At 3:30 AM the doors opened…

Life is full of adventures, some more planned than others…

So I landed in Nassau, Bahamas, and went through “immigration”. Next came a 14 hour layover until my 7ish AM flight on to where the boat is located… “Immigration” asked me where I was staying, and I said I was waiting for my morning flight. They “suggested” I visit the information desk and ask about somewhere to be for the night as they thought the airport would likely be closed at some point (but didn’t say just when…)

So “information” suggested a $25 taxi ride to a Casino… The B$ is pegged to the $US and they are used more or less interchangeably. OK… At the Baha Mar Casino, I spent some time just walking around. I was clearly way out of place. Old White Guy in a safari hat, rubber sandals aka Boat Shoes, and carrying a backpack and rain jacket (because sometimes it rains on a boat…). Most folks from the Fru Fru Moneyed Class. Women in sprayed on knits over tits. Men in Polo Shirts that never ever saw a horse, but dripping money and attitude. So, OK, it’s a “destination” I guess.

Dinner was $195 after tip and all at a Chinese restaurant where everything was “price per” and low end was $24… so appetizer, noodle dish, main dish, wine, water (yes, a bottle of water…) etc.

At the “Sports Bar” it was $18.xx for a whiskey rocks, or an Irish Coffee, or maybe everything….

At about $300 I decided it was costing me too much per hour to “wait”, and took a taxi back to the airport. At about midnight, it was CLOSED. Doors not opening. So the Taxi Lady, Madeline?, took me to a random bar somewhere. Unwnd? Something like that. They had incredibly LOUD music going on, so I sat out on the patio for free (instead of having Yet Another Security Wand waved over me to be allowed in to the Cool Place for a deaf drink…

At about 2:30 AM, they started closing down. The manager came out an talked to me. (The Door Guard had said I could maybe buy a beer later, and now that it was later I was informed the bar was closed…) but the manager was a nice guy to talk to. He promoted the Bahamas in general and was open to my just sitting waiting for morning. After about 10 minutes of talking, and my asking once again about buying a beer, he got me one for free. Like I said, nice guy….

So as everyone was leaving and I was about to be sitting in the middle of God Only Knows Where, I called the Taxi Lady again… In about 10 minutes I was picked up and taken back to the airport. At about 3 AM, I was sitting on a bench outside a dead empty airport terminal. We’re talking NO cars moving. NO people. No security guy asking me why I was sitting there. Dead Quiet. And nice…

At about 3:20 AM a couple of very small mosquitoes showed up. I HATE mosquitoes. I probably got bit… or I’m having phantom itches on my hand… but I began to wonder: CAN I MAKE IT another 2 hours sitting here with mosquitoes? Was this a mistake. How would my life end? Would anyone notice a dead hulk drained of blood?

The the airport doors cycled open at 3:30 AM. Clearly some kind of timer as no person was seen anywhere….

I quickly entered.

It was AC Cold, not snuggly warm and humid like outside. But no mosquito.

I’ve been sitting about 1 hour now. In about another 1/2 hour the counter may open and I can check in. One other person arrived about 1/2 hour ago. Some kind of security or set-up person walked by about 45 minutes ago. Mostly it is just dead empty.

But it isn’t costing me $40 / hour for drinks or snacks ;-)

In about 3 or 4 hours I ought to be at The Boat. Then I’ll get to sleep.

For some strange reason, much of my life seems to be defined by sleep deprivation intervals. Oh Well…

At least the way over priced Chinese Dinner was good…

More when I can… and when I have slept a bit…

Just do NOT expect the main Bahamas airport to be open all night…

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Human Interest. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to At 3:30 AM the doors opened…

  1. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – at those prices, looks like it’s a playground for the very rich. Hopefully once you’re on the boat the cost per hour goes down by a lot.

    Still, makes you wonder where the locals go for a drink.

  2. Foyle says:

    Local business/hotels/politicians will always work to make it difficult or impossible for people to overnight in airports – to force expenditure at hotels etc. Local interests>>>transient visitors

  3. DonM says:

    What was the blackjack min bet.

    Sit there, get free drinks (or coffee), bet min, standard play, and loose less than 0.5% of your total bets.

    (but maybe that would have cost you even more….)

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Don M:

    I don’t know.

    When casinos made it a crime to use your brain, I quit betting anything in them.

    I was not a hard core card counter; only enough to know when the bias was a little in my favor (just count “10 cards” vs “others” as a running total).

    But they made it a criminal offence to look at cards and remember. So “no thanks”.

    Yes, I would often break even and occasionally make money; but still most of the time it just let me play longer before losing my small “betting stake”. Now they no longer get that money.

  5. The True Nolan says:

    Times have changed.

