As was the case with the folk song’s author and his grandfather, Elizabeth Jean‘s crew and friends roamed Nassau Town for the better part of a month. During that time, we eschewed “drinking all night and getting into fights.” Instead we savored separate visits with our daughter Beth and friends Bill, Amy and Anna Ferron (and their Nassau-based nephew and niece-in-law Andrew and Emily). Highlights of our Nassau sojourn included Beach Soccer championships, overnight sails to West Bay anchorage with its stunning sun sets, rich history and fine snorkeling, tours of Nassau’s cultural museum and museum of slavery and emancipation, conch fritters, salad, cracked conch and snapper at Bro B’s (under the bridge), and the flamingo parade. In contrast to the Sloop John B‘s crew, Nassau did not leave us “wanting to go home,” but whetted our appetite for further island exploration.
Disney cruise ships lit up the night sky with fireworks during our night passage from Grand Bahama Island to New Providence Island (home to Nassau). This ship’s larger than life mural only hints at the beauty lying under the sea.
FIFA’s regional beach soccer playoffs were in full swing during much of our Nassau stay. Here the U.S. team stands for the pre-game flag ceremony. The U.S. met the Bahamian team in the playoffs. We were a decided minority in the stands. Both teams advanced to the world championships in Nassau at the end of April.
The local fans fervently supported their team.
The flamingos paraded for us at the Adastra Garden, Zoo and Conservation Centre.
After the Revolutionary War, the British Government gave large land grants to British loyalists from the former colonies. This map from the Clifton Beach Heritage area shows these large tracts. The map also shows West Bay, a perfect anchorage when the wind is from any direction other than the west. The Lyford tract is now a beautiful residential area that includes a marina. Andrew and Emily hosted us and the Ferrons for a marvelous dinner in their Lyford Cay home.
These ruins suggest a harsh and primitive existence for the Royalists who fled the colonies with their slaves.
To access Jason de Caires Taylor’s Girl Holding Up the Ocean, our dinghy, Schooner, braved high winds and chop. We secured her to a mooring ball and snorkeled over. The water’s clarity made for excellent snorkeling here and at other West Bay sights. For an account of the statute see:
For a brief history of the “Wreck of the Sloop John B,” first published in 1916 and popularized by Carl Sandburg in 1927 and the Beach Boys, see: