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The Big Nude Boat 2015 – Coco Cay, Bahamas

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beachIt doesn’t take much to entertain a nudist. The basics — at least on a Bare Necessities cruise — tend to be sun, a clothes-free setting and tropical clime, and on shore days, a gorgeous beach, which for today, is CocoCay in the Bahamas. But beyond that, many tote along their own idea of fun.

Right now, as a bunch of us stand in knee-deep water chatting, a gentleman strolls by with a Hello Kitty inner tube hugging his waist. Both he and his lady friend are blowing bubbles all the while.

Further up the beach, a group—part of the Florida Young Naturists—has strung up a slackline between two palm trees. It’s a portable tightrope that tests balance, and willingness to appear a bit silly while wobbling about.

My friend Michael has just put together a small kite, and doesn’t seem to mind that there’s absolutely no wind on this side of the island. We warn him he won’t have much luck, but takes off to jog the beach anyway. When he returns, I’m not sure which is the better measure of success: the kite sailing overhead or the smile on his face.

water That’s the thing that I can’t explain: There’s a direct link between shedding your clothes and acting like a kid again. Maybe it’s because when you say no to pants, you’re saying no to convention, like the one stating we need to act like adults all the time.

Later on, I’m happy just to lie on a lounge chair, taking sun on my bare bum. Today is a rather chill day for some, myself included. For many cruisers, the days leading up to the main event have been a reunion. They meet up with friends they’ve traveled with before for lots of dinners and dancing. So by the first full day out of port, they’re still catching up from pre-cruise partying.
Which is wonderfully fine. Just as it’s a perfect day for kayaking, playing paddleboard or jet skiing, it’s also prime for doing nothing at all.

Photo credit: Michael Cooney, Harry Hanbury