Thursday, July 2, 2015

June 30, 2015 Wrap Up

Well the last couple of weeks we have had sporadic internet at best. I tried a couple of times to update the blogspot, but it just error'ed on me.

We spent a couple more days at Atlantis enjoying the slides, the pools, and the aquariums. We also spent a day over at Nassau. The straw market was somewhat ok, but really it was just $200.00 out of pocket for some useless souvenirs. There is quite a bit of history in Nassau, and quite a few unique shops.

June 15th, 2015

Our run back to Bimini was a little uncomfortable as we had 2 to 4 foots seas on the beam. This made for a rolling ride. Sometimes I think I prefer them on the bow even though I have to go slower. Bimini Blue Water (Fuel Dock) was full of boats, so we decided to get fuel on our departure.

Rather than renting another golf cart at Bimini, we decided to use our bikes. That was definitely a different perspective; and fun.

Bimini really has a trash problem. There was trash and flies everywhere. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the locals live in their own trash. I did ask a couple of them why there was so much trash; their response was that the trash barge only comes to the island every couple of weeks.

My gripe is that we have paid a $300.00 cruising permit, and nearly $2,000.00 in the new VAT. Where is the money going? I sure hope it is not creating another corrupt government.

They had better figure it out, or they are going to start chasing away their sole source of income.

I bet it was due to the trash and flies, but I ended up with E.coli. I cannot ever remember being that sick. For the first day and a half I could not even keep water down. After three days, I felt a little better, but I really was not back to "normal" until almost 10 days. That sucked.

For years, this road (The Queen's Highway) was just packed sand. Now it is paved one end to the other.

June 19, 2015

Since we were only running back to Miami Beach, we decided to leave later than we typically do. Around 9AM. Again, we tried to get fuel at Bimini Blue Water, but the dock was full again. I just made the decision to go straight to Miami Beach. The water was fairly calm, and we arrived with just over 1/4 of a tank.

What I learned is we can go straight to or from Atlantis without a fuel stop. I think we will take advantage of that if Bimini does not figure out the trash issue.

June 20, 2015

We had a really easy run down to Key Largo's Marina Del Mar. We really like this area due to the diving, snorkeling, and pools around the resort. Also, the closed Coconuts has reopened as Skippers. Good food, but really expensive, and live music. A really good addition.

We took the dink out to Mosquito Bank to do some snorkeling, but the water was really stirred up with silt.

We then took the dink out exploring. We found a canal (turned creek) that almost went across the island. There was quite a current, but we did find a dolphin sanctuary.

The African Queen is in full operation now.

The new Skippers (old Coconuts) at Key Largo's Marina Del Mar

June 24, 2015

We decided to go on down to our stomping ground Key West.

We discovered this unmanned boat. Reported it to the USCG. They had us send them pictures and they sent someone out to check it out. Once it is checked out, they paint "OK" on the side. This one did not have "OK" painted on it yet.

We always have a good time, and we try to something different each time. The difference this time was we went fishing on the Tortuga IV.

I caught two nearly three foot sharks that we threw back. Chris caught 4 and I caught 3 yellow tails. Good eatin'!

We took the dink to Smather's Beach and found our small little spot of tranquility.

First night sunset from Mallory Square over Sunset Key (Tank Island).

One of the two sharks I caught. I was really hoping on a Grouper.

Lots of Yellow Tail

Sunset from the bow of our boat.

A manatee drinking from a storm sewer.

On June 29th, we decided to wrap up the trip and head home. Overall, it was a great trip. I will say, we will move out quicker and spend more time on the return. That will leave more budget for the side trips like Exuma and Eluethra.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 13, 2015

Well, I think the weather made our decision for us. It is going to be blowing the entire week. I am now pretty confident we will head west back to Bimini for a while, and then head down to Marina del mar in Key Largo.

Yesterday was another day of pools and slides. What a blast. Heather gained so much confidence, we just let her take off. She went down the Leap of Faith by herself. It was hilarious, because she was gone about and hour so Chris and I decided to walk up to the Mayan Temple. Coincidentally, she was in line at the top. We saw her by her hair braid. Chris was able to video her trip down.


We also spent some time on the Lazy River, and Heather did quite a few tube rides. Another nice day in paradise.

