The name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish word, “BAJAMAR” – meaning “shallow sea”.* There are over 700 islands here, spread over nearly 300,000 sq km in the western Atlantic Ocean. Much of the water is so shallow it is impassable and even deep water is remarkably clear as glass.
With our first two weeks in the Bahamas behind us, we feel relaxed and into the groove of island life (in the above photo, the kids are exploring Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay). The pace is slow here and pretty much everything you do depends on the weather.
Playing checkers in the aft cockpit.
Hopetown Harbor “Upper Dock”. We take a dinghy across the harbor to get to any stores. Markets are extremely limited in quantity and variety, so you smile and make do with less – a wonderful lesson in frugality.
When the wind is low, we venture out to find sweet anchor spots to snorkel, paddle or read. We swim, fish and enjoy our time together as a family.
When the wind is up and a northerly is blowing through, we pull into a protected harbor and plug in until it passes.
The beaches are beautiful on Elbow Cay and easily accessible. Above the kids play around after picking up trash at dusk.
School is going well! In addition to our regular studies in World History, Language Arts, Classic Literature and Math, we are finding ample opportunities to add-on some other relevant subjects. First of all, April is National Poetry month, so we are reading and discussing poetry daily. What more magical place to read and discuss poetry, than a beautiful island in the middle of the Ocean?
Our Science program has kicked into high gear, as the natural environs here invite daily discussions on weather, sand, movement of sharks, manatee and other local fish/mammals.
The stars are amazing, we can study them in the darkest night sky without a glow of distraction.
We take empty trash bags to the beaches nearly every day and even on the prettiest beaches we can fill a bag or two with trash, plastic and debris that has come in with the tides. It is a great feeling to do our part as Global Citizen Scientists! (see more at www.rozaliaproject.org)
The manatee come by to visit, looking for fresh water and easy camaradie. This allows us to study them more closely. Though we often saw them in FL, the water is so completely clear here, that we can really get to know our large friends. This one’s name is “Randy”.
Our movement on the boat is determined by the tides, so the kids keep a daily tide chart, tracking high/low tides, sunrise/sunset and phases of the moon. The kids are also making fish and bird “Field Guides” which are proving to be helpful!
To live aboard, means to be aware.
We play in the water as much as possible in whatever form makes us happy!
Our simple life here is an experience we will never forget. We have two more weeks in quiet island paradise before we start heading back to the states.
*For more cool fun-facts about the Bahamas and its rich history, see www.bahamas.co.uk/about-the-bahamas/facts/history.