand that filled my bathing suit bottom, such problems! Then it was back to our plan of snooze, snack, supper, sunset.

On our many trips to Staniel Cay, we had a wall that we would have our evening snacks on, it was a perfect place. We truly haven’t found a replacement in Kauai, Oahu or here until now. We found our evening snack area finally.

After our snacking, we returned to the apartment and started fixing supper. We dined in the same spot as we snacked at. We are becoming enamoured of the view here. After dinner we cleaned up and waited until sunset viewing time. Clouds once again blocked the sinking of the sun, but the clouds provided their own beautiful drama.

As an educator I hate when students come to me to tattle that so and so said the S word, it could mean so many negative things. I prefer vacation S words so much more.

Day .5 – 1 Arrival in Long Island

Our travels began on Monday afternoon after Mike left work. We did the 2.5 hour drive to JFK to spend the night in the new TWA hotel located at the airport. Location was great, right by Terminal 5 and our JetBlue departure early the next morning. We had dinner there, tasty but expensive and spent the night. The room lacked some amenities such as lotion and a coffee maker.

We set our alarms for 3:15 a.m. and left the room by 4 a.m. after making instant coffee using lukewarm tap water. At least we had the smarts to bring some decent instant coffee.

We walked right up to TSA precheck with no wait and cleared in seconds. We boarded at 5:15 and promptly left at 5:50.

It was a mere 2.5 hour to Nassau. We landed as the first Southern Air flight to Long Island was taking off. Southern Air was kind enough to let us check in and hold our luggage. Normally they don’t do check in until 3 hours before the flight but we would be hauling our luggage around and they didn’t want us to have to do that. We grabbed a taxi and went to Compass Point Resort for a late breakfast. What a lovely place to wait and have a very filling meal.

We returned around 11 a.m. and had another 3 or so hours to wait until our out island flight was departing. We napped, walked and attempted to get my Bahamian phone number to activate (we eventually did when we realized Mr.SimCard had not done his job).

Our plane was called around 1:45. I had joked with Mike on the weekend, the Hon. Adrian Gibson, MP would be on our flight. It wasn’t a joke, there was Adrian boarding with us. I chatted with him till we were on the plane. He is doing some amazing things for this island and it was lovely to get to know him.

I didn’t pick good seats on the plane so our views of the islands we flew over were obscured. We did wave to our friends on Staniel Cay though.

Once we landed our rental car was waiting with keys already for us to go. We’ve used Unique Wheels enough, they trust us to leave the vehicle at the airport for us, no more waiting around for them to show up. Our first stop was….I know some of you will say for beer, but no…..fresh bread at Erica’s Bakery in Clarence Town, the opposite direction of where we are staying.

Bread from Erica’s Bakery

We then stopped at the three “major” grocery stores on the island. The boat had just come in so there were lots of fresh vegetables to be purchased.

Our brains were starting to turn to mush, so we landed at our home base, C Shells Guest Quarters in Salt Pond and unpacked, made dinner and watched the water.

No real sunset tonight, it was blocked by clouds. We had thought we could go to the Independence Day festival from 8 p.m. to midnight down the road, but it’s not safe for us to be out after being up since 3 a.m. Maybe I’ll get up at midnight to watch the fireworks….we’ll see if tomorrow morning I add an addendum to this…

addendum: slept through the fireworks….

Hello 2019 – Day 11

Today was travel day.  Time to return to noise, chatter, heated houses, flannel sheets and no views of the rising sun from our house.  So I relished  the morning’s sunrise.

Ernest was bringing us to the airport arrived a bit earlier than we expected, so I didn’t get one last photo of the beach. We had a great conversation on the way to the airport about the island, life on it, and fitting in here.

We had a wait at the airport, which seemed to be the theme of the day.  While at the airport there was a person cutting the bushes, shaping them, however removing the flowers in the process, so I snapped a few photos of flowers before they were hacked off.

 

Southern Air chartered Flamingo Air to fly us over to Nassau, a small 9 seater.  We waved to our friends on Staniel Cay as we flew over.

Landing in Nassau, we breezed through Global Entry and had some lunch before waiting for our next plane.  That plane was delayed arriving.  Once it arrived, we boarded.  While sitting there an auxiliary unit had to be attached to the plane. I noticed the hose connecting it was very frayed.  Next thing we heard was a popping sound and white threads flying all over the place.  Yup the hose blew.  The plane was hot, we spent about 20 minutes of the pilot going back and forth, we are getting off the plane, no wait they found backup stay on plane, oh wait this will take forever and we deplaned.  We sat around for another hour, till we boarded again.  As we started to get on the runway, the pilot turned back towards the terminal, oh please noooooo….phew false alarm, he returned to the runway and off we went.

We had a connection to make in DC, lucky for us that plane was delayed also. If it had not been delayed, we would have missed it.  We landed in DC and 20 minutes later boarded our flight home.

We made it home in time to fall asleep for the night. What a long day, but the trip was well worth it.

Happy 2019 everyone!

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