A Day on a Catamaran near Paradise Island, Bahamas

When I first saw the catamaran approaching the dock where I waited with my fellow excursion goers, a wave of nausea hit me. I had spent the last day and a half on a big cruise ship on some fairly choppy seas and was beginning to question my sanity. Did I really want to climb aboard a boat that was much, much smaller than the 2,000 plus capacity of the Norwegian Sky and would most likely be tossed about the waves like a cork? As a precaution, I was wearing my sea bands and so far I had only had a small seasick reaction on the cruise ship. That required a bit of Gravol and ginger ale to get over but I wasn’t doing too badly.  But still, this was the first day I could stand on ground that didn’t sway beneath my feet.  And yet, if I could just convince myself to get on that boat, with a bunch of strangers who were all as excited about snorkelling as I had been from the moment I booked this trip over a year ago, I knew a great adventure awaited me. Taking a deep breath, I stepped onto the deck and immediately went below to get out of the hot sun and set down my beach bag so I could pull out my camera. This was the trip of a lifetime and I was going to catch as much of it on ‘film’ as I could.

After a false start, where we had to change boats due to an issue with the engine on The Seahorse, we boarded The Seahorse II and were on our way. From the moment we began to move, the waves no longer mattered. If you’ve never been on a catamaran, you wouldn’t know that they not only run by sails but also have a motor. I was so grateful that the captain decided to take us the whole way to the reef by using the motor. It was like sailing on glass because we cut through the waves like a hot knife through butter. An incredible feeling of freedom and joy filled my soul as I crawled up on the deck at the front of the ship. I inhaled the sea air and my skin soaked up the heat and vitamin D from the Bahamian sun. Everywhere I looked I saw turquoise water swirled into dark blue water. I saw palm trees, white sand nearly as white as snow and beautiful homes lining the beaches. Most of the homes had terracotta roofs and one even had palm trees in front and all around. It reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of the homes in California that are right on the beach. I think I may have to visit California someday.

As I stood on the deck, I became braver and stopped holding onto the railing. As we went along on our thirty minute trip to the reef, I discovered that I could walk right out into the middle and get the best shots. And so I did. At one point, bursting with the joy of seeing so much beauty and having my dream of seeing The Bahamas finally come true, I threw out my arms and let the wind catch my clothes. At this point, surrounded by strangers, I didn’t care what anyone thought. I was almost humming by this point.  An all encompassing peace filled me as I stood on the deck of that catamaran, headed off to what turned out to be a wonderful reef with amazing fish. Over and over in my heart I said, “Thank you, Lord! You’ve made such beauty! Thank you for letting me be here to see it!”

I asked one of our tour guides how he handles living in such a wonderful place and he just smiled. I’m sure he has gotten used to it, having lived in The Bahamas his whole life. He didn’t seem jaded though and said that he really enjoys running these tours year round. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there. Yes, it was hot, but with the ocean right there, you would often have the ability to cool off.

I would tell anyone who has the opportunity to get on a catamaran, see the islands of The Bahamas and go snorkelling, to do it. I get seasick sometimes and yet I was fine on this trip. The air was so hot, that even though the water was cold when we arrived at the reef, I soon got used to it. I discovered that as well when we went to Great Stirrup Cay on our last full day of our cruise. The air was plenty hot, so that, even with the water being colder than expected, I was happy to go in.

On our way back to the marina after a wonderful hour of snorkelling, our captain took us around the other side of Paradise Island. At one point I saw two flying fish way off on the distance and a small island with a grass thatched hotel and a lighthouse. Everywhere I looked I could see gorgeous dark blue water mixed with turquoise water. It was certainly a sight to behold. For pictures of my trip, see my cruise entry here. Next, I’ll be writing about my amazing day in the water at Great Stirrup Cay. So, stay tuned!

Keep dreaming and never give up!

Amy McGuire

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About Author Amy McGuire

Author of The Heart's Discovery, a YA Romance novel set mostly in British Columbia with a brief foray into Quito, Ecuador. Also the mother of a bubbly second grade redhead who adores turquoise, and wife to a very patient man. She lives in Toronto, the inspiration for so many of her place names and characters.
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