This morning we wandered around the Port Lucaya marketplace, getting our bearings, then stopped at a local joint for breakfast. I asked our server for a recommendation of a local favorite, and without hesitation she suggested the tuna and grits. How could I say no?
It was excellent. The tuna was mixed with onions and a spicy sauce and was bursting with eye-opening flavor, and the grits were creamy and spicy, all at the same time. Add in a delightful dining companion, a hot sun, sunglasses, reggae and steel drum music pumping from the sound system, and the sea tang heavy in the air, and it took all of my willpower to refrain from washing it down with an ice-cold bottle of Sands.
When we pulled into the lagoons at Port Lucaya, Freeport, to dock last night, the sun was sinking, the air was cooling, and the water was smooth as glass and a mirror to the sky.
In Port Lucaya, on Grand Bahama Island, we welcomed in 2012 with a beach bonfire, fireworks, and very cool hot air balloons.
Happy New Year!
Nightfall comes early on Grand Bahama Island. This photo was taken about 20 minutes ago from the beach in front of our friends’ place, as the beach walkers and shell gatherers were getting ready to pack it in for the evening.
Exactly what shade of blue is the water around Grand Bahama Island, anyway? Of course, the water color changes as you move from deeper water to spots closer to the shoreline. But as you reach the shallow depths near the beach, the water becomes an inexpressibly beautiful shade of blue. Is it azure? Cyan? Aquamarine? Turquoise seems to fit best, but then again a word can’t really capture the sunlight glinting on the water, the different shades created as the waves move past, and glimpses of the ocean bottom appear through the crystal clear water.
The area around Freeport, Grand Bahama, is honeycombed with canals. It’s not quite Venice or Amsterdam, but the canals make for some beautiful vistas — and have turned out to be an inspired development decision.
The canals were built years ago. The canals increased the amount of waterfront property the developers of Grand Bahama Island could offer to potential residents and businesses and also provided more secure places for boat storage.
The areas along the canals are now dotted with harbors and marinas, and the white and masted boats provide an attractive scene for waterside bars and restaurants. If you follow the labyrinth of canals farther inland, you will find lovely waterside homes with the inevitable family boat bobbing nearby.
The presence of the canals also seems to have drawn a lot of development to the area along the canals, as opposed to along the oceanfront. One surprising thing about a visit to Freeport and Grand Bahama is how much of oceanfront property is completely unspoiled — and untouched by tourists. To some degree, the outlet for development provided by the canals no doubt has relieved the pressure for building on the beach. As a result, vast areas have been left in their natural state, and you can cruise in a boat along the shore for miles without seeing any structure along the beachfront.
We are down in the Bahamas, visiting friends near Freeport. Today it was a lovely day, with blue skies and temperatures in the high 70s. We went out in our friends’ boat for a cruise and some idle hours in the sunshine, and the marina where our friends dock their boat was a beautiful scene.