s/y Nine of Cups
Bahamas - Turks & Caicos
Winter 2002
We left Charleston, SC (at last!) on 17 January, 2002  and headed to West Palm Beach, FL on the "outside" via a short anchorage in St.
Augustine. The passages were calm and cold, however each degree south brought warmer breezes and dreams of shorts, t-shirts and barefeet.
Our perception of the Bahamas prior to cruising in the Berries and the Abacos in 2001 had been limited to Freeport and Nassau.  Actually
there are over 700 islands covering 100,000 square miles with a total population of 305,000. We visited several of them, but still only a small
portion of all the islands as we travelled south.
Nassau Harbour is large and beautiful.  
We anchored just off Club Med across
from Prince George Wharf.  The photo
above, taken from atop the Water
Tower, shows the beauty of the harbour
with the Atlantis theme hotel in the
Both of us enjoyed seeing the iguanas in
Allan's Cay, Exumas.  Though we were a
bit timid at first, we found them curious, but
not very aggressive.  Any sudden move or
loud noise on our part sent them scurrying.  
They are an endangered species and only
live on islands not inhabited by other
animals.  These are about the size of Jelly.
The Exumas Land and Sea Park is part of
the Bahamas National Trust which works
to protect natural and historical resources
in the Bahamas.  No fishing, shelling or
conching is allowed. This is a view from
the headquarters.
In return for volunteer work within the park, we were
allowed to anchor for free.  After providing resumes of
our engineering, marketing and management
backgrounds, they found tasks for which we were
qualified - David on the rock pile and Marcie babysitting.
We visited several cays on our trek south through
the Exumas.  Each island seemed to have its own
charm, especially Staniel Cay pictured above.  This
picturesque cay was the location for many of the
scenes in the movies Splash and Thunderball.
We left the Bahamas and headed for the
Turks and Caicos Islands. Our favorite stop
here was Grand Turk Island.  Pictured left is
the Grand Turk Lighthouse, which was cast
in iron in England and transported and
reassembled in 1852 overlooking Northeast

The Bermudian Saltrakers were the first to
commercially produce salt in the Turks and
Caicos by evaporating sea water in a series
of salinas or salt ponds.  Since then, salt
played an important part of the economy until
the 1960's.  The salinas still occupy a huge
area in Grand Turk and Salt Cay, and are
reminders of this history.  Pictured right are
the remains of a windmill used to pump water
between salinas.
Every island has its own unique species of
lizards or anoles.  The two males pictured here
are indigenous to Grand Turks and are fighting
over territory.  They extend the area beneath
the mouth, called dewlaps, to appear bigger
and more ferocious.
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Come with us to the Domican Republic
Bahama's Berry and Abacos island groups (2001)
Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Capital: Nassau  
Area: 13,940 sq km,  slightly smaller than Connecticut
Population: 305,655
Currency: Bahamian dollar (but US $ gladly accepted)
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean, 0m
Highest point: Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m
Languages: English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher Columbus first set foot
in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands
began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining
independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through
tourism and international banking and investment management.
Nassau - 25.05 N / 77.21W
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