Heading for the Abacos – March 31, 2015
Our time in the Exuma Cays has come to an end for this year. We had some very exciting moments, adventures and discovered many new anchorages. We also met and made many new friendships. The visit from Deb & Bob was one of the highlights this year as we got to experience the Exuma Cays through their eyes. We also made it down to Georgetown with Jon & Joan. We hadn’t been there in four years.
So, this morning we said goodbye to Bob & Deb and started our journey to the Abacos by way of Highbourne Cay, the Fleeming Channel, Spanish Wells then finally making the cut through the reef at Ridley Head and crossing the NE Providence Channel to Little Harbour and on to Marsh Harbour. We’ll spend the next six weeks in the Abacos before heading back to the States.
Upon our arrival in Spanish Wells we settled in on a mooring for the night. We had previously arranged to meet up with our cruising friends Jon & Joan ("Jessie Gray") Cindy & Rick ("Dark Star") and Steve & Val ("Barefoot N"). They had all crossed over from Cambridge Cay to explore Eleuthera on their way north while we stayed in Exuma Park with our company.
The moorings are closely lined up in Spanish Wells but we are very sheltered.
The crossing north from Spanish Wells was mostly BORING! The seas were calm and the fishing was terrible. Ron had a hard time steering and staying awake at the same time.
About ten miles from the Little Harbour Cut, Joan called Ron on the VHF to ask if he had a fish on. Our reel hadn’t made a sound but when we looked about 200 feet astern of Jessie Gray we saw a very large Mahi jump straight out of the water. On the second jump Jon’s line snapped and they lost the trophy fish. Unfortunately he had the reel in the locked position and it didn’t run out on hooking it.
The weather was so nice and we had made great time so the decision was made to continue our trip right up to Marsh Harbour rather than stopping to anchor at Lynyard Cay. We were only three hours away.
Upon our arrival we were happy to see our good friends from home Lane Parent & Tina Campbell, whom we hadn’t seen since mid January.
With a couple days of rest under our belts, a little boat maintenance and some re-provisioning we, along with Tina, Lane & Molly (the dog) headed to Hope Town for a few weeks of relaxation.
A quick tour of "Downtown Hope Town" took us to the Hope Town Lodge where it was picture time.
Across the narrow street the lodge has a lower area containing some rental units, a small pool, beach bar and restaurant and a fantastic view of the three mile long beach and barrier reef.
Lunch consisted of cold beers, conch chowder and conch fritters, followed by more cold beers and mango daiquiris .
The conch was delicious.
We’ve been to Hope Town many times before but we are always in awe of the beauty of this place.
The harbour was pretty full this week. Only a couple moorings remained unused.
After lunch we happened upon these odd but very beautiful flowers on this tree.
Tina thought they might make attractive hair pieces.
"Wind Warrior" and "Done Wish N" sit on their moorings with the Elbow Cay Lighthouse standing majestically in the background.
Many afternoons were spent by the pool playing "Mexican Train".
On day three of our visit Dave & Theresa Heffler arrived from the Exumas. They had spent a lot of time down in the Jumentos Cays and Cat Island in the outer islands of the Far Bahamas.
On day whatever, Ron, Tina and Lane climbed the 101 steps to the top of the lighthouse for some beautiful photos of the surrounding area.
No matter which way you look in Hope Town, it is very beautiful here.
The small narrow streets are lined with tiny pastel coloured homes with lush gardens.
The harbour is full of boats.
One evening all our gang got together for drinks at a local bar named Sip Sips, where you can sip & sip & sip some more. We really had a great time that night. It’s funny that the bar should be located right across the street from the cholera cemetery. No drinking going on here.
Rick & Cindy were certainly having a great time.
Tina found "Curly Haired Bill" as he became known. NO, that’s not a wig. It’s real!!
April 22nd, 2015 (Ron’s 61st Birthday)
It was that time of year again. What a fantastic place to celebrate Ron’s 61st birthday with friends.
Lane & Tina
Jon & Joan
Here's the whole gang together
April 24th, 2015 – Time to head out on a golf cart to Tahiti Beach
Tahiti Beach is located at the south end of Elbow Cay. It is well known for its huge white sand beach at low tide……. But we had another goal. The girls were running out of Palmetto palm fronds that they needed to complete weaving their baskets. You’ll see them later on.
It was a very hot day so our first stop was at the Sea Spray Marina for a rest and some cold beers.
This local musician was performing traditional Bahamian Music. He was very entertaining.
After some easy listening we continued on to Tahiti Beach. It was very hot on this afternoon so a well deserved swim was the order of the day. The tide was low so we got the full view of the beach.
Hey, this guy looks like Ian Holmes!
Ron was able to harvest a good amount of palm fronds and by mid afternoon it was time to head back towards Hope Town, but, we had a few stops to make on the way.
First stop was at the "On Da Beach Bar & Grill". We’ve eaten there before and the food is good. You are also treated to a great view of the Atlantic Ocean.
After a great lunch Tina was just taking in the beauty of the Bahamas.
One more stop to make. Cindy wanted us to pick up her favourite pulled pork dinner from "Papa Nasty’s". I don’t know how anyone every found this place that is located in the woods in the middle of nowhere.
Once back at the boat, Jan continued with weaving her baskets with the newly harvested fronds.
Our sister boat "Straight from the Heart" is secured beside us at the Marsh Harbour Marina. Wind Warrior is hull #34 while theirs is hull #35. Both are Gulfstar Hursh 45’s. Their cat "Ky" looks like a small leopard or cheeta. What a beautiful cat.
Ky was often seen stalking birds from his perch on the bimini.
Don on "Straight From The Heart" displays what happens when you wear the same sandals in the sun for a long time. Talk about a tan line.