Christmas in the Bahamas!
December 24th to 26th, 2008
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.
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.
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.