We made it. A beautiful sail for five hours or so. Bikini sightings on the front deck. Showers on the aft. Banana bread was baked and bilges were cleaned.
There’s been a new slightly annoying problem. The bilge pump keeps starting up every few hours. Annoying because it sounds like all hell is about to break loose with the accompanying siren (It sounds like the boat is about to sink). I thought I’d found the problem yesterday after fixing a slow leak at one of the water maker pumps. Today, the bilge pump starts up again. Arrg. In the process of manually mopping the bilge I find that the hose has broken off the pump. It’s simply circulating fish tank water. There are no fish in this bilge.
We’re about to enter Nassau harbour. Guide book says to request permission from the Nassau harbour control. Ok. No problem. I can do that. I get on the radio. “Nassau Harbour control. Nassau Harbour control. This is the sailing catamaran Maravilha.” They quickly reply. “Switch to zero nine”. “Roger. Switching to zero nine”. I’m a pro at this radio operation I think to myself. They doubt they can tell I’m a rookie. I start up again – “Requesting permission to enter Nassau harbour from the west end.” And then all goes to hell…they respond in quick bursts. “Where are you coming from?…..Where are you staying in Nassau?…What is your regsitration number?” I yell to Ashley in between bursts on the radio. “I don’t know our registration number!” “What was that last bay we were anchored in?” I scramble to dig it out of the registration papers from the bookshelf down below. I finally give answers to all. Feels like I’ve tied up that channel for five long minutes. After a long pause, they respond: “Permission granted. Please proceed with caution.” Yeah, these kids need as much precaution as possible.
We tie up to the dock and I get on the phone. “Do you have a head bat car for Z-spar mast rigging?” I figure someone in Nassau must have some spare parts to permanently fix our mainsail. “We don’t carry spare parts.” I call the next place. This time I simplify the question. “Do you carry spare parts for mast rigging?” The gal cheekily responds with “Try Florida.” I call a few more and simplify the question even further before giving up. There are no spare parts for mast rigging in Nassau.
We buy new fins (forgot ours at home). I work at Starbucks for a couple days. We go to a carnival and eat Conch. Tomorrow we leave for the Exumas. We’re excited to start our trip. It feels like we’ve been waiting to get there for a long time. Tomorrow we go cruising.