Cruising with family in the Exumas
Mika, Eric and Axelia arrives at the docks at Yacht Heaven Marina in Nassau on December 13. We have waited and talked about this moment for months.
Axelia, 9 months old, immediately steals our hearts, quick to smile and with blue eyes shifting with the color of the sea, from light blue to turquoise to cobalt. A constant stream of vowels and consonants in different combinations flow out of our grandchild: baba-bane-nema-maba punctuated by a loud happy shriek.
She has focus and determination and a canny ability to connect with people. She looks you right in the eye and grins her toothless, mischievous grin. When boats pass close by or when one of us arrives or departs she loves to wave, and will do a double arm wave when she gets extra excited. It is irresistible and impossible not to respond.
Axelia loves the dingy, incidentally, named Axelia. The dingy, a nine and a half foot hard bottom takes us from Miraj to land and to snorkeling sites. Axelia wears her neon green life jacket without protests and hoots with joy when the dingy takes off, the faster the better.
Her favorite are shallow beaches with fine sand. She loves to eat sand and sit close to the shore and splash the water with her hand. We have an umbrella set up on the beach for shade and she wears an UV suit.
We slowly work our way southeast down the Exuma Cays. The Cays are flat and low-lying, limestone formation, lined by occasional sandy beaches. Some are privately owned but may are uninhabited, a 15 mile stretch is part of the Exhuma land and sea park. It is rarely more than a two hour sail to get from one anchorage to the next, and it is easy leisurely days, as the weather stays settled.
For Christmas we are anchored behind Wild Tamarind Cay in the Pipe Creek area. Cays of all sizes and shapes are scattered around us. The water is shallow and emerald green. We dive a few reefs and Bill spears a big lobster in one of the cuts. We get back to the boat as the sun sets and eat grilled lobster and chicken for dinner.
For New Years we are anchored off Staniel Cay. There are more sailboats and mega yachts around us that we have seen for a long time. The local yacht club organizes a number of events for the holidays, a pirate party, a new years regatta, and a chance to race on a traditional Bahamian sloops. It is a chance for sailors and locals to mix and have fun.
2017 has been an eventful year for our family and we are grateful to be together for the Holidays.
We wish you a Happy New Year!
Ninni, Bill, Mika, Eric and Axelia