Saturday, March 25th
Weather: still very windy, partially sunny
Route: Walk to the Fish Fry for lunch and back, take a taxi to Palm Cay Marina
- a leisurely small breakfast
- strolling along the beach walk to kill time until the Fish Fry stalls opened at 11:00
- enjoying a delicious Grilled Grouper lunch at Curly's
- having a complimentary drink at the Marina Tiki Bar
- taking less than 2 hours to shop for the trip provisions
- somehow finding spaces to stow all the provisions aboard the Alexian
- having the Captain and First Mate complete the boat inspection and stow the pre-ordered water and wine while we were shopping
- relaxing with a cup of hot soup and a bowl of popcorn before familiarizing ourselves with the boat
- agreeing on a 7:00 quick breakfast to be ready for a chart briefing and final boat check at 8:00
Yesterday, Rhonda kindly offered to order us a taxi. We expected our Canadian friends to be arriving at Palm Cay Marina shortly after 14:00 so we wanted to arrive at about the same time. We had plenty of time before the taxi arrived at 13:00 to pack our things, clean the studio a little and enjoy another lunch at the Fish Fry.
First we had to finish eating any food left in the fridge. The remaining yoghurt, milk and cereal made a small breakfast -- not a problem since we planned to eat an early lunch as soon as the Fish Fry opened at 11:00. Hubby is never very good at sitting around when we have time deadlines. Once our things were packed up, email was checked one last time and the studio was cleaned a little he was ready to walk over to Arawak Cay, hoping that on a Saturday the restaurants would open a little early. Many of them did, but not Oh Andros. We walked a little, watching a huge cargo ship being piloted into the dock at Arawak Cay -- "carrying vehicles" one fellow told us. When Oh Andros had not yet opened by 11:15 we decided to try Curly's, after talking to "Curly" for a while about the history of his business on Arawak Cay. We were glad we did! Not only was the food just as good as Oh Andros, the service was faster -- something Hubby was nervous about -- and watching Curly manage his restaurant was more entertaining than TV. We ordered just one dish -- two Grouper fillets with plaintains, mixed veggies and the staple rice and peas. The serving size was not quite as large as at Oh Andros but it was still enough for two.
We had just enough time to walk back to Rhonda's and take a bio-break before the taxi arrived -- 15 minutes early! We thanked Rhonda for the wonderful stay and said our goodbyes. An hour (and $37.00 + $3.00 tip) later we were allowed to pass through the Palm Gate Marina security gate (after showing ID) and were dropped off at the Navtours office.
The Palm Cay Marina was quite new and more luxurious than others we had "camped" at before starting previous bareboat trips. As a Navtours client we were allowed access to the bathrooms, showers, laundry, bicycles and restaurant. Complimentary wi-fi was valid for 24 hours, although we never did get connected. We were tagged with a wrist band to allow us one complimentary drink at the Tiki Bar, as long as we stayed on the "non-member" side. The member side was inside the fence protecting the members-only beach. We were dressed for grocery shopping and expected our friends to arrive soon so declined the wrist band that would allow us onto the private beach until 18:00. Still, it was interesting to sit at the Tiki Bar and listen to the conversations. Two fellows were renting a Palm Cay condo through AirBnB, which allowed them, for $5.00/day, to be guests of the condo owner.
From Charmain, the Navtours fabulously multi-tasking logistics coordinator, we learned that our boat would be the Alexian and that we did have a shuttle taxi scheduled to take us to the supermarket at 16:00 hrs. The only thing she asked was that we give her the supermarket's "Quality Stamps", tokens which gave her dollars off her own future food purchases -- definitely a fair exchange for the great service she gave us.
Our Canadian friends finally arrived, ending travels that began at 4:30 that morning in Ottawa with a transfer through Toronto before flying to Nassau. Our hellos were short. They were tired and hungry. The Marina restaurant's patio was a cool, quiet and breezy place to relax, even if they only got an hour to recuperate with lunch and their complimentary drink. Too soon the three girls and Hubby caught the shuttle to the Super Value for the "big shop" while the Captain and First Mate started their boat inspection. While we were gone they found places to store the 27 gallon jugs of potable water and 6 bottles of wine we had ordered from Navtours for the trip.
Shopping in an unfamiliar supermarket was slower than we had expected, especially because we were trying to substitute cheaper or locally-available items (eg bags of oranges instead of grapefruits @ $.99 each) for what was on our list. After slowly working our way through the Produce Section we split the list up, each scouring different aisles to find the remaining items. To save more time we took 3 carts through 3 separate check-out lanes and paid with 3 separate credit cards. The total came to over $1000.00, or about $100.00 per day to feed 6 people...not bad... but it was 18:15-- 15 minutes past our shuttle cutoff time -- before we had finally checked out and called for the shuttle to pick us up. (Charmain had assured us she would not leave us stranded if we were a little past the deadline.) We were losing daylight by the time we loaded the bags into the shuttle, unloaded them at Alexian's slip #26 and stowed everything. The catamaran's galley did not have as much storage space as we remembered having in past monohulls. Creative use of cabin storage and exterior holds helped us find a place for everything. Happily the refrigerator was bigger than on previous trips.
Sitting on the deck of the Alexian we took a well-deserved breather to enjoy a cup of hot soup and a bowl of popcorn as the light faded. Oh Captain...do you remember where the light switches for the galley are? It would take a few hours to familiarize ourselves with all the spaces, switches and gizmos the boat had.
The navigation chart briefing and final boat check-out were scheduled for 8:00 tomorrow. We agreed on a quick 7:00 breakfast -- cold cereal and fruit -- to be cleaned up and ready in time. As tired as we were, we all decided to walk the .5 km back to the Marina showers and bathrooms, rather than flush waste water into the Marina.
Sleeping on a boat in a Marina can be noisy. We were all too tired to notice noise or motion tonight.