It is always tricky to coordinate having families and guests aboard Beatitude while cruising. The old adage is that you can plan a rendezvous at either a time or a place, but not both. One never knows what the weather will do, nor what will break and need repairing on a boat. So, we were nervous when planning to meet up with my wife’s twin sister, Christy, in the Bahamas. Initially, we thought we would meet up in Marsh Harbour, but our delays with boat repairs made that impossible. We then hoped to meet up in West End. This barely worked as we arrived a day before she arrived. Thank God!
Yesterday, we rented a car to drive into Freeport to pick up Christy from the Grand Bahamas Airport. Renting the car was so easy! We asked the Old Bahama Bay Resort staff the day before, and a car was delivered right next to our boat at 9 a.m. this morning. After two or three minutes of paperwork, I had the key in hand and we were shortly on our way. In the Bahamas, as in England, the driving is done on the lefthand side of the road. I drove in England for two weeks a couple of years ago, so this wasn’t my first time. Right away, though, when I approached the gate to exit the resort, I pulled up to the gate and waited for it to open. Soon, the attendant poked her head out of the door and informed me that I was at the entrance, not the exit. I had pulled to the right side instead of the left. It’s hard to break old habits. I did pretty well the rest of the day with not too many near accidents. 🙂
Christy had good flights and arrived on time. She had failed to get the name of the marina we were in, so they were not going to let her into the country since she didn’t know where she was staying. Fortunately, the guard escorted her out of the immigration area to find us, so that we could supply the information. She was also given a hard time because she didn’t have a return ticket. We waited until the last few days to buy her ticket since we weren’t sure if we would make it to the Bahamas on time. We hadn’t bought her return ticket yet. Fortunately, once again, they allowed her into the Bahamas.
It was lunch time, so I asked if we wanted an authentic Bahamian meal or something more “American,” the choice was… Pizza Hut! The Harris’ have never been the most adventurous in their dining choices. Actually, the pizza was quite good and I enjoyed it. I hadn’t eaten at Pizza Hut for years. Speaking of authentic Bahamian food… The evening we arrived at West End, Cindy and I had dinner at the resort restaurant. I ordered the blackened grouper which came with broccoli and roasted potatoes. I knew I was in trouble when I tasted the broccoli. Who knew broccoli cold be so spicy-hot! It was actually quite good and I consumed it all. However, when I attempted to eat the blackened grouper, it was too much. I enjoy spicy, hot food, but apparently I’m not up the demands of island food. It was intolerably and painfully hot. I managed to eat about 1/2 of it, but it took a while for my taste buds to recover.
When asked what we wanted to do next, now that we had a car, the answer was… Shopping! So, we drove to Port Lucaya and the Lucaya Marketplace where their is a wonderful little shopping area with a mixture of more upscale shops, local Bahamian vendors, and a few restaurants. The local ladies drew Cindy and Christy in with “Come, here gorgeous,” and “Come on in here beautiful.” They had fun and bought a few trinkets, while I went to “Sparky’s” and had a nice cold bottle of a local Bahamian Beer called “Sands.” I’m not much of a beer drinker, but it was nice and refreshing.
By evening, a cold front had pressed through the northern Bahamas and chilled things off quite a bit. We were all “cold” when we arrived back at the boat with brisk north winds and temperatures dropping into the 60s. I made a rum cake to celebrate their birthdays. After that, we settled in to watch a couple of movies. The night’s featured films were “Music and Lyrics” starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, and “The Young Victoria,” a wonderful film telling the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The next day held the promise of sunshine, but cooler temperatures in the low 70s and a continued brisk north wind. We’ll probably spend the day on the beach and at the pool.