Leaving the Berry Islands we had smooth sailing with a northwest, 20 knot wind all the way to New Providence Island. We’d been cautioned that Nassau was not the safest location for cruisers and offered expensive marinas as refuge. The favored items for theft are apparently outboard engines; but taking a close look at our dinghy we hoped nobody would waste the effort on our Nissan 5hp which barely pushes us around but does so reliably. Everyone knows how I feel about our poor dinghy…”I hate the dinghy!” …being our only motorized mode of transportation though I sure didn’t want to risk it. We were in desperate need of groceries and so we’d planned this brief stop to reprovision. Nassau would have the best prices on groceries being the hub of shipments prior to items being shuffled out to the other Bahamas islands. On a tip we anchored on the Paradise Island side of Nassau harbor; being lined with resorts and gorgeous homes it seemed a quieter, safer side.
We found dinghy dock access at the Texaco station on the New Providence Island side. Through the clear water we saw the bottom littered with trash and tires. We locked the dinghy with our super tough cable that only the finest wire cutters would snip in an instant, and clamored up the ladder to shore. Our first mission was to acquire cellular service by getting an account with Bahamas Telephone Company (aka BaTelCo, aka BTC). We found the BaTelCo store easily and buzzed ourselves in through the locked and security guarded door. Here we were able to purchase a SIM card and 30 day data plan for the iPad. Hooray! Reconnected with the world!! We do not have a cell phone however are able to use a 3G connection to make and receive calls via Skype (this had a great voice connection, not great video). Our second mission was to acquire groceries. We found a great store in the Harbor Plaza back near the Texaco station. It was fully stocked and we felt as through we’d just walked into a Wegman’s. We’ve decided to test how well we can eat without ice and so made our selections accordingly. We also got some sharable snacks so we can keep on socializing with style.
During both of the two evenings that we spent anchored at Nassau, we spent time with Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) commodores, Murray and Heather aboard sv/Windswept IV. We’d met Murray and Heather in the Berry Islands and were now getting acquainted and soaking in all the knowledge they were able to share about cruising in the Bahamas. Our first evening’s cocktail hour lasted four hours and we so enjoyed each other’s company that we entirely skipped dinner! Our second evening was all about business as we compared our NV Charts to the Explorer Charts and took notes on all the hot spots in the Exuma Islands. We invited along friends, Ryan and Tasha aboard sv/Hideaway after learning they were also in Nassau having overheard them on the VHF. As it turns out our NV Charts are spot on! We added a few additional anchors per Murray’s recommendations and took good notes on those hot spots to explore. Thanks very much to Murray and Heather! We’re looking forward to more fun times during our travels!