Dec 19, 2019
Turquoise blue waters, sunny skies with nary a cloud and unrelieved sunshine on pristine white beaches is quintessential Caribbean, right? At least that is the tale told by travel brochures, ably augmented by all tourists, travelers and residents alike.
Well, not quite. Call it climate change, call it the perversity of mother nature or anything else you like, it was to the tune of gray skies and an oppressive humidity that I landed in Nassau. I wasn’t exactly complaining; it had been minus 7C when I left New York so I was more than happy not to turn into instant roast. Bahamas may not quite fit my usual travel destinations, but this venue was chosen as a long-awaited get-together for family and friends and I am perfectly happy to loll around, chat and catch up, have cocktails at all hours, gorge on food to a ridiculous degree and generally hang loose. I have no complaints. Ah, the Bahamas; it feels great.
Dec 20, 2019
Spatters of rain but hey, no worries. We’re waiting on the rest of the gang to arrive and devouring good food. Who can complain?
Dec 22, 2019
The gang have arrived as have angry clouds. We head out to Harbor Islands under gray skies. The usual end point requires travel through a strait aptly called Devil’s Back. Bad weather, they tell us, so the ferry will dock at Spanish Wells instead. I am all for the extra adventure of a transfer to a water taxi followed by a ride across the island in a minivan and then another hop across the water to another boat. Most traffic on the island are golf carts that trundle through the narrow paved roads and we arrive at the house perched on one.
The clouds continue to darken, and the wind gods are in total agreement. But we don’t care as belly laughs punctuate all conversations. It has been years since we all got together, and spirits run high. This is shaping up to be a grand idea.
Dec 23, 2019
The house rented for a few days is beautiful and well appointed. The restaurants are good and the seafood is so fresh it literally jumps off the plates. But the deluge that started has all the fury of the monsoons. We are cooped up inside, the beach a washout. But boisterous meals cooked in the kitchen followed by board games are still fun.
Suddenly though the lights go off as it gets dark. In the well-appointed house are a few battery-powered candles but every appliance is electric. The stove, microwave, dishwasher, even the water pump – all run on electricity. Oh well, we think; there are frequent power outages and it’ll be back soon enough.
Dec 24, 2019
Apparently not, since there is still no power and while some restaurants have generators, most don’t. Long lines with virtually everyone else in the same situation are a lesson in the art of patience. But hey, the sun is making a valiant attempt and those elusive turquoise colors of the ocean become a reality. We troop out to the beach. It is a tad chilly but not bad.
Dec 25, 2019
Still no power and we are beginning to chafe. The wee bit of sun has disappeared, and the monsoon is back. The batteries on the candles are running low and phones and all devices are just about dead. There are no candles to be had for love or money on the island. Rumors run rife about the cause of the outage. Prominent among them is that the underwater power cable was damaged by a boat. There are no power stations on these islands, and nothing can be done until a new generator can be brought in by boat. Don’t hold your breath is the advice we get.
Dec 26, 2019
After a couple of finicky attempts, the power is finally back on. Word is that we may have to do the same boat-van-boat run to get to the ferry if the weather worsens. But the winds die down and the sun is out in all its glory. We head down the harbor in the golf cart. Sunshine drenches the island as we head back to Nassau.