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Views from the water tower
of Nassau Harbor

The "water tower" was originally a lighthouse for the fort below it, then a signal tower, and finally a water tower over which was built an observation deck for tourists to view Nassau and Paradise Island.  The entire harbor is visible with the hotels on Paradise Island in the background . Both of the marinas where we stayed are to the right of the bridge on the main island of Nassau.

After 23 days at the marina, we prepared to depart.  Nassau is a dirty city and we had to scrub the boat of soot and grime.  The international lines for approving credit card charges were down so we were delayed.  Then there was a line at the fuel dock, but finally we got away.  Our course was to the Exuma Cays.  Bob had charted a course across the Yellow Banks, so called because of all the reefs lending it a yellow color.  Our delayed departure resulted in our crossing the banks at high tide (good) but very cloudy skies (bad) so we didn't see any color.  The wind was blowing 20-25 so we reefed the sails for the first time.  Our clean boat was constantly sprayed with saltwater.  We were heeled over so far that the microwave slid and had to be put on the settee.  Other little things were sliding across the cabin.  No damage, only disarray.  We arrived at Allan's Cay in time to find an idyllic anchorage with only 7-8 boats. 

The next morning, two 40-foot power boats, each with four 225 hp engines and 16 tourists aboard motored up to "our" private beach to see the iguanas and practice their snorkeling.  Those boats had made it from Nassau in 1 hour 20 minutes whereas it took us 6 hours at good speed.   

Yes, I said iguanas.  There are a few islands in the Bahamas inhabited by pre-historic-looking large-sized lizards protected by the government.  When you go ashore in your dinghy and land on the beach, the iguanas come to greet you.  This is probably because the aforementioned tour boats feed the iguanas.  Women are cautioned about wearing red toenail polish since the creatures might think the toes are berries and try to eat them.  The iguanas' eyesight is reportedly quite poor and their teeth quite sharp!  Many are six feet long including the tail.

May 4th, a most exquisite day to be on the water--calm to faint breeze, crystal clear water, blue sky, snowy white clouds.  There was not enough wind to sail so we motored.  Last night before the moon appeared, the sky was clear, forming a perfect black backdrop for a zillion stars.  It was so dark that I could not make out the outline of the boat behind us.  When the three-quarter moon began to rise, the silvery moonbeam danced across the water and lit up the night with a pale ghostly light.

The weather was constantly changing along with the sky, wind, clouds, temperature, water depth and color.  The water and most of the islands were flat so you can see for miles.  At night, lightning flashes off in the distance looked as if someone was flickering a light switch off and on.  As the lightning flashed, it illuminated the sky and backlit the clouds between you and it.

Looking through the water to the sandy bottom, you see tufts of grass growing here and there, a 6 foot brown nurse shark lying on the bottom, a huge starfish, a large sting ray. When a hint of a ripple moves across the glassy-smooth water, the sun's rays filter through the water and make patterns on the sand like a reptile's skin.  The beauty of nature is varied. 

From Allan's Cay, we went to Highborne and anchored in front of a brilliant white beach.  One afternoon, Bob went around to all the boats and invited them to meet on the beach around 6:00 p.m.  Several dinghies pulled up with drinks and beach mats and we chatted.  Bob lit a fire and we roasted marshmallows, a new experience for the British couple.

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