New Year’s Eve Junkanoo
We arrived in Nassau on New Year’s Eve around 2pm. It was a lovely sail from the Berry Islands. The waters were calm and just enough wind to help us sail at about 5 or 6 knots. We had tried fishing while we were at anchor and it was not working out so we decided to fish while we were sailing. Shawn got out the pole and put on a silver spinner, not too long after he put it in the water he got a bite. After a little bit of a fight he reeled a skipjack tuna just to the edge of the boat but when he gaffed it the gaff extended on him and the fish fell off. Oh so close. Shawn and Stephen decided to try again, this time they changed to a squid type spinner and in a few minutes it worked! They reeled in an landed a 4 foot Dorado. Luckily it was a smooth sail underway and it was relatively easy for Shawn and Steve to process their catch. It was even easier for all of us to enjoy it for dinner later that evening.
After dinner all of us took a nap so we could get up later that evening to enjoy the New Year’s Eve Festivities. At midnight the fireworks began. We definitely had a front row seat to the action they were all around where we were anchored. Shawn, Natasha, Jaxson, and I left the boat at around 2a.m. to head into Nassau to see the Junkanoo parades. Junkanoo is a National Festival in the Bahamas, in Nassau the first “rush” as the parade is known, is on Boxing Day (December 26th) and second occurs on New Year’s Day starting in the very early morning. Junkanoo is very competitive and the marchers vie to produce the best performance and costumes. All the costumes were elaborately decorated with bright colors, gemstones, glitter, and feathers. We were especially amazed to learn that some of the larger costumes weigh up to 200 lbs and a single person carries them through the parade. We stayed for a few hours watching and listening to the rhythms and vibes of the parade. We sampled some local food as well. Natasha had some macaroni pie and I some conch fritters. Jaxson and Shawn didn’t experiment too much as they shared a hotdog.
The next morning (not too early) we all headed in to Nassau for some exploring. Stephen and Natasha went in one direction for internet access and Shawn, Jax and I headed out to find the Pirates of Nassau Museum for Jaxson. As it turned out the Pirate Museum was closed but Junkanoo was still going on so we got to see more of the parades. Jaxson was also very happy we passed a Dunkin Donuts and he got a treat. Our next stop was Fort Fincastle and The Queen’s Staircase. The Fort was built in 1793 to guard the island from invaders but was never used. The Queen’s Staircase was carved by slaves from solid limestone and was very interesting to see. We walked to the top of the Fort and found a small bar where we stopped and I had a Bahama Mama. Like they say “When in Rome”. Then we headed down the Queen’s Staircase and back to the boat, we had walked enough for one day.