We are going to leave Monday, and head back to Bimini. The lesson I learned this trip is we need to move a little faster out weather permitting. Taking 5 and 6 days each stop took a bunch of money and time. I think I would spend only a day or two out and then if time and money permit, spend the longer stays on the return.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 11, 2015

June 11, 2015

The last two days have been a riot. On Tuesday, we started out at 10AM when the water slides opened. We were able to do that until about 1PM when storms came in. They shut the park down due to lightning. On Wednesday, we did the same thing, but ran from slide to slide from 10AM to 4PM. I don’t remember climbing so may stairs in one day. I think we did every slide at least once, and the favorites two to three times. What a blast.



A couple of days ago, we were stressing over our budget. As I said, we have spent 2/3’s of your budget in the first ten days. We are pretty sure we may start heading back next week taking our time, but trying to get home early July rather than late July.

However, right now we are stuck here due to winds. For the next several days, the wind is going to be blowing 20 to 25 knots with Seas 5 to 7 feet. There is no way are we going anywhere until they at least settle to 3 to 4’s. We are hoping Sunday or Monday. Unfortunately, Atlantis could only extend us until Saturday. Worst case, we could move over to Hurricane Hole for a couple of days. Not a great marina,  but much cheaper, and we still have full access to Atlantis. And this is not a bad place to be stuck. I guess we will just have to make due. :-)

Right now our options are as follows; Head a little ways down the Exumas or head west toward Chub Cay or back to Bimini and from there go down the Keys. We are thinking Marina del mar and Key West would each be a 4 or 5 day stop.

Today, we decided to go over to Nassau and see downtown, including the Straw Market. We bought some shirts, jewelry for Heather, and some Cuban Cigars. All told, not bad for $200.00. There were some nice shops, restaurants, and sights. After a few hours, it did get a little boring, so around 2PM, we decided to take the ferry back over to Atlantis. Heather was pooped out, so Chris and I went over to the beach on the North side of the island. It was really a nice time, but man did it get hot.

This shack was filmed during the James Bond Thunderball Movie.

Today we got the Marina to extend us until Saturday Morning. They are still calling for 5 to 7 foot seas. I still believe we can get out of here Sunday or Monday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 9, 2015

On June 8, 2015, we got up early to check out of Resorts World and then head down to Blue Water to fuel prior to heading on to The Atlantis Marina about 125nm from Bimini.

When converting over from shore power to the generator, I have a process I go through. Firstly, I start the generator. Secondly, I shut off all of the individual components including the air conditioners. Then I shut off the main shore power breaker, and  then turn on the main generator breaker. Finally, I turn on all of the individual components including the air conditioners.

All seemed perfect. We were about 15 to 20nm's from Bimini when Chris went down into the salon to check on Heather. She came right back up and told me the air conditioners were all error'ed with a high pressure error. I idled the engines back and went down to see what was happening. I reset all of the units, and then went down into the engine room. I immediately noted that the air conditioner pump was not running. Finally I checked to electric panel and noticed I had turned on all of the air conditioners, but not the pump. I must have done the "process" a 100 times, but it was definitely operator error. As soon as I turned the pump on, they all fired right up. Yea!

We throttled up and headed on without any issues. It was really a pretty easy run with less than 2 foot seas down the Northwest Channel.

We fueled at Hurricane Hole, and then hailed the Atlantis for slip assignment. After a few minute wait, they came back on the radio and said we did not have reservations for the 8th. I explained to them that we did. After a half an hour floating out in Nassau Harbor, they final allowed us to come in. They put us in slip 50. I immediately noted it was a nice slip because it was close to the casino and the pools. The last time we were here, we were on the other side of the Marina which took a 5 minutes walk to get over to the casino and pools.

After we got Miss N Mountains backed in and tied off, Chris and I headed to the Dock Master's Office to check in.

I showed them our reservation, and they said there must have been an error. "a Bahamian Error?" She said we could only stay until the 12th not the 13th, and it will be $7.00 per foot instead of the $4.50 we were expecting. Now I know why the nice slip! The location of the slip dictates the price. That equates to around $500.00 per night with taxes and fees. Wow!!!

For today, all we did was hang at one of the pools and walk around to decompress from the ride over.

Tomorrow, June 9th, we hit the water slides.