We are here in the Abacos!
It was a very quick trip down the waterway – leaving Annapolis on Thursday 18th October and setting off from Lake Worth to cross to the Bahamas on Tuesday 13th November! We would normally have gone a little slower, but with the engine work in Charleston and then pushing to make the weather window for that Tuesday, we hurried all the way. We were “overtaken” by this guy kite foiling – my head can’t get around the concept of this thin little foil lifting the board and him out of the water and travelling at such speed.
These are a couple of pictures of us taken by Mel – we always see each other’s boats but never our own.
We had a lovely visit with Dick and Carol in Stuart and they loaned us their car to do the provisioning that we would normally have done while waiting in Lake Worth. There are sections on the stretch of the waterway around Jupiter that have the most outrageously extravagant houses – they look like hotels! (loved the trained creeper on that chimney).
There was a more modest house with the most enormous boat and tender parked outside – either he had his priorities right or else he leased his slip to the owner of the big boat – I imagine the rent for that would cover his mortgage; smart man.
We anchored overnight near the inlet at Lake Worth – an impressive row of sport fishing boats lined up here for easy access to the sea.
An early morning departure got us on our way. It was lumpy in the beginning as you can see from the pictures of Mel and Gary’s boat – we were lifted out of the water and then crashed down as the waves passed. They have a cat on board (Hobie Cat!) who was not a happy chap. I wasn’t a very happy girl either. But as the day passed the seas flattened and everything settled down. We left at 6.30 am and got there around 4.30pm. The gulf stream current pushing us northwards was very strong the whole way – 4.5 knots – and you have to steer considerably south of your destination in order to travel the straight line. But we made it to West End, cleared customs and celebrated (along with millions of our tiny no-see-um friends who now share our blood) with a swim in the pool, a Goombay Smash and Cracked Conch.
We waited for high tide the next day (Wednesday) to navigate Indian Cut and sailed over to Great Sale Cay. Gary jumped in his dinghy and went looking for lobster – he caught two smallish ones and it was another Bahamas celebration with lobster appetizers that night. The sunsets are amazing and the clouds make every one, in every direction, different.
From Great Sale we headed to Powell Cay – we had hoped to anchor there but the wind was not in the right direction and there wasn’t enough protection (fine at sunset, but you don’t want to find yourself in strong winds and seas in the middle of the night and have to move then!) Gary and Garth went diving; Mel and I went beachcombing and swimming – perfect day, especially as the boys came back with two nice lobsters! Gary also caught two lion fish – a non-indigenous fish which is taking over the local reefs. They have lethally poisonous spines and you have to know how to handle them. But once all that is removed, they are delicious eating. They are small and you need quite a few to make a decent size meal, so finding and killing them is a win-win! It was surf and turf night as Mel had some lamb chops she needed to use – absolutely delicious!!!!!
We headed to Green Turtle Cay after swimming – love it there! Another spectacular cloud sunset.
It was Garth’s birthday on Friday and he wanted to spend it in Hope Town. The waves around Whale Cut were big, but the wind was slightly behind us and we had a rocking and rolling and surfing down waves rocket ride around – averaged 8 knots!! Once we reached calm water it was a glorious sail all the way down to Elbow Cay where the Hope Town Light beckoned.
We love being here. It is a wonderful community – as you walk the streets and pass school children they all greet you and smile. There’s a lot of talk about development and how things are changing – I’m grateful to have visited before it becomes too commercial. There is a guy building a huge concrete house on the north end of the island – one of those that will never blow away. How does he do it? On island time of course, but this is how the concrete arrives from Marsh Harbor!
We saw another barge later on heading in the opposite directed that had a huge water tanker on it – that’s how it’s done!
We went to watch a flag football tournament – kids from all the different islands compete. There’s no tackling, if your white flag is pulled off your belt then you are considered down. Great fun and well supported. The #13 Beckham jersey photo was taken for my nephew and special person Craig!
After that we went for a walk along the beach, finished with a swim (Garth in his shorts!) for the guys and a Radler (grapefruit beer drink) for Mel and I.
Walking home we saw that the habit of decorating early for Christmas had reached the islands! With that amount of work, I am sure they want to get as much enjoyment for as long as they can.
Sunday was football at the Hope Town Inn & Marina – picture says it all!
We are early this season; a lot of places haven’t opened yet and some are not doing full weeks. These people work so hard through the season to keep all of us visitors happy – they deserve the break they get. We went snorkeling at Mermaid Reef yesterday (checking out all the potential spots for when Will and Penny come down at Christmas) and into Marsh Harbor for groceries, diesel and water. This is a good life – although we miss our home, family and friends. We are celebrating Thanksgiving on Second Sojourn with Mel and Gary and Muffin and Will tomorrow – we are certainly very thankful for the opportunities we have had in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
P.S. – hadn’t posted this, so include a picture of our most delicious ever Thanksgiving dinner! Caprese salad followed by Cornish hens, stuffing, gravy, scalloped potatoes, corn; key lime pie for dessert – and of course lots of wine, rum and good company.
And here’s a pic of some of the signs around Hope Town – love that Queen’s Highway is such a grandiose name for a little lane down to the dinghy dock!