Leaving the ship after 8pm while docked in Nassau is surprising. The crowds of travelers from the ships on the hunt for Del Sol t-shirts, duty free jewelry, and rum liqueur are now absent from the island. How different the city is now. The feverish pitch of the recent day has given way to a languid balmy evening.
The city is anything but asleep and appears as if it has pulled into itself. The Christmas lights still are hung and turned on at the British Colonial Hilton. The bars are open, yet no tourists, just the local folk and hotel guests grace the tables and the bar stools.
Only two shops remain open on the stretch of store fronts that line the Woodes Rogers Walk, the first that the tourists see while entering the island from the cruise ships.
Small groups of natives hush to an eerie silence as Joe and I come closer and then pass. We hear their voices resume as we reach some distance from them. We walk to the Hilton, turn and then walk back. We pass the Senor Frog's, the Pirate Museum, a Cuban restaurant on a second story veranda, the patrons eating, drinking and laughing.
As we continue our walk back to the Prince George Wharf, we feel as if we are the only two people on this lonely slumbering street. The low soft sounds of a saxophone drift towards us. As we come closer to the entrance of the Welcome Center we see a lone street musician. I am enchanted and stop to listen. With delight I recognize the song, "Yesterday." He begins another...."You are my Hero." The sound is haunting. He has adjusted each piece ever so slightly to make it his own. I take all the dollars I have and place them in the cup at his feet.
As we are on the dock that leads us to the gang plank, the sound of his saxophone floats towards us, gently following us back to the ship. I had chills running down my spine.
For the times I wish to remember this trip, my mind will return to the image of the lone saxophonist playing to the abandoned streets of Nassau.