Traveling the Bahamas by motor yacht or trawler is a little bit of paradise.  But it’s an adventure that requires planning and know-how.  Yes – it can be done by reading books, and equipping your boat with the latest in electronic navigation.  But a little experience with a seasoned captain goes a long way on your first trip.  That’s the approach that Steph and I took as we ventured into this island paradise.  And we found no quicker way than to hitch a ride onboard M/V So Sweet with Barry and Maureen Sikes and there 48′ Offshore motor yacht the week of May 9 through May 16.


barry-maureenFriday, May 9, 2003 – Flew from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale on AirTran, and from Ft. Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor onboard a Cessna 402 eight-passenger twin with Air Sunshine, a journey that started at 7:30am that morning, so we were a bit weary by the time we arrived in Marsh Harbor at approximately 5:00pm.  However, we were quickly revived with a welcome hug and celebratory drink, something Barry & Maureen had discovered from being in the Bahamas, it’s called a Goombay Smash and it was yummy!  We relaxed on the deck of their beautiful 48 ft. Offshore cruiser, sipped our cocktails, and discussed our upcoming cruise, what a way to begin!  We were docked at the Conch Inn Marina, a 75-slip facility with all the amenities.  From there we walked (literally) a few steps to a wonderful little restaurant called Sapodilly’s, where we proceeded to take advantage of the “happy hour” rum drink of the day and some conch fritters which were delicious!  The music began and we enjoyed a delicious meal of grouper with all the fixin’s.  We were walking away from the restaurant admiring a beautiful sunset and suddenly a lady approached us saying we (come now dear, she said me !) looked familiar.  Come to find out, she and her husband (Jim & Laura McFayden) were from Wilmington NC, the same place as our hosts (Barry & Maureen).  What a small world, they were anchored out in the harbor on their 37 ft. sailboat named “DIVA”.  We all chatted and exchanged cards, who knows, we may run into them again during our travels.

Marsh Harbour

Saturday, May 10, 2003 – The day begins with Barry & Maureen taking their final examination for diving certification with NAUI.  Meanwhile, Jim & I explore the island, go the liquor store for more delicious Bahamian rum and then over to the grocery store for a few provisions.  We all rendezvous back on the boat at lunchtime and celebrate another accomplishment … Barry and Maureen passed their test and are certified divers!  They had been diving and studying all week, so they were relieved, excited to be finished, and certified!  Of course, we had to laugh about them being “certifiable” not just certified!  After a lovely lunch of conch salad, we took the dingy to Mermaid reef and saw the most colorful underwater sea life show that I’ve ever seen!  It was so cool, lots of fish, that came right up to us and swam with us as if we were one of them!  What a treat!  Before dinner, Maureen and I shopped around a little and ended up talking with the conch man, whose name is Boo!  We actually saw the process of how he gets the conch meat out of the shell by hitting the shell in just the right spot.  Then he washes it off in a bath of water and lime juice, then trims it up and chops it with tomatoes, onions, green & red peppers, cilantro and a special little spice that was HOT!  All of that is soaked in lime juice and here’s the secret ingredient, orange juice, yum yum!  We ended up eating it for days and coining the phrase, “You can never get enough CONCH”!  That night we ate on the boat, some delicious chicken that Barry cooked on the grill.  It was wonderful, along with the continuation of rum libations!

Continue to part two of our Bahamas Cruise

Photos from Marsh Harbour



Sea skate

Sea skate



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