Our Luggage Prefers Nassau – Day 2

We woke up on Staniel Cay and watched the sunrise with our tea.  I know, tea. Guess where our ground coffee was? In our luggage that wasn’t with us (note to self, carry some with us at all times).

We enjoyed a breakfast of Mal’s pancakes and then gathered our meager belongings to begin the process of leaving Staniel Cay.

Our first stop at 7:45 was the airport to see if our bags arrived.  Yes, they did, but our flight was to depart in an about an hour, so it wasn’t worth it to take them back to the house, shower, clean up and change.  We claimed our bags and re checked them in and ourselves in.  After that we went for a drive around the island, only taking a photo where the old Thunderball Club used to be.

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After a drive about, we returned to the airport to catch our flight back to Nassau with our luggage.  We left on time and arrived on time, the go slow not affecting us and there were no signs of it continuing today.

We checked into Southern Air with three hours to fill before we had to officially be in the waiting area.  We filled that time with standing in line for eats from Dunkin Donuts and then went to find a “quiet” spot to eat and write day 1 trip report.

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Around noon we moved over to our waiting area.  Chatted with some people about our travels.  One nice man told us his favorite high school teacher was his librarian.  He loved her and she made such a difference in his life.  We chatted for a bit longer and he randomly asked how long we have been married, we said 28 years and he said you are so happy together, glad we project that to people (and yes we are happy together).

Our flight was called and onto a co share larger plane we boarded.  The doors were closed and then the pilot opened them to get out and he removed luggage.  Our plane was overweight and random bags were removed.  Guess whose two bags were chosen to stay overnight in Nassau? Ding, Ding, Ding our bags.  At this point our luggage has spent more time in Nassau then we have.

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We waved to our friends on Staniel Cay as we flew over.

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20 minutes later we landed on Long Island and was greeted by Ernest who is helping out the homeowners of the rental house.  We discovered that our luggage might be on the next flight coming in, on Bahamas Air.  We decided to wait, but Ernest had other guests to bring to another house, so he called in a family member to bring us over to the house.  After waiting a bit, we asked whether our bags were on the flight coming in, we were told no, but they should be on the morning flight tomorrow.  Big sighhhh, not worth getting upset at, it happens.

We went to the house, with no stopping at stores because it is Sunday around 4 pm. and everything is closed.  We did pick up two muffins for breakfast at DD, just in case we didn’t have any breakfast foods at the house.  Well no need, fresh bread and guava jam, were waiting for us, we have breakfast food.  Also beer and wine were in stock.  Plus there is fresh wahoo in the freezer, caught last week. Life is good!

We arrived and went WHOA, what a rental house, it surpasses its listing on VRBO.  This house is amazing and I will eventually take photos of the inside.  The view from the upper deck is beautiful.

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Hunger had set in, off to Rowdy Boys Bar we went, after Mike reminding himself which side of the road he needs to drive on.  We had our usual here, a fresh grilled fish burger for me and a conch burger for Mike.  The fish was so fresh and filling.  We chatted with the owner, her brother lives on Staniel, so we traded a few stories about Staniel.

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While eating the homeowner texted us, saying his mother dropped some items off for us, to help us through the missing luggage crisis.  People have been so understanding, hopefully the airline will get us our luggage tomorrow.

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Once back at the rental, we showered and I wrote.  If no more blog reports appear this week, it is because our luggage has never found us, the luggage that has the power cord to this computer.

So our luggage prefers Nassau over the out islands it seems.  Hopefully it will resolve itself tomorrow. and the luggage will figure out life is better in the out islands. At least we are finally on Long Island!

Day 7 – Take That Road

Today was slow, today was about taking roads we haven’t traveled before, today was just about meandering about, today was finding the unexpected.

We woke to the sun rising, a big bright orange globe ascending up, ducking behind clouds.

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We made our coffee and just wandered over to the beach road to the beach that is left of our rental to enjoy our coffee. While there Mike spied a chair perched on the cliff and decided his coffee would be tastier if he sat there.

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After enjoying our first cup here, we returned to the cottage to have ricotta pancakes topped with locally made guava jam.

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We figured out our morning plan was  to take two roads to new places, we haven’t explored.  We made our standard peanut butter and guava sandwiches, packed our snorkeling gear and hit the road. First stop was Whymms Tropic of Cancer Beach.  This was just a quick stop, get out look at the beach, return to the car.

Up south we traveled on  the Queen’s highway to explore Grays Landing.  Our hope was we could snorkel out to the Blue Hole, however the current appeared strong and the water wasn’t as clear as we would have liked it.  It was a desolate area.

On our way back towards the cottage we noticed JC straw works was open, in we stopped.  I purchased  a small straw change purse.

We were starting to get hungry for our sandwiches so we popped over to Turnbull Beach to sit in the shade of the gazebos by the water and cemetery. Perfect place to lunch.

After lunch, we returned to the highway  to go down roads we haven’t explored on the south end of the island.  We read about more plantation ruins.  We found the road, but sadly the ruins were gated off and there was no path around to explore. We left and went down another road to a beautiful view of the Atlantic side, where our Christmas view will be.

