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Christmas in the Bahamas!

December 24th to 26th, 2008

Christmas eve on Black Diamond.

Christmas eve on Black Diamond.

We spent 3 days in Nassau waiting for a weather window to cross the sea to the Exumas. We ended up spending Christmas anchored just out side of Parrot Cay Club a restuarant frequented by all the cruisers that are anchored just in the channel between Nassau and Paradise Island.

Kids wrote notes to Santa, and wondered how he would find us.

Kids wrote notes to Santa, and wondered how he would find us.

Santa landed on the deck last night, and climbed down the hatch!

Santa landed on the deck last night, and climbed down the hatch!

They were very excited. The presents did come from the true north!

They were very excited. The presents did come from the true north!

Alex's note to Santa said he wanted an "Airplane with Fire coming out of it!"

Alex’s note to Santa said he wanted an “Airplane with Fire coming out of it!”

Thaoms did not waste any time getting into his gifts.

Thaoms did not waste any time getting into his gifts.

What more than one gift from the Bahama Santa?

What more than one gift from the Bahama Santa?

Not enough sailing on this trip, Thomas needed a model sail boat!

Not enough sailing on this trip, Thomas needed a model sail boat!

So we decided to explore Nassau and the Cruise ship terminals. We did a little grocery shopping, bought some distilled water for the batteries, and a new fire extinguisher to replace the one we used up. We also visited most of the marinas on the main land side of Nassau looking for a possible place to leave Black Diamond for a few months while we head back to Toronto. We found some places charging from 40 cents to 50 cents a foot per day. That would be about $600 US per month, reasonable for the Bahamas. However we did not feel safe leaving it here on the main strip. Anyone can just walk on up to the docks, and Nassau is the only place in the Bahamas that we did not feel 100% safe. We also talk to other cruisers that had their dinghies and motor stolen while they slept on their boats. We brought in our motor and chained our dinghy to Black Diamond every night. In Nassau we also chained it up, if we were to leave it on a town dock while we went shopping. This however is not necessary any where else in the Bahamas. Overall we felt very safe and comfortable everywhere else in the Bahamas and maybe we over reacted on the side of caution in Nassau, but better safe than sorry.

Downtown Nassau, just before Junkanoo Parade.

Downtown Nassau, just before the Junkanoo Parade.

Junkanoo Costume.

Junkanoo Costume.

Cool costume.

Cool costume.

Guitars made of old pop cans.

Guitars made of old pop cans.

Junkanoo is a famous parade that is held throughout much of the Bahamas a few times a year. Usually on Boxing Day and New Years day. The largest Junkanoo festival is held in Nassau. The locals spent a whole year working on and building these costumes and floats. Then they show them off in the parade. The Junkanoo tradition dates back to the days of the slaves according to one gentlemen that we met in Georgetown Exuma. The slaves would often only get one day off a year, either New Years day or Christmas Day. So throughout the year in the evening they would work on costumes that came from their African heritage, and on that one day off, they would celebrate and dance in the streets with their traditional costumes.

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at er@radonicrodgers.com

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