"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruising The Bahamas--Long Island

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Cruising The Bahamas--Long Island

 No, we didn't make a wrong turn and end up in New York. There is a Long Island in the Bahamas. In doing my research before the cruise, I'd found a place that sounded interesting and an excursion, so to speak, that took us there. The excursion was actually a shuttle that you could take to the beach and be provided a chair and an umbrella.

There were actually two beach shuttles offered for the reasonable price of $25 including the chairs and umbrella rental. Gordon's Beach looked like a beautiful protected beach with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The other beach was known for a special water feature called Dean's Blue Hole. There are several blue holes scattered about the world. Blue holes are large marine caverns or sinkholes open to the surface of the water. They are called blue holes because the depth of the water in them creates a dark blue color on the surface. 

Serenity's Cove

We dove in the Great Blue Hole when we were in Belize. Dean's Blue Hole at 663 feet deep is said to be the second largest in the world next to one that is somewhere in China's waters. I wondered how far off shore it would be since the one in Belize was reached by boat. I didn't think it could be too far since it was said you could snorkel over the top of it. 

Promptly at seven in the morning, the ship anchored off the coast of Long Island and the captain happily announced that we would be able to tender a bit more comfortably this day. After breakfast we gathered our snorkel gear, changed into our suits and took a tender into the island. There was a small dock where the tenders unloaded. The ride in was a little choppy but halfway there, the water calmed a bit as we were on the lee side of the island and there was a finger of land that sort of protected the waters as we neared our destination. 

We walked to the end of the dock and there were shuttles waiting for an excursion that went to a cave as well as the blue hole and then a shuttle that just went to each beach. We boarded the one to Dean's. Our driver was quite cordial and informative pointing out the things he was most proud of on his island home. 

When we arrived at the beach, I was relieved to see that our snorkel over the blue hole would not be a long swim. It was actually nestled into a cove along the shore surrounded by small cliffs of rocks that the beach attendant said were great fun to jump off into the blue hole. We passed.

Once established with our chairs and umbrella we ventured into the water. There was quite a surf rolling in around the edge of the cove. We started toward the blue hole with our heads in the water looking at a few fish that skittered away as we swam. I found the surf a little tiring to swim in and once I was close to the blue hole it almost felt as if it was pulling me into the middle of it. I was afraid that once I got in the middle of it, I might not have the stamina to get out against the surf. We returned to the shore and admired it from there while we enjoyed the warm breeze and relaxing on our beach chairs.

We aren't really beach people, love the beach-hate the sand, so after a couple of hours, we were ready to go. I know. Crazy, right? On our way back to the tenders, our driver pointed out some really interesting church architecture but we didn't get a chance to take pictures.

Thankfully the crew that mans the landing area for the tenders at the ship are very practiced and they safely got us off. It's all in the timing when the tender is bouncing up and down. When the tender lifts up, it's alley-oop time and hands help you step onto the ship's landing. 

Silk Restaurant

Lunch, a walk around the Promenade Deck, and we were ready to enjoy tea and the beautiful violin music of Irina Guskova. 

Our dinner this evening was at the Silk specialty restaurant. It is mostly Chinese cuisine but oh so good. Not your Chinese food stuffed into a cardboard take out container. Bob had spring rolls, stir fried beef and brown rice. I had dim sum (the two filled with duck were dreamy good), Mongolian style lamb chops and white rice. The memory makes my mouth water.

Our evening was great entertainment by Bruce Hammond who dedicated the night to Frank Sinatra, "A Salute to Sinatra". He portrayed Frank Sinatra in "The Rat Pack Is Back" as it toured the country. He sang all the great oldies.

Faces a bit warmed from the time in the sun and sleepy from our adventurous day and late night entertainment (we're old) we called it a night and snuggled into our wonderful comfy bed for another good rest. Did I mention that we had a sweet cabin stewardess, Andreia, who kept our room ship shape and fluffed pillow as she remade the bed each day? So appreciated her efficiency and care for us.

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