T'was a quiet Christmas in the Sunrise Marina on Lucaya. We
weren't short of company by any means with three other visiting boats close
at hand. One was a Prout Snowgoose Catamaran with two South Africans onboard
about to set off on an unenviable delivery trip up to Bermuda, across to
the Azores and down the coast of Africa to Sierra Leone. That's a route
that in winter would hold little appeal to most cruisers - and you can count us
amongst them. A single hander living on a tiny 22 ft long Hirondelle Catamaran
and the German couple on the steel boat that had gone aground in the
entrance channel when entering the Marina. They were not up for
socializing - in fact we hardly saw them from the moment they arrived until our
departure. So it was everyone for themselves Christmas day with just a nod,
a wave or a 'Happy Christmas' whenever we saw each other. Not that we
minded as we are quite happy with our own company.
Our Christmas dinner comprised faux turkey, roast potatoes,
yams, cabbage and gravy. We were perhaps short of a few vegetables and some of
the trimmings compared to a Christmas dinner back home, but then Bahamian
supermarkets don't have all of those veggie choices. However, the 'Admiral'
cooked up a great meal and we enjoyed the day which was rounded off by slabs of
fruit cake purchased in Florida.
Gourmet, meatless & delicious & serves
five - He
Look's like one of Inspector Clouseau's bombs or a bowling
The 'Admiral' carves that bowling
......and our Christmas meal is on the plate -
Christmas Eve we had borrowed a couple of bikes from the
marina and cycled off in the direction of Freeport. About a mile and a half
away. As with bikes we have borrowed from American Marinas these had no brakes
on the handlebars. If you need to stop then you have to remember to peddle
backwards which activates a braking system in the rear hub. Not really
dangerous as long as you remember to do exactly that when you need to stop. If
you forget then life gets exciting when viewed from the saddle. It's fine on the
level but any sort of downward incline presents problems in getting enough
backwards leverage to stop the machine!
And we're off! Not too much traffic on this
wait for me!!
A quick walk around the International Bazaar, which had been
architecturally constructed with a theme of giving visitors a flavour
of numerous cultures, Chinese, Italian etc but which doesn't quite work in
our humble opinion perhaps mainly because the tourists don't seem to visit in
The 'Chinese' area of the International market
and this is the err, um - not quite sure about this
Then a visit to the liquor store for some much needed
provisions (rum, of course) and then it was off to the tourist area of
Lucaya via one of the busiest roads on Grand Bahama. The road system in the
Bahamas is one of colonial British influence of driving on the left but with
most cars now being shipped in from the USA being left hand drive everything
seems the wrong way round, although technically it would seem safer for cyclists
because the driver would be nearest the nearside (if that makes sense). But we
still felt rather vulnerable on the busy dual carriageway and often veered off
onto the grass verge when the traffic noise from behind seemed uncomfortably
close. We were relieved to get onto a quieter stretch of road near the tourist
area of Lucaya. This resort is near the Grand Lucayan Waterway, a man-made canal
system designed to be similar to Florida where houses line a network of canals
with a main canal artery cutting across the island onto the banks the
other side. This dream was never to realise its full potential or anything like
it. The canals are still there and there has been some development over the
years but one short-sighted aspect of the design was that the only bridge over
the canal linking the ocean side to the banks was a mere 28 ft high - too low
for yachts and many powerboats to transit.
After a walk round the waterfront we treated ourselves to a
shared plate of fish n' chips and two beers before cycling back to the marina
along a much safer route - the beach! It cut off about 6 miles of cycling with
less risk to our lives!
They certainly celebrate Christmas in Grand Bahama
and you can still call home from a traditional call
box. Can't keep
him away from cats
The tourist part of Lucaya could almost be in the
Mediterranean - high rise hotels, fountains, bars and restaurants and full of
visitors from passing cruise ships who are 'deposited' in the hope that they
will spend loads of money within the few hours they have available.
Time to go home - I think this
is my bike............
....or is this
We finished the afternoon as we did most
afternoons whilst in Lucaya - 'Skip' thrashing the 'Admiral'
at table tennis courtesy of the marina facilities.
No traffic here - just miles of beach
with warm waters lapping the shore - somewhat warmer than the marina
The marina at Sunrise - recently re-named from it's previous
title 'Running Mon Marina' has seen better days but has undergone much
improvement. The office staff were very welcoming but from pictures on the walls
depicting the marina full of megayachts and sports fishing boats it had
indeed fallen on harder times but was fighting back under new ownership. We
enjoyed our stay and were glad of it's protection when a vicious frontal system
swept through over the Christmas period which left much of the east coast USA
under snow for the first time since records began. But with a lull in the
weather and a chance to head east and southwards it was time to move on to
Eleuthera. The African bound Prout left at the same time with two 50 gallon
drums of diesel strapped precariously onto the rear deck, anticipating a lot of
motoring to come on the Bermuda leg of their voyage. We wished them luck. They
were welcome to that trip! They headed north - we headed south.