After we crossed to the Abacos from Eleuthera on 4/2 we hung around Lynyard Cay for a few days. We met the folks on the 5 other boats that crossed with us and they were a great group to hand around with. On Saturday morning we walked the Atlantic beach with all of our new cruising friends: Bev and Arne from Scandia with daughter, Anita visiting (turns out they live across the street from our friends Elliot and Ina in New Bern), Carl and Marilyn on Discovery–returning from cruising in the Caribbean,Craig and Kris on Tilt and Leigh and Ken on One Eyed Parrots. I found some nice pieces of sea glass and a few sea beans. They invited us to join them for lunch at Pete’s pub in Little Harbor and, after that, birthday cake for Arne on Scandia.
They all left the next day but we decided to just hang and be lazy. In the afternoon we walked along the beach on the Abaco Sound at low tide and met the couple on Ling Ling with 2 boat dogs aboard–Amber and Swab. Swab was very friendly and wanted to play with Bailey. All Amber wanted to do was chase lizards! Later that evening, Debra and David joined us on board Moondance for happy hour. Debra is a long-time live-aboard artist. She does lovely oil paintings (large ones!) in her studio aboard. Starting this summer she will spend a year on Tangier Island in the Chesapeake as the resident artist capturing the disappearing lifestyles of the watermen that live there.
On Monday we awoke early so Skip could listen to the weather and we could look for the space shuttle launch. At around 6:20am we saw a large orange ball in the lower sky that quickly moved behind the clouds. That’s the second launch we’ve seen this trip (and in our lifetimes!) Later that morning we pulled up the anchor and headed for Marsh Harbor. There are a lot of turns involved so we sailed some and motored some along the way. Coming into Harbor View marina, the owner Troy made it easy for us to tie up alongside the dock behind Snappa’s restaurant. He said that we might be aground at low tide but we weren’t worried as it’s just mud.
We found Harbor View to be a really nice spot to hang out in Marsh Harbor. They have a nice pool and clean restrooms. My first shower was so luxurious! I could let the water run without worrying about running out of time. I hadn’t felt that clean in a while!
JoAnne from Walkabout came over for a drink later. She’s from Annapolis and brought her boat over to the Abacos a few weeks ago with our friends Bob and Phyllis (Comocean) aboard as crew. We didn’t know JoAnne all that well and enjoyed hearing her stories–she’s a lot of fun!
We spent Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for our guest to arrive–laundry, boat cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. Tuesday evening we enjoyed a cookout by the pool with JoAnne and a friend, Dave who was there on his boat. Jen and Bill arrived right on time Wednesday afternoon and joined the cruiser crowd at Snappa’s for their first Goombay Smash of the trip!
Originally, we were going to wait until past low tide to leave the marina but decided to push off earlier. As the depth gauge still read ‘.5’ (1/2 foot under the keel) and the office wasn’t open yet, we pushed off the pier and tied up temporarily at the fuel dock. I love having extra hands on board to help with docking! We left Marsh Harbor and motored the short distance to Hope Town. ‘Lucky Strike’ told us to pick up any green mooring in the harbor. Well, the first one said that it was reserved and someone hollered at us as we picked up the second one…the third was, thankfully, available.
Hope Town has a lovely, fully enclosed harbor full of moored boats. We took the dinghy ashore and walked along the quaint little streets that are just wide enough for golf carts to pass through. Walking along the beach we arrived at the Hope Town Harbor Lodge for lunch overlooking the Atlantic beach. We also picked up a pie from Vernon’s grocery–the best key lime pie ever!! In the afternoon we climbed the Elbow Cay lighthouse for a 360 degree view of the island. In the evening we ate chicken souse (my new Bahamian speciality!) and taught Jen and Bill how to Farkle. Bill did his best to compute the odds of rolling a favorable score but, in the end, it really is just plain luck!
We had a perfect downwind sail to Great Guana Cay on Friday where we picked up a mooring in Settlement harbor. We learned that Mike and Angie were close by so we waited for them to arrive before going ashore for lunch at Grabber’s. The fish sandwiches and sweet potato fries were just as good as we remembered! It was a short walk to Nipper’s afterwards for a swim in the pool and a few frozen Nipper’s. Afterwards…I don’t remember anything!
The weather forecast for the rest of Jen and Bill’s visit didn’t sound too great (windy and squally) so we decided to stay at Orchid Bay marina for the rest of the time. It was a good decision as it got progressively more windy and we got quite a bit of rain over the next few days. Staying at the marina allowed us to enjoy walking ashore and grilling dinners…not to mention showers and the pool! We cooked buffalo steaks for dinner (thanks again, Rick and Eva!) I made Bahamian macaroni and cheese for the first time and it was a big hit. We even opened the bag of marshmallows that I brought all the way from Florida and roasted some for s’mores.
The rest of Jen and Bill’s visit went way too fast. We rented a golf cart on Monday to explore the rest of Great Guana Cay. Skip parked the golf cart outside of the Art Cafe while we had breakfast. When we came out the golf cart was gone! I asked in the liquor store and the owner said “Oh, my mother probably took it. She just wanted to run home for something.” Well, she took the wrong one and, apparently, they all use the same key! She arrived just as we were trying to figure out what happened. It must happen a lot there because everyone just laughed. It’s not like they can get very far.
There really isn’t too much more to see than the places close to the harbor. We drove out to the end of the island to Baker’s Bay–a huge housing and marina development for the extremely wealthy! We were allowed to visit the beach there and have lunch at the restaurant. No one even asked us if we were interested in purchasing land…I think they size people up immediately and can tell whether or not we’re prospective buyers. If only Bill’s powerball ticket was a winner…
This morning we enjoyed one more walk on the beach before Jen and Bill caught the ferry back to Marsh Harbor. Bailey loves the beach and chasing his tennis ball. This morning he stepped on a dead jelly fish and hurt one paw. I looked up the treatment in our doggie first aid book and he seems to be okay. No more beach runs around those evil jellies!
Now we’ll wait for good weather to make a crossing back to Florida. It’s hard to believe it’s time to leave already. The wind is honking today and won’t settle until Saturday. We’ll watch the weather closely and maybe we’ll be back in Ft. Pierce sometime next week!