Coming into Harbor Island through the Devils Backbone was super exciting (read the previous blog). We loved the Marina we chose. It had a really nice pool overlooking the harbor. The marina was adjacent to a fancier one that we contemplated going to as well. We ended up at Romora’s Marina and it was lovely. Upon arrival, after the dockhands helped us tie lines, they offered us a Gombay Smash (rum punch!) and it was awesome, and only 11 AM! We were hungry and wanted a second drink so we got the bikes down and road over to Valentines Marina to check it out and see if we made a mistake.
They had a more happening bar/restaurant. It’s a larger resort, so lots more people. Seemed like the same amount of boats and docks. We confirmed we made a good choice. Andy went to talk to the dive shop while I ordered us round 2! (And yes I did get smashed after the second one, which lead to a nap! Perfect afternoon!).
When we arrived at the marina, we were asked by the dockhands if we wanted a golf cart. We said no because we had our bikes. We thought we would get one for just a day. We came to realize after our bike ride, no one was riding bikes. We didn’t see any bike rentals. Everyone drives around in golf carts. It was crazy. I expected to see a row of beach cruisers with baskets. Nope!! As we rode people kept saying “nice bikes” like we were some strange weirdos or they had never seen a bike before. It was interesting. There was one steep hill that I had to walk up and, yes I whined!! But it lead to the pink sand beach and it was worth it.
This is by far my favorite place. The town was charming. I loved the English charm and we had some lovely dinners and lunches out. The food on this island was great!! It is ridiculously expensive but the quality was there, so whatever. Easier to swallow.(HAHA!) The picture below is at a restaurant that was incredible. Food was incredible and so was the prices. 2 pieces of tuna sushi was $15!! Seriously? So we ordered, didn’t look at the prices, got what we wanted and drank a bottle of Josh Chardonnay, looked at each other with gratitude that we can have these moments together. Andy is my rockstar!
This was the first town I found little boutique stores with good stuff. I had fun shopping and bought some really authentic things. I lived in my straw hats. A great way to hide my overgrown, sun bleached hair.
The whole Bahamas (almost everyplace we have been) is full of mega yachts and some mega-mega yachts. They all have crews, cooks, staff, dog walkers, guests who fly in and friends. I tried not to form a complex, but wow. We started calling ourselves “Trawler Trash” of course in the most affectionate way. We love our boat and feel super grateful to have it. We also feel happy that it’s performing really well. No hiccups and it rides so smooth. It really is perfect for us and we don’t regret the hassle it took to get it to the East Coast. We are “the little boat that can” amongst these giants. Incredible. Doing the loop will put us with more boats of our size and I am looking forward to that.
The day we arrived we went to enjoy the pool. A small group was chatting and started talking to us right away, asking us questions. “Where are you from? What boat is yours? Where have you been in the Bahamas, etc?” They were so friendly and nice. They were all crew on these big yachts in the marina. Cooks, captains, deckhands. They shared some stories about cruising and working on a boat. They were very nice and I loved the conversation. The hardest thing about this trip has been being lonely. When I have an opportunity to chat, I take it. We are all ships passing in the night. Sometimes we sit on our boat saying Hi to people walking by, sometimes we are just all alone and every once in a while someone stops to chat. When that happens I soak in the conversations and am grateful for the brief encounter.
We walked on the pink sand beaches. Absolutely one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen. The sand was like powder! It was really pink and had flakes of pink coral. Never seen anything like it before. So awesome. Hard to capture just how pink it was.
The Islands are full of Conch. They are piled up in boats, all along the beaches, mounds of shells are everywhere. They have little stands selling Conch salads which is Conch Ceviche. I am not a huge fan. I find it chewy. Now fry it up in a fritter and that’s a different story. We went to a farmers market where a lady was making fritters fresh right on the spot in a little frying pan. They were the best I have ever had and only $2! My biggest mistake was not getting a second order. Andy and I worry about the over fishing of these creatures. It is estimated that by 2035 the demand will kill off the whole species. They take many years to mature and we asked several people if they are starting to see a decline in them. Of course they are!! Just like all fisheries, it’s going to take some regulation and that just isn’t going to happen here. But those fritters were sure good!!
We really enjoyed our time here. After a week it was time to go. Just like the way in, we had to follow a pilot/captain out, just like getting here. The only difference this time was the day we choose, so did everyone else because it was a flat calm day. Lots of boats were departing. The main pilot Lil Woody, had a list of people who wanted his help. Thankfully we called early enough that we were first at 7AM. We were handed his famous carrot cake and told to stay right behind a 150ft mega yacht that he was driving. We stayed as close as was safe and at one point we were maybe 50 yards off the beach. This was so unsettling but we were behind a 150ft boat that would have hit it first! That was slightly comforting! LOL. We got thru the cut and were told we were safe and we headed to Nassau. The ocean was flat glass, as predicted and we had a wonderful crossing back to our favorite Marina! Next about why we are back in Nassau in my next post!