    Back in 1970 I was stuck in an airport in a medium sized city in Illinois. I had been on a cross-country college course/camping trip and showed up at the airport with a backpack, a sleeping bag, and just a few dollars in my pocket. I had expected a prepaid plane ticket to fly me to my brother’s home town. Oooops! No ticket in the system! They finally found the ticket just as my flight lifted off the ground. No other flights until the next day, and back in 1970, the airlines did NOT provide a room if they fouled up your trip. I found some seats and expected to just sleep there overnight, but about 10:00PM I was informed that they were closing for the night. “I don’t have anywhere to go. Can I stay here overnight?” “Yeah, but just be aware, we lock the doors, so you’ll be locked in till morning.” “No problem!” I spread my sleeping bag out on the floor, had a good night’s sleep, absolutely alone in the entire airport. I woke up the next morning when the cleaning lady was vacuuming around me.

  6. Josh from sedona says:

    It is always fun to hear about your little adventures.
    Hopefully you have a good time on the boat, I’ll drink a toast to you.. el Viento y Los mares ciguentes!
    Pardon the hatchet job, but the sentiment is the wind and the seas following

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    They might have let me stay in the airport. I didn’t try. OTOH, there was nobody in it when I got back, so I might have been put on the street anyway. Figured a bar sounded better than an airport seat ;-)


    Well, today we finally got those good winds.

    After 2 days of overcast, too windy, and sporadic rain: this morning was blue skies, puffy white clouds, and fair winds. Enough to get 5 knots out of the boat, but not so much that it was hazardous getting away from the dock.

    Tonight is interesting… After a day at a beach & bar; we took the dingy back to the boat and settled in. Right now, at midnight, it’s a 20+ mile an hour wind riding at anchor. A bit of rocking and some howl to it!

    I’ve got that slight tingle from just a little too much sun; but no burn (yet?)…

    We’ve gone from Marsh Harbor to Great Guana Cay:

    Great Guana Cay is an islet in The Bahamas. It is a long, narrow islet, 7 miles (11 km) long. It is in the centre of the Abaco Islands and is near Gumelemi Cay. It is about 8 miles from Marsh Harbour. Approximately 150 people live on the island, mostly along the five and a half mile long stretch of beach.

    Florida Friend bought a Hot Spot, so as long as we can see a Cell Tower, we have internet! (Which means most likely I’ll only be out of range when we cross the Gulf Stream in a few days).

    Nippers bar & grill was closed for Tuesday, so we went to Grabber’s on the beach instead. Nippers overlooks the Atlantic from a hill top. Big waves on the Atlantic side. A very short walk back to the other side had nearly flat water where we are anchored.

    Grabbers has added a Lamb Slider to their menu. If you get a chance to try one, they are GREAT. Though they are slider diameter (about 2.5 / 3 inches) the patty is thick and juicy. I’d guess it starts out 1/2 inch and shrinks just a little in cooking. I don’t know exactly what spices they put on it, but the flavor is wonderful. It has pickles on it, and I’m not fond of pickles on burgers, but they worked very well. Just the right amount of acid added to the umami of the lamb, along with some kind of mild pepper (not sure if it was green pepper or what) and “other stuff”. More flavorful than the usual bland burger, but not so much spice as to be too hot or too overwhelming of the meat. Three on a platter made dinner (despite them being called an appetizer).

    Of the two local beers, I like Sands the best. Kalik beer is OK too, and a lot of folks were drinking them, but I just liked Sands a bit more. Both are lager type.

    Can’t say anything about hotels on the island, transport to it, or really much else; as we just sailed up, anchored, and took the dingy in to the dock. Grabbers is right there on the beach and then it’s about a 1/4 mile walk to Nippers (but don’t go on Tuesday when they close to clean… go Sunday for the party day ;-)

    Google Maps says is is 350 M.,+Great+Guana+Cay/MV9R%2B6CP+Nippers+Beach+Bar+%26+Grill,+Great+Guana+Cay/@26.6674559,-77.1132412,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x89237eafe06f2bad:0x5768f6bb256ac009!2m2!1d-77.1131739!2d26.6664953!1m5!1m1!1s0x89237eaeefb407d5:0x6ef92711b77a5644!2m2!1d-77.1089312!2d26.6680935

    Unfortunately, when we got back to the boat, I conked out at about sundown (a day on the water hauling on lines can do that to you ;-)

    But that means 5 hours later I’m awake at midnight…

    Tomorrow we start early on a run to the next island. Not sure which one it is. Maybe Turtle something… I was told, but since I’m not navigating … We’re supposed to snorkel and bottom scrape a little there. The boat has grown a bit of chin spinach while sailing around for a few months ;-)

    Well, I’m going to try sleeping again…

  8. Keith Macdonald says:

    Hoping you find out where the locals eat. Not the tourist traps.