The arrow in this photo is aimed at the gazebos we will have access to. I think next December’s blog installments will be pretty boring, we won’t be exploring as much because our behinds will be parked there.

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Our next adventure had us searching for Miley’s cave, down another road we hadn’t explored yet. We found it, but didn’t bring flashlights to really investigate, plus the cave was full of wasps and bees.  We didn’t want to get stung here on this island, medical help is limited so we were very cautious.

It was a little hot, our next plan was to  head over to Lochabar beach for a dip. However a road we hadn’t explored came up first, across from Department of Health Services. Down the road we went to explore. It appeared as if at some point this might have a been a planned development, paved roads, some lot lines we could see but I’m sure the hurricanes destroyed someone’s dreams of developing this area. We ended up across from Lochabar beach, on the other side of Clem’s Blue Hole.

Our exploration of roads taken to new places today, tired us out. We decided to skip Lochabar and head over to Dean’s for a float.  While floating there Mike found me another sand dollar and he discovered a beautiful orange starfish (that we released).

Today was about taking the roads we haven’t explored yet.  The beauty of this island is found in taking a road to a beach and discovering something unexpected and breathtaking.  Could we have planned a day like this? No way, it just happened all because we took that road…

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Day 6 – Making Plans

To day it was about making our next trip plan around sand dollars hunts.

After a restless night’s sleep due to little wind, an air conditioning unit set for an Arctic chill and waiting to hear back about our first choice rental, we got up early made the coffee and went to Dean’s Blue Hole to enjoy it.

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But we decided to walk across from the hole to that other beach to sit and sip.

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After enjoying the coffee, we walked the beach and while walking we received the news that our first choice rental was unavailable. Wespent time considering what our options were, go back to our Christmas place, go to another island, find another rental here, hmmm…

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After our coffee, walk and conversation we returned to the cottage to search once again for another spot to spend the holidays at.  We found a rental that met every want, except for sunset views, which we are desperately missing here.  While searching, our power went out, a sign this was a good time to drive out to check out the rental. While checking it out we found the Dunmore Ruins, which we had been looking for the other day.  We decided if the rental was only missing sunset views we could survive, it sits on a hill and we have a better view of the sky, so maybe we could get some dramatic color.  Not sure if power was restored at our current rental, we stopped at Galloways to see if it was calm enough for a snorkel. It looked calm so we set up camp and went in.

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In we went, however the rolling small waves made Mike a little seasick so he got out while I tried to snap some underwater photos. It was a bit churned up so not the clearest pictures.

Of course there were sand dollars to be found in the water.  I left these behind, maybe it will make some tourist’s day that doesn’t go out snorkeling.  Mike also tried to blend in with the view, so he would be left behind to.

We packed up and headed into Clarence Town to find the bakery. We found it and picked up two slices of poppy seed and a pumpkin bread for our coffee beach walk tomorrow.  While here, in a spot that I had reception, we sent an email to ask about Island Dreams vacation rental.

We needed lunch and still not sure if power returned (power can go out for hours here on the island), we went to Max’s Conch Bar for lunch. The owner’s wife recognized us as repeat customers and spent some time chatting with us. I had my usual grouper fingers and Mike enjoyed cracked conch. While enjoying our lunch we received word Island Dreams was available for our next trip and we confirmed booking

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We were utterly exhausted, after a stop at the grocery store for supplies for tonight’s fish stew we returned to the house that had power restored and napped for an hour. After feeling a bit better, a snorkel and sand dollar hunt at Dean’s was had.  The fish were abundant as were the sand dollars.

We came home, cleaned up, wrote, made dinner, relaxed, enjoyed dinner, read and went to sleep.  Contented in knowing we have a rental for our next trip, making plans today that worked out.

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Day 5 – Exploration

Today we had the opportunity to explore one of the largest caves, if not the largest one in the Bahamas, we scouted out a future rental and found a beach that had some shade.

Our morning started with coffee at Turtle Cove before our first appointment at 9 a.m.

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Our appointment was with Leonard Cartwright to explore his cave known as Hamilton’s Cave. We spent about an hour, that flew by, exploring the cave, learning the history and finding out about the five species of bats (we only saw 3)that call the cave home. He did advise when looking up do NOT open your mouth. We chuckled but he said last week a woman didn’t heed his advice and her mouth was filled with bat urine, ewwww yuck.

It was worth the $30.00 fee for two of us.  It was  an amazing experience and I’m  glad we stopped at his open door yesterday and took a chance.   Leonard said as a child this was his playground, even though his mother told him not to! Scientists come up from the University of Florida to study the cave and its inhabitants. This is a well protected area and one that you need him to guide you in and about.

After the excitement of exploration, we returned to the cottage, to gather our lunch and snorkel gear for out next adventure of the day. Our next excursion had us looking at a Christmas time rental across from Clem’s Cay, at Lochabar Bay. We had to wade out into the bay to get a good feel for the location and on the way we found sand dollar heaven.  It got to the point of where Mike had to tell me “No More”, we can’t transport all of them home safely.  I do admit to having a sand dollar problem. We got a bit of a snorkel in and then lunched on peanut butter and guava sandwiches, all the while discussing rental options and becoming a bit sun burned.

