Thursday, May 14, 2009

Amazon Adventure #22. Skimming the shallows to Nassau.

The day started awkwardly with a request from Darren to carry a friend to Nassau with us. We refused, even though he had done so much for us, as we have decided to avoid possible complications of transporting people and their parcels in this shifting world of legal and illegal transactions. And really we are ready for some private family time on our little ship after all the visiting of the last few days.

Amazon sails fast over the sands and reefs which we can see so clearly beneath us. When it is very shallow the wake becomes full of waves and we have a sense of tremendous speed.

It is the underwater world that is so full of life and variety in the Bahamas and unfortunately the human pressure to turn all this diversity and beauty into cash is causing it`s destruction. Some fishermen are squirting bleach into the coral reefs to drive out the last salable creatures (with air hoses they can work on even deep reefs) and this kills the coral. All to supply Nassau , the big city for which all this diverse world of cays and reefs is the hinterland.

The journal.
.... Passed by many little rocks and cays as we followed the chart. The girls retired below to get some shade while I found shade behind the mainsail and dangled my feet in the water. We could see the high rises on Paradise Island at Nassau as little blobs on the horizon. Finally we were close enough and the wind light enough to furl sails and motor into the harbour. Boats all over the place. Madly trying to read the chart, call harbour control to announce our arrival and dodge other boats. All this civilization is unnerving. We cruised up the harbour checking out anchorages through bouncy waves from all the boat wash. We finally crossed to the Nassau side and anchored with some other multi hulls. I botched the anchoring ( what is called a running Bahama moor with two anchors out in opposite directions so the boat does not swing in a wide circle with wind and current.) Why is it that we can do this perfectly in deserted anchorages but not when there are 30 people watching from their boats while drinking their martinis.

We watched sea planes take off and two cruise ships leave harbour all lit up. H .and I listened to loud rock and roll music from a hotel ashore for half the night. Without being aware of it we have gradually adapted so well to the natural world of the out-islands that this entertainment world is hard to take. Bill.

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