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MailBoat New G, bound for San Salvador, and other cargo ships large and small, loads while passengers wait. The Mega-resort Atlantis looks on.

“We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.”

submarines! With the drumbeat of the Beatles’ song in our heads, how could three “children of the 60s” resist? We returned the next day for our rides in the tiny vessels, ridden like a motorcycle with a small electric motor and air forced into an open-to-the-water head bubble to allow normal breathing inside. We donned wet suits, climbed into our little yellow boats, and descended to a maximum of 20 feet, a depth maintained by a tether to a float. We were in the first of two groups and I was given the honor of handling the fish food to attract some underwater life, although we were already surrounded by hundreds of


December 2017


Winterhaven Long Island Home

colored fish, which apparently knew the routine. Unfortunately, when I let loose of the sumptuous feast, some of it floated up inside my bubble, soon visited by several yellow fins anxious for a meal. I couldn’t get them to leave my bubble, and unknown to me, I received several dorsal-fin-inflicted lacerations and was streaming blood down my face as I surfaced about 20 minutes later. Needless-to-say, I made a BIG impression on the second group of submariners waiting their turn! After a great weekend, we returned to Potters Cay to catch the M/V Moxey’s Monday departure to South Andros Island. MailBoat travel rule one: Written schedules are approximate. Moxey wouldn’t leave until Tuesday! Homeless, we looked for alternatives and had two; relatively near-by Georgetown in the Exumas and Long Island, way down south. We opted for Long Island aboard the Sea Wind, captained by, you might guess, Captain Moxey, a nephew. The MailBoat world, it seems, is a family affair. Dave and Phil, my two companions and fraternity brothers for a half century, suffered a bit on the 19-hour open water ride to Long Island. I slept like a baby—an advantage of a quarter century in the US Navy and a lifetime of small boat cruising. We arrived in the early morning and found a glorious rural Bahamian Island. We were met by Bernard at the ferry dock, our ride to the Winterhaven Hotel in Clarence Town, a family run beach jewel with about 8 rooms, the Rowdy Boys Bar and Grill, and friendly people. We loved it and began to explore the island. You can hike many of the out islands, but not this one. Barely a mile wide in many spots, we rented a car to tour this 80 mile-long island, split by the Tropic of Cancer in the north. Noted for its varied topography, including dramatic cliffs and caves on the east coast and broad sandy beaches on the lee west side, our island hikes and excursions took on a differing character depending on terrain. The biggest Long Island hit was Dean’s Blue Hole, where the aquamarine water of the near shore gives way at its center to the deep blue color of the open ocean. It’s the world’s second deepest blue hole, plunging almost 700 feet with circular stone walls to the ocean floor. Noted as the world’s best place for free dives, the current “free immersion dive” record (wetsuit and no fins) is 394 feet, set in 2010 by Austrian Herbert Nitsch. The “ultra-free immersion dive” record (no fins or wetsuit—and sometimes called “skinny dipping”) was established during our visit! If you

Profile for SOUTHWINDS Magazine

Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...