A short jaunt from Miami with arrival in the Bahamas
07.12.2013 - 15.12.2013 81 °F
So what do people remember most about their experiences in the Caribbean? For the Island Girls, so far it has been the food. Day 3 started with fresh pastries and cut fruit delivered to the suite at 7:30 a.m. and since that was not quite enough the ladies, they strolled down to Cagney’s (the private restaurant reserved for suite guests) for a hearty breakfast. Marilynn kept it simple with some eggs over easy, bacon and sausage, whereas Margaretta decided to have the Crab Cakes Benedict. It was at this point, the Island Girls declared they would never eat again…by noon, they were back at it, enjoying fresh Caesar salad and roast beef sandwiches.
The ship pulled into Great Stirrup Cay, an island in the Bahamas at 8:00 a.m. It turns out that Great Stirrup was a pirate hideout while the British settled in Nassau and the larger islands until 1815. This time marks the first documented settlers of Great Stirrup, and many of the structures from this settlement still stand today. Charts of this era show simply "Stirrup's Cay". The island remained active during the American civil war, as the Confederates wished to continue to export cotton to Europe. The island was used as a landfall for provisioning while Federal warships patrolled the area to thwart their efforts. After the abolition of slavery, the British began to slowly withdraw from the out island colonies, and the plantation at Great Stirrup was abandoned.
Great Stirrup is the northern most island in a chain of islands known as the Berry Islands, and is situated in an area along the Northwest Providence Channel. In 1863, the Imperial Lighthouse Service erected the lighthouse on Great Stirrup Cay. The lighthouse site was manned for many years, but it is now timed and solar powered, making it self-sufficient. The structure stands nearly 80 feet, and its light is visible for over 20 miles. During World War II the United States, in an effort to protect its eastern shores, came to the Bahamas and Great Stirrup with a wide array of observational and defensive equipment. Among these were submersible cables, which were run along the ocean floor to listen for enemy submarines. Two "cable houses" still stand on the southeastern shore of the island, also overgrown by jungle. Bellcher Oil Company of Miami staked claim to the north section of the island for many years. Their interests there included real estate speculation, oil exploration, and a possible site for a corporate retreat. In 1977, Norwegian Cruise Line acquired this section from Belcher Oil.
The Island Girls elected not to be tendered to the Great Stirrup Cay and remained on the ship. Marilynn made a few laps on the walking/jogging track and racked up over a mile of exercise. Then she sported her new bathing suit and hit the hot tub. Margaretta, on the other hand decided that reading was more her speed!
The evening was spent with dinner and a show. The ladies got gussied up and strolled down to Teppanyaki, the onboard Japanese steak house. Marilynn had gone too many hours without her shrimp, so both ladies ordered filet mignon and shrimp for entrees. They were enthralled with the antics of the Phillopino chef that was preparing their dinner tableside. The ladies protested that they were full but managed to make it through the four courses and ate some green tea cake and ice cream.
The Island Girls enjoyed their evening at the theater. The show was titled “That’s Entertainment” and was a “tribute” to classic entertainment; from the Golden Age of cinema to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas….moments inspired by Valentino, Sinatra, Busby Berkley and Marilyn Monroe. Ladies were back to the stateroom by 9:00 p.m. and ready for bed!