We have been planning our cruise adventure for several months. Part of the plan was to attend WhitSunday services at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, the Episcopal Diocese of the Bahamas. Yesterday our ship docked at 8:00a.m., which gave us ample time to attend the 9:00 service at the church. We debarked the ship with 4000 fellow travelers and revelers who were bedecked in thongs, bikinis, sandals, cover-ups, and tattoos. As the throngs of people gathered on the pier, Michael and I strode down the gang plank wearing black suits, white shirts, red ties, and dark sunglasses. We stood out from the crowd. As if we were immigration officers or custom agents, the thong wearing beach going sea of humanity parted before us like the Red Sea split for Moses. Even ship crew members bolted to attention. It might have been the brisk pace with which we walked or my black man-bag draped over my shoulder with purpose that caused the reaction. Nevertheless, it was stunning. The mass of people opened before us with innocent faces and nervous stares and then closed behind us with murmurs and quiet indignation. That scenario played out over and over until we reached town.
It. Was. Fabulous.
Church was fantastic. High church. Without any nods to gentrified American Episcopalian services, their held over colonial influenced service was long. Very long. Very hot. We were starving and thirsty , so after church we made our way down winding Market Street and found a local restaurant perched on top of a diamond and jewelry discount store. We sat in the enclosed outdoor patio overlooking the corner of Bay and Market Streets. A century old rod iron fence separated us from the street below and the muddled bedlam of cruise ship hawkers and partakers.
I had a wonderfully tart Conch and Mahi Ceviche Salad. Tiny diced bits of conch, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos dotted shredded lime cooked mahi. It was as beautiful to gaze upon as it was to eat. It had a bright tartness from the lime marinade. The sweet acidity from the tomatoes mellowed out the sharpness of the lime while the peppers added the needed texture and crunch. The conch had the perfect bounce back bite. Chewy, yet chewable. The cooked shredded mahi wrapped through and around the conch and vegetables Soft . After I had eaten all of it, I tipped the bowl to my mouth and drank the black pepper tinted ceviche pot likker. Nectar.
We made our way back to the ship with the afore mentioned fuss and waited with the masses to climb the plank to re board. While on the gang plank we overheard a conversation over our shoulders. "When we gonna meet up?". A low graveled voice responded, "After Bingo, Trivia, and the Hairy Chesty Thingy Contest.".
We didn't even turn around.