Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cold Fronts and Things that Go Bump in the Night!

So - this will be a brief post I think...I never really know until I start writing!  We are currently in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, sitting out yet another cold front.  January was bad - one after another.  February was great with no big issues, and here we are in March with two back to back.  We just spent 6 days in Treasure Cay (very protected for 6 days), and are now back in Marsh Harbour.  We like the Abacos in that there are "facilities" and its short, protected hops between destinations.  We enjoyed Treasure Cay and its fabulous beaches.

Marsh Harbour has many facilities including 3 hardware stores, marine parts, numerous restaurants, liquor stores etc.  So we have been taking this little down-time to catch up on a couple of projects.  our fridge was not cooling completely, so I topped off the refrigerant, fixed a leaking hatche etc.  You know - the definition of cruising?  Fixing boats in exotic locations!....but thankfully nothing major.

I did want to write about one thing that happened while we were in the several weeks on!

Things that Go Bump in the Night

While we have become very comfortable with our new Mantus Anchor....yes, we love it!  you never know what your anchoring mates are using, or how well they know how to anchor......what shape their equipment is in etc.  That's why its nice to be up towards the front of the anchorage.  We were in Black Point, Exumas waiting out a blow - 30+ kts.  It was actually relatively calm and we were on our friends boat TraSea.  Just finished dinner...of course it was night and pitch black, when suddenly BAMM!  What the hell was that.  We all dashed to the cockpit and sure enough, we had been hit on the side by another boat.  they were on deck and disoriented.  What happened?

Well - I had not heard of this before, hence the reason for the story.  The other boat had not turned off thier windlass fact they didn't seem to know they had one!  The "up" switch had apparently shorted and while they were in thier cabin, the anchor raised itself and they were  adrift......if fact, the owner said when he came on deck he was confused by all the other boats in the anchorage moving.  Well I'm sure that woke him up quickly.  Fortunately no damage was done.  We helped them get secure for the night using our dinghy (and making sure he didn't hit our adjacent boat).  But anyway - a little anecdote about cruising and when you get that dreaded "Bump in the Night".
Happy Hour - thank you to Tom and Judy on Destination Unknown - Treasure Cay.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Now in the Abaco

Its March 1 and it's a gorgeous day here in the Abaco....or is it Abacos?  There seems to be some confusion over that, so if you can shed any light on it, please share!

I am writing this from the very sheltered and lovely anchorage/mooring field at Treasure Cay.  Our trip from Harbor Island was as follows:

Harbour Island to Little Harbour

This was a longer leg needed to get us from North Eleuthera to the Abaco Islands. 
Sailing Buddy TraSea passes us
Our route took us in the open Atlantic crossing the Northeast Providence Channel, headed north and offshore from Great Abaco Island.  Unfortunately there is not much civilization or anything in the way of an anchorage that we could see before Little Harbour - so this forces a 60 mile sail.  We were joined by good friends Dave and Tracy who flew in to join us at Harbour Island.  The crossing was "sporty" with winds from the SE at 18-22 and some pretty big seas (8-10 ft).  Notwithstanding this, the boat and crew did well.  With reefed sails we were averaging 7-7.5 kts.

Little Harbour - Odelisque moored behind us
As we approached Little Harbour we were hailed by new friends Dean and Marie on Prairie Two.  They had made the crossing the previous day.  Their report of breaking waves across the entrance to Little Harbour was good information and on their recommendation we continued a little farther north to the North Bar Channel.  This still had some breaking waves, but was wider and deeper.  The entry was challenging, but OK.  Once inside the reef, we elected to anchor at Lynyard Cay as we were loosing daylight.  This proved to be a nice anchorage with a nice beach for Salty to explore.  

The next day, we made the short hop south to Pete's Pub and the mooring field in the very protected bay.  We came across our friends boat - S/V Odelisque on its mooring outside Pete's Pub.  the owners are friends that live near our home and have recently bought a house at Little Harbour.  We hope to catch up with them in a couple of weeks when they will be here.


The following day, we headed north again, but this time with the protection of the outer Abaco Islands.  We headed north on the Sea of Abaco to the wonderful town of Hopetown.  Although we tried to get a mooring in the harbour, all were taken, so we anchored on the outside.  We took the opportunity to .......well of course visit a bar, re-stock some provisions, and get dinner ashore.  The following morning we also made a trip to the Hopetown Lighthouse.  This impressive lighthouse is reportedly the last remaining operational kerosene powered lighthouse in the world.  I have not validated that claim - but it was a really interesting visit!

While in Hopetown, Salty made a new friend....a Manatee.  What an experience!  He came nose to nose with this magnificent animal and they actually kissed. Neither were afraid or was just pure curiosity from both of them.  what a moment!
Salty and the Manatee!

Nippers and Marsh Harbour

From Hopetown - another short hop.  This time to Nippers and a stopover in Fishers Bay.  Then on to Marsh Harbour and a stay of a couple of nights in Mangoes Marina - probably the friendliest marina in Marsh Harbour, layed back, and at less than $1 a foot, a bargain.  Dockmaster Ray made us very welcome and was a great source of advice and local knowledge.  It also happened to be Junkanoo that night (Saturday), we we simply had to visit the local festivities.  The carnival was very layed back and certainly unrushed!  People lined the main street to watch the passing parade.
Crew on the beach at Nippers

Dave and Tracy.....another bar!

It was a great experience and extremely colorful.  There was street food available so we sampled the local pork chops........very good!

Unfortunately Dave and Tracy had to leave us to return to Houston on Monday, so we said our sad goodbye's....hoping they will once again join us later on our trip.  Hope you had fun guys!

Treasure Cay Beach

Treasure Cay

From Marsh Harbour, we again made a short hop.......everything is pretty protected and line of sight navigation in the Sea of Abaco.......this hop took us to Treasure Cay.  The enclosed anchorage and mooring field is very well protected and the beach here is reportedly one of the top beaches in the world.  Top beach in the world....well that's quite a claim, but certainly very nice and Salty loved it!

Well - there's supposedly a cold front coming in tomorrow.  We considered moving on to Green Turtle Cay....but when we checked its busy up there.  Everyone is hunkering down for the wind.  While I don't think it will be too bad, maybe 20s but not like we saw in the Exumas........this sure isn't a bad place to hole up for the next day or two!

More in a few the meantime, check out our realtime location at this link: