The Bahamas is a very popular destination with Florida boaters due to its close proximity and excellent diving and sport-fishing, and in recent years, resort accommodations for tourists have been popping up throughout the islands. We started our Bahamas experience with a taste of the resort life, which seemed so cushy by our recent standards. Tied up to the dock at the Ocean Reef Resort in Freeport, it was a short walk to the showers, laundry facilities, pool, and restaurant. I especially enjoyed meeting new people at the pool and winning the poker game on Friday night.

Later that night, we went to the airport to meet Dallas’ brother Tim, sister-in-law Heather, and their kids, Jackson (5) and Harper (3). Dallas saw them when he was back in the States last year, but I hadn’t seen them in over two years and was amazed at how the kids had grown. It has been so much fun to be around them – it brings out the kid in me (not so hard to do, I suppose). However, I was quickly reminded that I’m not so young anymore when I strained my back picking the kids up to get them on and off the boat.

DSC_0479 Climbing around the boat like a jungle gym

Saturday we all piled into the dinghy and motored out of the channel to a nearby reef to do some snorkeling in the crystal clear water. There were quite a few small fish there along with a stingray. Jackson made it into the water but is afraid of sharks and thus is working up to the main event of putting his face in the water. On the way back, stopped at the lovely white sand beach for some shell collecting and purchased several filets of a white, flaky fish that we can’t recall the name of from a local fisherman. I heeded his advice and marinated the filets in lime juice before pan-frying them in olive oil with garlic and thyme, and the result was delish.

PICT0360 Found a big one

DSC_0483 Fresh fish chez Pura Vida

We spent more time in the pool on Sunday before sailing to Port Lucaya, just an hour away. On the way out of the channel, Jackson spied a spotted-eagle ray, after which Dallas gave him the wheel and helped him to steer us toward our destination. He’s going to have a lot to talk about when he returns to school.

It’s hard to believe, but the last time we plugged into shore power was in Panama two years ago (with the exception of a few times in NZ when we ran power tools or the sewing machine). However, since we are back in a marina now and have guests on board, we thought we’d plug in and see if the air conditioning still worked. Once Dallas rigged up a homemade 30 amp adaptor, we were in business and have been basking in the cool air.

Adjacent to us on the dock here is a 46’ Privilege catamaran. The owners are a family of five from Quebec who are in the early stages of cruising. Last night Dallas went to see them give them his cruising tutorial while we hosted a play date for the kids on ours. It was fun to watch the kids of different ages, backgrounds, and cultures interacting so easily, and Harper, the up-and-coming social butterfly, was a great hostess. (“Does anyone want a cookie or an apple?” “I know where the potty is.”)

Tonight we are planning to sail 60 miles to Bimini to the very beach where Tim proposed to Heather…