An other day in the life: Sailing the Bahamas

The sun is glistening on the water, like thousand diamonds scattered all around. Not one cloud can be seen in the steel blue sky. As far as the eye reaches there is nothing but the wavy blue surface. The wind is pushing us forward, we are making about 4 knots. The sun is beaming down on us as we sit in the cockpit, each sunken deeply in our own thoughts.


In the distance a hazy line emerges. The first land we see in a few hours. It is a welcome site but we both know it will take a long time to reach the secluded islands. We sink back into our thoughts as a seagull starts circling the top of our mast. Sooner as expected we reach the shallows that surround the little collection of islands. Time to turn on the engine and navigate Solitude into the protected bay where we will anchor for the night. With a pair of polarized sunglasses on my face I spot for protruding coral heads on the bow while Dan handles the wheel. The bay is an almost perfect circle of calm water surrounded by a few small islands and strings of rock keeping out the motion of the ocean. A sea turtle peeks his head out of the water lazily and takes a breath as we motor by.


Close to the shore of the biggest looking island we find a sandy patch for our anchor to bite in to. Our anchoring routine is well established by now and before long we are sitting in the cockpit with our ‘anchor down beer’, taking a moment to see if we are not moving and our anchor is well set. Only two other boats are finding protection for the night in this bay.


Dan is rummaging in the cupboard next to the quarter berth looking for his diving mask, weight belt and fins. He takes the pole spear and finds the screw on tip he sharpened the other day. Butt naked with only the gear described above he jumps in the water in search for some dinner.

After the hot day sailing I decide to follow Dan in the cooling clear water to have a look around under the surface. As I am ready to jump in an other turtle surface just a few meters away. I decide to climb down the ladder not to startle the creature. The water is warm but it has a nice refreshing effect all the same. The keel of Solitude is hoovering just a meter above the grassy bottom, unmoved by the salty water. In the dark distance I see the turtle, it seems to fly through the water flapping its wing like legs slowly. I decide to take a closer look and follow it for a bit. I stay at a distance while the turtle notices my presence and looks back at me over its shell. I pass over some coral heads and to my right I see a barracuda looking at me. It must be almost a meter long. Barracudas have something very eerie about them. They just hang there, not moving, looking around with there black beady eyes, teeth glistening in the soft light that penetrates the surface. I swim on keeping a tight eye on the sleek predator until it fades in the distant dark haze of the water. The rest of the snorkeling trip is quite uneventful, lots more sea grass and a few empty conch shells with harvest holes. I guess no conch ceviche  tonight. Back on the boat I see that Dan is still splashing around in the water. I have a quick rinse off with fresh water. Lately I have become apt in the taking of one gallon showers.

Dan comes back empty handed, he chased a snapper for a bit before it went hiding in a rocky hole on one of the islands edges. Pasta for dinner it will be. I boil some water while Dan rinses off. We crack open a bag of wine and look at the stars while we enjoy our delicious spaghetti.



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