Monday, December 20, 2010


Wednesday—Atlantis  -- Imagine, if you can, your desire to see Disneyland/ World as a kid….imagine your awe…imagine experiencing the same thing as an adult-- x 10! That was how Atlantis struck us.  We kept sayingWOW, OMG, this place is beautiful, it is over the top, it is AWESOME!!!!
At anchor in Nassau, Jean-François had advised us that for the price of a marina stay at Atlantis, everyone on board gets full access to the attractions. This makes the minimum $4/foot and  40’ minimum a bargain if you have a boatful.  So with Harry and Carol on board as crew, we sailed into the marina which is a man-made cut to the interior of the island.  We were met by Captain Arthur, the dockmaster, at slip #9, who assisted us with tying up at their sturdy concrete pier.  Besides the ram-shackle dingy dock offered gratis at the Green Parrot, floating docks seem rare, even where the tidal range would make it a no-brainer.
The utility station for each boat offers a selection of electric amperages, cable TV, Telephone, metered water and free pump out.  Wireless is available for $14.99 for 24 hours and was the quickest we’ve found so far. The trip from the Marina to the dock master’s office and from the office to the attractions is a long one, we were actually in the “low-rent district,” but Arthur and his golf cart chauffer service is only a VHF call away on channel 09. Actually we preferred to dingy to the attractions, as it gave us a rare chance to motor under the cascading nautilus fountains and through an arched passageway few get to travel.
We walked past Murray’s Deli and Marina’s Pizza, two of twenty six food purveyors around the grounds.   NOBU, Mesa Grill, Café Martinique and Dune are at the top of the food chain. Entering the main hotel tower building through a palm fringed balustrade piazza we got maps and guides to the grounds.  We were also offered an opportunity to listen to a 90 minute time-share presentation and earn $125. Unfortunately the last chance today was starting now, and you couldn’t participate on the day you were leaving.  Alas and alack, maybe next time.
We headed for the “Lazy River” ride which took us alongside a shallow pool of nurse sharks. Unfortunately the River was out of season till Christmas so around we went and through the Casino towards the “Aquaventure “water park. Like so much here, the walk through the casino is awesome, featuring several massive Art-Glass works by Dale Chihuly .  Here we are in another domed lobby more ornate and larger scaled than the last with columns reaching a series of mythic Greek / Phoenician tableaux of the lost civilization.
 A winding marble staircase leads down to series of underwater views of the ruins of that fabled culture complete with 50,000 living sea creatures.  A dimly lit passage to the right, “The Dig” is the archeologist’s field camp and museum of purported finds. These include artifacts and artifictions of great imagination, linking the civilizations of the past with possible travelers from other worlds.  As a big science fiction and science fantasy fan, I was in heaven, or at least in Paradise.   Many of these artifacts were underwater and feature some of the more exotic living creatures from local waters juxtaposed with statues, obelisks, stele, gratings, masonry, amphorae etc, & etc.
Then, there’s the water park, writ LARGE. The Mayan Temple was first, featuring four different slide attractions. The four of us took turns taking pictures and being in pictures.  First the “Challenge” features twin slides from the top of the temple. Judy and I raced to the bottom, and the timer indicated a clear win for me.  The “Leap of Faith” is a single nearly vertical drop from the top of the tower.  This slide’s cousin in Dubai was featured in “The Amazing Race” where it ended the race for one team whose partner “chickened out.” At the bottom of the drop, you slide through a tank of sharks,(although you are in a separate tube) and are deposited in a smoking rush of water to the egress.
At this point, Judy hollered and shrieked.  She had stepped on a bee.  The bee’s stinger was in Judy’s toe and the bee was dead. At this point the bee felt nothing but Judy was in agony.  She held its lifeless body in her fingers so it could be identified.  A Killer Bee perhaps?  An associate arrived with a wheel chair and Judy was on her way to the Nurses Station where she was cared for by Bahamian royalty.  Princess Knowles RN fixed Judy up almost good as new except for slight swelling and residual discomfort.  The associate told the Princess that Judy was keeping the bee to give it a decent burial. Since we had to get our dry clothes out of the locker by 5 PM, there was not a moment to lose so up on her feet and let’s find “the Rapids.”
The Current and The Rapids are a combined mile long float ride featuring waves, rapids, chutes, steam and lifts.  It winds its way through the park with beaches and chaises along the way.  You can pick up or leave a single or double tube and enter and exit where you wish, or go around and around and around. When Carol and Harry returned from their tour, it was getting chilly in our damp suits and we were ready to leave.   We will have to return to go to the Power Tower where there are 4 or 5 more exciting slides and the Dolphin Cay where we will have live interaction with Dolphins.
At the end of a lovely day, we dinked back to Bentaña and then all four of us hopped into a taxi and went to the Otterbein’s for a lovely dinner that Carol prepared for us.  And we had real, live looooonnnnnggggg SHOWERS with hot water !!!!

Slip 9, Capt. Arthur awaiting us

Birds gotta swim, fish gotta fly....

Ready, set, ....


Leap of Faith...looks straight down, right?  Well, it almost is!

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