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Swing Set

Aug 28, 201308:34 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

We Wrap Up Our Bahamas Trip in Luxury

(page 3 of 3)

Atlantis had slips. We went from paying $1 per foot by staying at a dump to staying at the $3.50 per foot per night luxury of Atlantis. Rosie had called the harbor office, and she asked about a slip and was in turn asked if we wanted to pay $3.50 per foot, or $4.50 per foot. Gee, what’s the answer to that? Um....we’ll take the three fifty per foot slip, thank you very much. We were directed to slip 25.

As we pulled into the harbor basin within the shadow of the gigantic Atlantis Hotel and Casino, I soon saw our slip, which was adjacent to a megayacht called Gallilee, which had a big center console tender laying in the slip next to it, making our slip even narrower than it was. A nice attendant had come down to the dock, and I had expressed some reservation about backing into such narrow quarters, especially with the wind that wanted to drive us into the multimillion dollar yacht.

He asked if we wanted to have them move the tender, and said that I didn’t care about hitting the tender, I was concerned about hitting the yacht! He and the present Gallilee yacht crew got a kick out of that, but I swung Swing Set around and backed her into the narrow slip in a fine fashion. On the other side of the slip finger sat another huge yacht. We were in a canyon, but safely tied up.

The dock attendant took me to the harbor office in his cart, where I filled in paperwork for our night's stay. Including Key West, this marina is the finest facility that we have stayed in yet, impressive in all respects, including the price.

We had a quick lunch and then took a walk through the resort. The place is the Disneyland of the Bahamas. The water park is enormous, and the beaches and pools were lined with vacationers, many of them from foreign countries. The last time we walked over this property was in the early 1980s. Back then, it was scrub trees and secluded beaches. There are some old concrete structures that bracket one of the beaches here that we remembered from back when this property was part of the Paradise Island Hotel and Casino. We took some pictures around those abandoned structures long ago. I didn't take pictures of them today, and can't show you the ones from back then. We had a great time people watching while we sipped on $7 Bud Lights.

While engaged in such activity, we got a call from the Galleon in Key West. They had a spot for us for the end of October if we wanted it. Our present agreement with A&B marina was going to get us in there on October 1, but we had to vacate the slip on the 18th for 10 days. Fantasy Fest in Key West is a busy time. We thought we might be able to stay in the A&B slip if there was a cancellation, but I called Mark, the harbormaster at A&B, and told him  we had a slip next door at the Galleon if we needed it. He said that nothing was shaking loose on his end, and he said we better take the sure bet. I called the Galleon back and secured a slip with a deposit. The price is high, but now we don’t have to worry about getting an anchorage in the unfriendly Key West Harbor and taking the dinghy to and from the boat to see our friends and engage in the Fantasy Fest activities. We’ll return to A&B on October 28 and stay until at least December 1. We have a plan!

Last night, we had a snacky type dinner at the Bimini Road restaurant in the Marina Village at the resort. Conch salad was part of an appetizer plate that we shared, something we avoid at the beach and roadside stands due to the fact that those places are downright filthy and the conch is not cooked. We had a nice time there, but Rosie got sick anyway. The conch apparently is no match for my innards; I didn’t get sick, but we’ll avoid conch salad in the future.

I checked the weather this morning and decided that the best day to make the jump to the Berry Islands will be tomorrow, with the biggest transit of our current travels over to Bimini to be made on Friday, so I took Holly on a morning walk and popped into the marina office and extended our expensive stay for another day. We’re plugged in the air conditioning and are getting very, very spoiled.

Some tropical depression is forming in the Atlantic Ocean, so we’ll keep an eye on it, but we’ll be in Bimini, or maybe even Miami, before it affects us, and that’s even if it develops into something significant.

We’ll check out Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove on our way down the Keys, to see if it would be a place to stay for the winter. But really, it’s hard to think past December of this year. One thing that must be addressed is our generator, but even more importantly, our main engines are overheating when pressed. We’d like that issue resolved before any of our friends visit from up north, as we hope to get in a few “cocktail cruises” with them when they visit and have no engine problems when we do so.

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