Working weekend: Highborne Cay Marina, Exumas

in Bahamas / Life at Sea / Working Abroad
highborne cay marina docks bahamas

Saying the W-word to a cruiser is like holding a cross up to a vampire.

Which is why I try not to mention it too often. I’ve learned othing scatters cruisers from a friendly happy hour conversation quicker than talk of w-w-work.

But, for us, it’s a necessity. Sometimes we’ll be at an anchorage, lolling happily on the hook in view of a white sand beach, swimming to shore, snorkeling and driving our dinghy up to other boats to invite fellow cruisers to Hideaway for sundowners…

…and then sometimes we’ll disappear to a marina where there’s internet and a phone connection (usually timed when the weather is also acting up), leaving our cruising friends to wonder where we’ve gone and if they’ve said something to offend us.

The answer is we’ve gone to work. And it’s always a little stressful, trying to face down hundreds of unattended emails in an Inbox and trying to make contact with the “outside world” when the very tall BaTelCo tower you’re staring at doesn’t actually provide a phone connection.

But, this is our reality. We’ve gone from a life of 100% work and 10% play to a life of 100% play and 10% work. I know, though math is not my strong point, that’s 110% either way. But that’s a pretty accurate depiction of the force at which we live our lives. It’s just that now we swap a few days of stress, now and then, so we can snorkel and run on the beach and meet new people and work on boat projects (more than I would like). Whereas, before, it was swapping a few days of sailing, skiing or what-have-you for endless weeks of 14-hour days in the office. So maybe we haven’t achieved a life lived “off the grid” just yet, but it’s certainly better than what we had before, so what’s there to complain about, really?

And, as it happened on Friday, the winds started picking up and spinning around to the south, giving us poor protection in our anchorage, so we decided to duck into Highborne Cay Marina and get some work done through the weekend. As we’ve learned, though, the winds in the Bahamas work on almost a weekly cycle, rotating clockwise… so if they’re blowing from the south, they’ll soon move to the west, then the north, the east, and so on. Which gives us a window each week to move quickly onward before we get stuck again, waiting out a front.

But Highborne Cay is hardly the worst place to get stuck doing work, considering we practically live on a harbor-sized fish tank, at the moment. However, with gale-force winds arriving this Saturday, we need to get a move on.

And as the Bahamians like to boast, there’s an island in the Exumas for every day of the year. Except with only a 130-day cruising permit, we don’t have time to see all 365-or-so islands. So, today, we push on to Norman’s Cay with a plan to get to a safe mooring in Staniel Cay before the gale blows through on Saturday.

And with a good chunk of work wrung out of us in Highborne, we’ll be able to enjoy the next few days of snorkeling, running along beaches and cave exploring with a little more gusto.

This is one of many possible ways to support a cruising lifestyle. Just, whatever you do, don’t mention the W-word at happy hour.

hideaway highborne cay marina

If only sailboats had glass bottoms.

highborne cay marina exumas

Being here during low season means having the marina almost to ourselves

turf to surf office highborne cay marina

My weekend office with a view…

highborne cay beach bahamas

…The view from my “office”

free bikes highborne cay marina bahamas

Free bike use, in case I need a distraction from work

bus stop highborne cay bahamas

Just don’t wait too long for the bus to come.

highborne cay bahamas lizard

And, if you need someone to talk to, there’s also these little guys

0 Comments... Be the first to comment
  • Melody February 13, 2013, 11:51 am

    Beautiful!!!! The more I see pictures from you and Brittany, the more I want to just say screw it and head on over! Alas, the “W” word takes precedence at the moment so perhaps next year. Ahhhhhh…. guess I better stop reading and get back to it, eh? Enjoy, you guys and happy sailing!

  • Michelle February 13, 2013, 11:58 am

    These are all such beautiful pictures!

    • Tasha February 19, 2013, 11:50 pm

      Thanks, Michelle!

  • Drena February 14, 2013, 5:36 pm

    can you explain the “130 day cruising permit?” thanks 🙂

    • Tasha February 17, 2013, 1:31 pm

      Hey Drena,
      When you arrive to the Bahamas and check in with customs, you have to pay for a cruising permit. It costs about $130, but it’s up to the customs officers how much time they give you, which can be random. The advice is always to dress nice and act professional…we’ve heard of people only getting 30 days from officers in a bad mood. We got 130 days, which is fine by us!

  • Dan N Jaye February 16, 2013, 4:17 pm

    We *loved* Highbourne! Are there still boat name signs in the gazebo? Any is Cinderella’s still there?

    • Tasha February 19, 2013, 11:50 pm

      Yes, the signs are still there! And I didn’t look for Cinderella, but now I wish I had and sent you a picture! xx

  • Jonathan February 20, 2013, 3:43 pm

    If you don’t mind me asking, what do you do for work while you’re crusing?

    • Tasha February 20, 2013, 6:47 pm

      Hi Jonathan,
      I don’t mind at all…we still own the schools we set up in New York and other cities around the U.S. and though we put other people in charge of them (one school is an ESL- English as a Second Language – teacher training school, and the other is a school that teaches English as a Second Language to adults mostly, with summer camps for kids). Ownership requires work of us, as you can imagine, though our managers on the ground do the day-to-day running now. 🙂

  • Linda June 30, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Love your blog and beautiful pics.

    • Tasha Hacker July 1, 2013, 9:05 pm

      Thanks, Linda! Please come by more often and dole out compliments 😉

  • Larry Walsh July 30, 2016, 1:17 pm

    Well now I know what you do for a living. It’s good to know that you are both self made entrepreneurs who worked very hard to get where you are today. I see way too many trust-funders out there who have no idea what hard work really means these days. Loving the story.

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