Day 4 – Snorkeling in Nassau
Our day in Nassau started out a little rough. We were late getting into port because of the bad weather, plus the aforementioned weather was still clearing out (but at least it was clearing up for us). Artie and I missed our morning snorkeling trip and we weren’t even sure there would be an afternoon trip on account of the windy day and choppy sea. But, the four of us got off the ship with skies that threatened to rain again and walked through Downtown Nassau. We weren’t very impressed with it. It was very crowded, busy, dingy and everyone was ready to sell us their wares. We walked through the Straw Market where women tried luring us into their stalls so that they could ply us with hats, jewelry, shirts…anything and then bargain with you even as you’re backing away and saying no. We ended up finding a nearby beach where we watched snorkelers use metal detect just offshore. Then we headed back so that Artie and I could catch the bus that would take us to our snorkeling adventure while Scott and Nicole went off to explore Atlantis.
We booked the trip outside of the cruise, and they picked us up in a decent bus (air-conditioned and upholstered, even) for the 40 minute drive across the island to Stuart Cove’s. The ride was nice since it took us outside the city and we enjoyed getting a glimpse of the quieter, prettier interior. We got on the water and once we were out of the cove we realized how choppy the water was. We sped right along, getting soaked from the spray of the wake. But, we were all going to be wet anyway, I guess. We got to our first stop (of three) just off this small barren island. I’m not sure what I expected, but it didn’t look like much. We got our flippers, weighted vest, mask and snorkel on and hopped in. We were really excited, especially after wondering if we’d even be able to go, and were thrilled when we got in the water and found we were above a coral reef teeming with fish! We swam around for a bit and then Artie tried swimming down to the bottom to grab a handful of sand. It was harder than it looked and it took him several attempts before he brought me a handful. After a half hour or so, we started getting tired. The water was really choppy and since we spent most of our time floating on the surface, we had been thrown about. I likened it to being in the agitation cycle of my washing machine.
Once we all got on board, we headed to a second coral reef. I think we both agreed that the first stop had more interesting plants and fish. We spent another 20-30 minutes in the water before we headed to our last stop – the feeding of the sharks. By now, some of our co-passengers were getting seasick. More and more stayed on board, several circled around and sharing a giant waste basket. I started to feel queasy and was tired of being tossed around in the water and chose to stay on board while Artie hopped in for a third time. This time, everyone was instructed to stay near the boat along a line off the back. They lowered a weighted box of chum to the bottom and then the snorkelers could watch the sharks feeding below. Artie got a few pictures with our crappy disposables and said that it was awesome as the sharks came within feet of the divers. We could see them swimming near the surface from the boat as well. Very cool.
Luckily, we were fairly close to our start point, so it was a quick, yet wet and bumpy ride back. We were happy to be on land and be able to get dry. They drove us back to port.
Back on board, we showered and made it to dinner. We had drinks after dinner, then Artie and I stayed up late to join the ship’s “Block Party”. We did a lot of people watching and had lots of fun exploring the ship in the dark. We ate Mexican food at midnight (maybe not the best idea) and then headed to bed.