It was only 12:30ish p.m. so we had time to go to another spot. We needed shade and Galloway Beach was a perfect location to watch the water while sitting in the shade.

After an hour we packed up to head back to the cottage. We spent the rest of the afternoon, looking at rentals online (fingers crossed we get the one we asked for), booking airfare and well I napped, Mike did all the other stuff.

Evening dinner was leftover enchiladas and dessert was dilly fruit followed by coconut lime bars. As our evening ended we watched lightning through a cloud over the water in a dramatic fashion for a while, a great way to end our day of exploration.

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Day 3 – Days like This…

A  day like today makes it difficult for us to travel to another Bahamian Island to explore (well except for Staniel Cay, that is such a special spot to us). Today had everything we love; walks, snorkeling, exploring new places, great food and just the time to do it in.

The sunrise painted the sky a lovely shade of pink this morning. P1010453

Mike decided to start his day with a run, while I made the coffee. After his return home, we walked over to Dean’s Blue Hole to have coffee and a swim for Mike to cool off.

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We enjoyed a bit of time here savoring the coffee and walking the small beach.

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There are 4 items in this photo that have a Hawaii connection

Our walk back to the cottage had us planning out the rest of the day. First thing though was to make a quick breakfast.Then we made sandwiches (just in case Max’s Conch Bar was closed), gathered our snorkeling gear and headed off to Guana Cay, Pinders to see if we could get over to the island to see some iguanas.

On our way to today’s beach spot,  we spotted fruit on a platform, so of course we stopped. We picked up Dilly Fruit and Seville Oranges, all for three bucks.  We were two happy campers finding dilly fruit.

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We arrived at the beach and decided snorkeling would allow us to make it over to the island. Let me tell you that was a workout for me with the current.  I was excited to see my first turtle of this trip, but he was quick and I lost him within seconds of spotting him.

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Guana Cay, gonna snorkel over to there

We made it over, able to walk the final bit and proudly took a photo.  Years ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this. I would have chickened out and missed this experience. Glad I found the strength to trust myself enough to do it.

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We started back behind us, crossed the channel to make it over.

I was expecting iguanas to come out to get us, instead we were greeted by curly tailed lizards.    Little disappointed yes, but these guys were cute and I quickly got over the disappointment.

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On our snorkel back I was happy to find a conch with a critter in it. We did leave it behind to grow big and strong.

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The blues of the water were just so enchanting.

We walked the beach some more to dry off, before heading to Max’s Conch Bar, our favorite dine out place on the island.

Lunch at Max’s was crawfish salad with johnny cake and grouper fingers with peas and rice.  We love to sit at the bar and watch the master at work making conch salad, which we did get a bowl to go.

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We had another grocery run to make, so after that we headed home, threw the groceries in the fridge and went to Dean’s Blue Hole to snorkel.  In December when we were here, we didn’t snorkel, just floated over the hole.

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Today we snorkeled and I was blown away by all the fish.

By the time we exited the water it was after 4 p.m. so we called it a day and walked home. Once home it was the usual clean up and make dinner.  Tonight’s dinner was chicken enchiladas followed by dessert of ginger nut cookies with peanut butter and pineapple jam!

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A day like today of walks, snorkeling, good eats makes it hard to visit another island. Guess that means a few more trips must be made here.

 

 

Day 1 “Welcome Home”

We left snowy New England for sun, sand, and warmth in the Bahamas.

We made our way to Long Island via Nassau.  We fly Southern Air and yesterday was the perfect example of why being laid back is essential to survival here.  When we first purchased out tickets our departure time was 2 p.m.. When we checked in we were told flight time had changed to 2:50 and to be in the gate area by 1:45. At 1:15, gate change was announced and we were asked to board at 1:45.  Off we went earlier, rather than later and we were ok with that.

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Arriving in Nassau

Due to our early arrival we had time to hang at the airport to wait for our rental car hand over.  While waiting we chatted with a lovely local woman, waiting for her delayed Nassau flight.  When she discovered this was our third visit to her island, she welcomed us home, with the most sincere “Welcome Home.”

Our first stop was for some food for dinner and breakfast in the morning and well Kalik.  We had traveler brain fog, so going beyond two meal plans was not happening.  We picked up the basics and headed to a new to us rental in Turtle Cove.

We arrived at the cottage and unloaded, unpacked and tried to get two beers cold.  The view from the deck is partially lovely, the other part is a roof. This accommodation is a bit less than the previous place we stayed, so we can’t complain.  The advantage this place has is we can walk to a beach area that has tide pools.

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After settling in, we grabbed two beers and went to check out the beach.  Hopefully we will get a chance  to snorkel here.  After a short walk we headed back to the cottage.

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We made a quick dinner of pasta, watched the clouds and called it an early night.  We have no sunset views at this house, but we can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves. It’s all about give and take on our Eastern island home.

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Please note blog posts will be shorter and with less pictures, the internet is very weak at this cottage.

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