Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nassau / Paradise Island Bahamas

Wednesday 29 December – Sunday 2 January

As we approach New Providence (Nassau) and Paradise Island we can tell it is different as we can see tall buildings from a good distance out. Most of what we are seeing is the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. It is a very busy harbour so we have to call Nassau Harbour Control to announce our arrival, giving the name of our vessel and where we are going. Once in the harbour we pass by Prince George Wharf where all the Cruise ships are docked, then under the two 68'9” bridges connecting the two Islands. We are tied up at the dock at Harbour Club Marina by 2:30 pm. After checking in we take a quick walk across the street to a shopping center to see what is there. We feel like we are in a town in Florida, with a Starbucks, KFC, Subway, Domino's, Grocery Store, Drug Store, Liquor store, Sporting Goods store all right there across the street. Walk down the street & have 4 marine stores to choose from. We are a good 2 miles from the “downtown” area where most of the shops & restaurants are, a pretty good hike but we are not here to visit the tourist area. We have a hard time keeping track of what day it is and of holidays, so when we get someplace and are told places will be closing early or closed due to holiday it always catches us off guard. We get all our provisioning and personal maintenance (haircuts) done on Thursday while everything is open. Friday we head over to Paradise Island and boy does the name fit. From the moment you cross over the bridge the beautiful landscaping and “new” buildings and hotels are a big contrast to the streets of Nassau. We spend a FABULOUS day walking the grounds of the Atlantis Resort. We started with the Aquarium which is unlike any other we have seen. First you have to find it, as it is hidden under parts of the Casino and interwoven with water slides and restaurants, it is as if you are in a maze of what the ruins of Atlantis might look like. The highlight of the day is the Dolphin interaction. We get to hug & kiss & pet & play with the dolphins up close & personal, including being “foot pushed” across the pond by one of the dolphins at 20 knots it was a blast. As we work our way back out we go through the marina where they have Mega Mega Yachts !! Definitely a first class resort. Walk back over the bridge at dusk a good last day for 2010. At midnight they have 2 sets of fireworks going off in the harbour to welcome the new year. One of the barges is right off our marina while the other is ¼ mile to the west so we get to watch them both, a great beginning to 2011. There is also a Junkanoo parade scheduled that is supposed to start at 2 AM and run thru 8 AM. Well it has been a LONG day and no one is exactly sure of the exact time the parade starts (back to Island time). So we decide to get some sleep and wake at 6 to catch the end of the parade. Glad we did not try to come at 2, as we got there at 7:30 it had started NOT long ago. We have a great time watching the amazing costumes and floats. The high energy level of the participants is amazing as they dance and perform along the parade route. Not sure what time it started, don't think we missed anything as it is finally over at 11:30. Think the 2 am was when the “staging” of the parade “started” for them to get their costumes & floats ready to go. Walk back to the boat to get ready for our Sunday departure. For some reason we had no internet connection, so unable to do any Skype calls, or email updates. Steve finally got connected around 10, by which time I was in bed. Sunday we got up early again to do last minute emails and recheck weather before leaving at 9:30 headed for the Exuma chain of Islands.

Link to pictures;

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