28 Dec 64 : Paradise Beach, Captain’s Party, Lady Vi : Nassau, Bahamas 

This is a continuation of the letter dated 27 Dec 1964, which began… 

SS Yarmouth Castle Cruises, Miami – Nassau 

Dear Mum, Dad, Carol and Nigel,

Monday 28th December

Today we went to the famous Paradise Beach and spend the day there. We got there in a glass bottomed boat and were able to see how fantastically clear the water is. We could see right to the bottom and watched all the fish swimming underneath.

We had to pay $2 to go onto the island but it was well worth it. We landed at a little jetty, and a little open air vehicle took us through a sort of tropical jungle, to the beach.

Before we got to the beach we were allocated a locker and given a large towel and soap, and we changed and went on to the beach. The sand was almost white and extremely fine and the weather was glorious. It was 86 degrees F, but it didn’t feel a bit hot for some reason. The water was crystal clear and really warm and we were still swimming at 5 o’clock.

(NOTE: Huntington Hartford bought Hog Island in 1959, renamed it Paradise Island, and gradually developed an exclusive luxury resort there. The island now boasts vast bridges, casinos, golf courses and hotels, and its value is apparently estimated at US $2 billion.)

 

Dec 64 Colin on beach in BahamasColin on the beach

This cruise is fantastic value for money. It cost us $74 (which is about £28) and we get three excellent meals a day plus sandwiches and coffee – morning, afternoon and late at night. Fresh fruit in our cabin, clean towels every day and all sorts of entertainment in the evenings. We can’t think how they do it.

Last night there was a Captain’s Cocktail Party, with all drinks free. We missed it as we were out, but Vi went, and we went in at the tail end, to find her flirting like mad with the Captain!!

Colin and I pull her leg like mad and we call her ‘Lady Violet-Morgan’, and at one point at this party when she was talking to the Cruise Director, without thinking I called her Lady Violet, and this fellow nearly fell off his chair.

He said to Vi ‘Is that your name?’ and, true to form, she said ‘yes’. So now everyone thinks she is a titled lady!!

This morning on the boat over to Paradise Beach there was an Englishman who had just flown in from London, and he told me it was snowing when he left. He is a school teacher and is on his way to Jamaica to spend three years teaching.

Dec 64 Tony on beach in BahamasTony on the beach

News is spreading rapidly on the ship that we are English, and working our way around the world, and everyone is very interested, and want to know all about it. We have an offer to stay with some people in Oklahoma City any time we please.

Last night we went out with a crowd to a nightclub, and saw a native show. The main feature of this was limbo dancing, and all in all it was a pretty good show – although the whole thing was very much designed for tourists.

I have come to the conclusion I don’t like Nassau (the town). The schoolmaster hit the nail on the head when he said it had no character. But for beaches and climate and sea – it takes a lot to beat it.

We will set sail again at 5pm tomorrow, and arrive back in Miami at 8am the next morning.

Herb and Vi had arranged to set off immediately for home, but we didn’t know this, and we had accepted an invitation to dinner with a couple we met at the hotel. So Herb and Vi have agreed that they will hang on, and they will pick us up when we have finished with these people, and then we will drive all through the night instead.

With four drivers we should be able to make good time.

Off to dinner now. More news tomorrow.

Tone xxxx

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