  9. Josh from Sedona says:

    IDK if you would be able to find a hardware store auto parts store in your travels but I would highly recommend a suction cup dent puller

  10. Josh from Sedona says:

    Every Voyage needs a soundtrack

  11. Jeff says:

    Here’s another CSN (&Y), “The Lee Shore” (from “Four Way Street”)… sounds like they’re singing about where you are (or at least nearby)… Glad to see that you escaped the snow-covered “land of perpetual drought” :)

  12. Keith Macdonald says:

    Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends (a little way along the Gulf Stream from where EM is now)

    Come, all you no hopers,
    You jokers and rogues
    We’re on the road to nowhere,
    Let’s find out where it goes
    It might be a ladder to the stars, who knows
    Come, all you no hopers,
    You jokers and rogues.

    Leave all your furrows in the fields where they lie
    Your factories and offices;
    Kiss them all goodbye
    Have a little faith in the dream maker in the sky

    There’s glory in believing him
    And it’s all in the beholder’s eye.

    Turn off your engines and slow down your wheels
    Suddenly your master plan loses its appeal
    Everybody knows that this reality’s not real
    So raise a glass to all things past and celebrate how good it feels.

    Awash on the sea of our own vanity
    We should rejoice in our individuality
    Though it’s gale force, let’s steer a course for sanity

  13. Keith Macdonald says:

    Keep Hauling (could be nominated as a Musings theme song)

    When love just seems so far away
    (Keep hauling, keep hauling)
    The tide will flood your heart someday
    (Keep hauling boys)

    When your guiding star’s in the cloudy sky
    (Keep hauling, keep hauling)
    You’ll find your way to the bright sunrise
    (Keep hauling boys)

    Keep hauling, ho!
    Rouse and raise your voice
    Hold your course and don’t let go
    Keep hauling boys

    If you gave your best and your heart stayed true
    (Keep hauling, keep hauling)
    There’s only one thing left to do
    (Keep hauling boys)

    If you fought so hard and you lost your hold
    (Keep hauling, keep hauling)
    Remember fate rewards the bold
    (Keep hauling boys)

    Keep hauling, ho!
    Rouse and raise your voice
    Hold your course and don’t let go
    Keep hauling boys

    Whatever your ship and wherever your sea
    (Keep hauling, keep hauling)
    Whatevеr your storm or your rocks may be
    (Keep hauling boys)

    Keep hauling, ho!
    Rouse and raise your voicе
    Hold your course and don’t let go
    Keep hauling boys

    Keep hauling, ho!
    Rouse and raise your voice
    Hold your course and don’t let go
    Keep hauling boys

  14. Port Issac is where ‘Doc Martin’ was filmed which I think you get over in the States

  15. H.R. says:

    @Tony B – Yup. We got it here Stateside. We absolutely loved the Doc Martin series. It had an amazing run of 20 years. The final episode was shown just a couple of months ago.

    @E.M. – Maybe you and Florida Friend should hoist the Jolly Roger. You know… pick up some spare change to pay for the trip ;o)

  16. beng135 says:

    I’m sure you know, tourist spots are designed to suck every cent from you anyway it can (monetary vampires?). Big cities are the same.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    Just a quick note that after 3 days of no cell service so no internet, we are now once again docked in Florida.

    F.F. & I are now Blue Water Sailors. We’ve done a “passage” and a blue water crossing of the Gulf Stream. Two “over 70’s” (well, one almost over…) all alone in the big ocean for a week. About 5 days in the Bahama Basin, then a fast dash across the Gulf Stream (11 or so hours… starting about 4 AM, so some in the dark…). Then a couple of days getting back to home port.

    All is well. I’m a bit sunburned but otherwise fine.

    More “Trip Report” when I’m well slept and not wondering what all those muscles are you use on a pitching boat ;-)

  18. Ossqss says:

    @EM, Nice!

    Things are quite different in the summer months.

    Perhaps a new Maths version of this song is in order?

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    The clothes are in the washroom. I’m showered and had a real dinner. I’m home, in a comfy chair, with a TV (Celtic Thunder – Home From The Sea ;-)

    Even sort of caught up on sleep. Trip report and more when it sinks in and the land no longer feels like it is moving in the swells…

  20. Josh from Sedona says:

    LOL, it can be tough to get your land legs back. I think the longest I’ve gone without making landfalls about 19 days, definitely had to readjust

  21. cdquarles says:

    Which is a neuronal level adjustment in your inner ears, mostly. That’s why it takes time to adjust both ways. It’s akin to your eyes adjusting to the actual light levels (and visual pigments) in your retina. Boy did I notice it when I had my cataracts removed. You can think, crudely, of it being a subtraction.

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