Journey to Great Harbor Cay, Bahamas – March 5-15th, 2019

We made our journey from Bimini to Great Harbour Cay, which was at one time a remote hideaway for the privileged. In the day, Hollywood celebrities came to this idyllic environment to dance the night away, and play on the beautiful beaches and golf courses. On the island of the sun, Cary Grant, Brigitte Bardot, Jack Nicklaus are just a few of the famous that entered into the world of make believe when the weather turned cold. Jack Nicklaus still comes to the island, and he was here while we enjoyed this retreat of tranquility in his boat, “Sea Bear”.

65′ “Red Head” that was once owned by Billy Joel, and “Sea Bear” 112′ owned by Jack Nicklaus.

The Bahamas is made up of seven hundred islands and cays. This tiny section is called the Berry Islands. Great Harbour Cay is the largest. Unlike some of the islands, Harbour Cay does not have to depend on rainwater collected to survive. It has an ample supply of fresh water. The golf courses and clubs are now rundown and dilapidated, but the pristine beaches still remain, although empty. The 18 hole championship golf course is covered in weeds, but this is still very much a paradise in the sun to find tranquility and experience the mystical energy of the Bahamas

The Tamboo Club was originally developed as a marketing
vehicle to attract the rich and famous. It is still here,
but is now closed.

The clubhouse once offered sweeping panoramic views of the island to dance the night away.

Beach Treasures – Shelling Beach

We headed out on our bikes to Shelling Beach. We wanted to make sure we were there for low tide to catch the shallow sand flats to cross to Hawks Nest Cay. We rode up hills in the hot sun until we reached a dirt road. We rode this sandy path to solitude. The locals call this beach, “Sand Dollar Beach”, and that it was. It was really amazing destination where I collected many fabulous treasures. We waded through the clear, pristine waters collecting sand dollars on our way to Hawks Nest. Hawks Nest was an island completely untouched waiting to be explored. We found many conchs, sand dollars and sea biscuits along our journey as we explored one of the most prettiest places, I have seen in a long time. We were careful to take only the dead creatures. Live sand dollars do not look like perfectly white shells. They are much darker almost brown. The white sand dollars are their skeletons, called tests. If you pluck a live one out of the surf look at your fingers. If they are yellow put him back. He is still alive.

We explored the numerous sandy coves as we strolled the beach, and climbed up the rocks to enjoy the spectacular view.

We stumbled on a grotto, which was absolutely breathtaking. The journey was a playground for those that want to see what the wonders of this earth can still render.

Along with this natural cave that would have been flooded during high tide, we found sea biscuits, which have similar five-way symmetry to their cousin, the sand dollar. They are very similar, but larger and more oblong and rounded than their cousins, the sand dollar.

Shark Creek

We took the WaveRunner through Shark Creek during high tide. It is a tidal flow running through the mangroves south of Great Harbour Cay. As it connects the ocean to the banks, it is a magnet for the juvenile fish and other species like rays, sea turtles and sharks. We spotted several rays and small aquatic fish as we travelled through this narrow passage, but no sharks. 🙂

We stopped and did some snorkeling. After enjoying the clear blue waters, we continue on our journey seeing a fishing trawler that rests on a slight starboard tilt. The vessel is still completely intact. Further along our journey, we observed a drug plane wreck from the 70’s. I guess at one time there was a pretty sophisticated drug operation on the island. The history of the island is filled with stories of drug runners. We stopped to look at the corroding reminder of paradise’s brief sinister past. The sunken plane was supposedly shot down by by the DEA near Cistern Cay.

Sunken Plane
Wing of the Plane

Manatees

The manatees came to the marina on a regular basis to drink water from a hose. They either used their two front flippers to grasp onto the pier while they drank the water, or floated on their back with their mouth hanging open to catch the lovely fresh water. I guess they can survive for long periods of time without fresh water, but seek out fresh water, which they need to survive. The manatees that we had observed had many battle wounds from boat propellers. These notches and nicks are a sad thing to observe on these gentle, but curious majestic creatures.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on our last night as a local Bahamian prepared for us a delicious meal for $10.00. Chuck was brave enough to try the Peas and Rice, which is a staple for the Bahamians. This dish has been on all of the restaurant menus in the Bahamas. Until now, we had not been brave enough to try it. The peas were brown in appearance, so naturally I thought that this is not a pea. This delicious nutty flavoured pea was actually a pigeon pea. You can eat the pea like a fresh green pea, or dry it. Drying it gives it a delicious nutty flavour just like a bean. Yum! It was good! The marina was a great place to stay. The locals made you feel very welcome, as we tried out many new dishes from fried fish to conch salad. It was a stunning island with its solitude and pristine aquamarine water. A great stop to escape from the tourist crowd.

