University of New Mexico Men’s Basketball Bahamas Tour Day 4 Darren Prentice

May 28, 2007

Day 4 Photo Gallery

The team sets sail.
By Darren Prentice

I found out last night that today would be my day to report on our Bahamas Trip and I was trying to decide what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about seeing NBA players Patrick O’Bryant, Josh Smith and Stromile Swift and NFL star Julius Peppers all hanging out at the Atlantis. Instead, this morning we had an experience that will be the talk of the whole trip. Let me just start by saying that everyone is fine and no one got hurt.

We got up early and met at the lobby to go on a snorkeling trip since it was our day off. Everyone was in the group, including my mother and a few of my teammates’ parents, and all of the players, coaches and staff. We hopped on one of the catamaran sailboats and were ready for what was supposed to be an hour boat ride to the reef where we would snorkel.

A bunch of us got on the front of the boat and sat on the netting over the water. I was a little nervous about going snorkeling but we were all getting excited about the trip. The boat was docked between the two bridges that take you across the bay from Nassau to Paradise Island where the Atlantis is located. No matter which way you went, you had to go under the bridge.

Unfortunately for us, and really too bad for the boat owners, the captain of our boat went under the short part of the bridge. The 60-foot mast from the sailboat hit the bridge and the whole thing came crashing down. It ripped up part of the bow of the boat and sent everything flying.

We were very, very lucky no one on the boat got hurt when the mast came down. However, we were still in trouble because with the mast broken, and in the water, it was like a rudder and the captain couldn’t steer the boat. We went back under the bridge we hit and then slammed into the concrete base of the other bridge. Everyone was scared that the mast would be dragged off the top of the boat and really hurt someone.

We finally got out into the open part of the bay with little or no injuries. I got hit in the face with something and got a small cut under my eye. I will be fine once I get rid of this headache. Roman got hit in his leg and got a few cuts just above his ankle, but he seems to be fine. We will both be able to play tomorrow. Coach Neal got hit pretty hard in his knee and had a big knot the side, but he also seemed to be alright.

One of the local tour boats came out to pick some of us off the sailboat. It wasn’t big enough for everyone, but after all of the women and children got on, the players also got on. Another sailboat came out to pick up everyone else.

It all happened very fast and it was scary. However, we all made it through mostly uninjured. After we got back to the docks and everyone got checked out, we decided that spending another day by the lazy river was the best idea.