North Bimini Island, Bahamas – February 28 – March 4, 2019

We left Port Everglades, FL at 8:00 a.m. to cruise to North Bimini, which is the closest Bahamian island to the United States. The air temperature was 70 degrees and the water temperature was 78. Our destination was Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina located in Alice Town on North Bimini Island. We were were so excited about the blue, blue water, and how clear it was. In this gorgeous blue water there were lots of tropical fish, stingrays, starfish, and to our surprise sharks. They were Bull sharks. The species most blamed for attacks on humans. They were up to eight feet long or more. Bimini Islands, which is located 50 miles from Miami is recognized as Shark Central. During our stay the Bulls swam around in the clear turquoise water prowling between the weathered pilings of the docks looking for something to eat. I did not want to slip in and be that dinner for those majestic creatures slowing grazing the slips.

A Walk Along the Beach

Hemingway

Bimini gained and has maintained the reputation as Hemingway’s favorite escape. Making this gorgeous island his home, and the fish his neigbours. His years spent angling throughout the island gave him the knowledge and the passion to write “The Old Man and The Sea”.

Snorkeling

We spent the weekend snorkeling the beautiful turquoise waters. We took the WaveRunner out to the bluff off of North Bimini where we checked out Bimini Road on our first day. Submerged beneath the crystal blue water lies fifteen hundred feet of stones that lie in an orderly fashion. It is believed that this road system of stones was part of the road system of the Lost Continent of Atlantis. The next day, we checked out Turtle Rocks. Here we seen so many Conch Shells. We also captured many beautiful photos of a stingray. Our next stop was the shipwreck of the Sapona. It is a rusted concrete-hulled shipwreck that sits high out of the water. During a hurricane in 1926, she ran aground. The water was quite rough, so getting back on the WaverRunner was a bit of a challenge. I dumped Chuck and our gear into the water a couple of times.

A Star is Born

Tucked inside Mara’s womb, we got to see our first glimpse of Malcolm through a live 3D ultrasound video. What an amazing thing to experience! Our adorable, new grandson will soon peer through those brand new eyes at what will be such a strange new world after life in Mara’s womb.

Key Largo to Port Everglades, FL – January 31, 2019

We departed Key Largo at 7:00 a.m., our destination was Port Everglades, FL.  We traveled as Earth’s star rose on the horizon, spreading her tangerine hues across the sky as it drifted in.  Above the tangerine mountains a chorus of grey streaks across the sky.  I smile as I watch the fiery ball of fire slowly rise up filling the sky with its mighty colours of red, orange and yellow.  It was mesmerizing to watch as the colours bled like fire into the skyline.  A breathtaking display of colours.  The air temperature was 70 degrees F, and the water temp 67 degrees F.  as we headed to Marina Bay Marina.  It is day 44 of our travel day on the water.

Perched high on stilts in Biscayne Bay as the sun blazes down, we pass by the seven remaining houses with shuttered windows.  They remain silent.  The only residents are the few cormorants sunbathing their wings.  The houses of Stiltsville are a part of the connection of Old Florida and the earlier more colourful times in Miami.  The houses are perched on sand flats a mile offshore from the Cape Florida lighthouse.  All boxes and triangles, the pastel buildings were originally built for gambling, which was apparently legal if located at least one mile offshore. As we made our way towards Miami, I photograph these legends.  At one time there were 27 of these beauties, but as the years have rolled past, only seven remain.


Land Legs – February 1 to February 19th

We enjoyed many sunsets from the balcony of our first resort.  The orange gold stretched far and wide, even on land. It was a battle cry to the gathering of night.  The colours are hidden with the black night, but we awoke each morning to a glorious new day filled with new adventure.  It was a calling card for adventure.  Adventures that brought smiles to our faces.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

The Lizard Hunt

He was utterly still at first.  Warming itself while waiting for it prey.  Spiky crested like a miniature dinosaur, resting in the tall grass.  Tiny splayed toes, big frog like eyes, and in a blink of an eye he disappears in the river.

Juvenile Green Iguana
Repairing Flat Tire After Iguana Hunt

Flamingo Gardens

It was a great place to visit birds and animals that have been rescued. We walked through birds hanging around mingling with their own and other species. Turtles lazily walking amidst the birds. A Florida Panther, a gator, and yes, the pink flamingo. A great way to spend the day enjoying our land legs, and photographing these amazing birds and animals. These pictures are our time machine, a way to glance back in time. If we had taken a different path, maybe the pictures would have been different. But, these pictures are our conduits of our memories. As time passes and the memories pass, I will flip through them with wistful affection of the past.

Train Ride to Miami Boat Show
Miami from inside the train.
Miami Boat Show

Pompano Beach, Fl

Each morning, we awoke to the gorgeous hues of colours as the sun kissed the still twilight, reflecting off the calm not yet awoken ocean. The soft rays brought warmth to a new day as the colours stretched their orange hues as the first slither of the sun peeked over the skyline. It was a beautiful way to start each morning.

Iguanas in the Mangroves

Green Heron

Kite Surfing – View From Our Balcony

It is good to be back on the Journeyer.