Friday, 26 April 2013

Heading North

We spent the last few days in Marsh Harbour, Green Turtle Cay and Spanish Cay making repairs, exploring and socializing with Jeff, Dave and Corinne. We attended the 25th anniversary of the beer of the Bahamas, Kalik Beer, toured New Plymouth Settlement on Green Turtle Cay and did some beach combing on Goat Cay.
Rafting up with Mer Soleil and At Last in Marsh Harbour

Sailing to Spanish Cay

The weather for our last few days in the Bahamas has been fabulous and we have been taking advantage of every opportunity to enjoy it.

Tomorrow we are heading out on our long journey across the gulf stream. Our intent is to make it as far north as Moorhead City, NC before the weather turns. This is a 550 nm journey that we hope to complete in 60 hours. We will be sailing alongside "At Last".
Sundowners on Mer Soleil

Kalik 25 years party at Snappas  Marsh Harbour

Typical Loyalist house in New Plymouth Settlement

Celebrating at Snappas

At night, we will be taking 3 hour shifts at the helm. When I am on the helm Dave will be monitoring me from his boat so Al can sleep and Al will monitor Corinne when she is at helm on At Last so Dave can get some sleep. We have made the boats ready for the crossing and are ready for an early start tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

High and Dry in Marsh Harbour

On the travel lift in Marsh Harbour
We spent the weekend "on the hard" so Al could repair the rudder that was damaged when we ran aground last week.  We spent a hectic hour as we kept getting blown further onto the shoal.  After trying to pull ourselves off the shoal with the anchor, Dave and Al went out on the dinghies to try and pull the boat around. I was at the helm as the boat continued to slam onto the hard bottom with every wave.  We finally got the boat to deeper water and were able to sail back to our anchorage to assess the damage.

Rudder repair in progress
Luckily Al and Dave were able to patch the rudder up, at least temporarily, a better job will need to be done this Fall when the rudder can be removed and dried out a little better.

Dave also had his boat hauled in order to fix the bottom paint that was peeling.

Interesting coral formations

Being in the boatyard didn't stop us from enjoying the Sundowner ritual.  We met another boater, Jeff, who was having work done to his catamaran, Mer Soleil.

Our boat was put back in the water yesterday and today we went for a dive on Johnny's Reef with Jeff.

Some of the fish we saw on our dive today
Dave is still on the hard and awaiting the return of Corinne who flies in tonight.  He hopes to have the work completed by Friday so we can sail back to the States together sometime next week.

The weather looks pretty good for the next few days so we will continue to look for opportunities to get in a few more dives before we head back home.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Abacos part two

We weathered out some stormy weather and moved anchorages a couple of times over the past few days. We found a great grocery store in Marsh Harbour where we stocked up and Al and I took the bikes ashore for some much needed exercise.

Nippers Beach Bar, Great Guana Cay, Abacos
The islands here are more populated than those further south and there are more private vacation properties, small hotels and tourist services. Sunday we sailed over to Guana Cay for the pig roast at Nippers beach bar.

Monday we snorkelled on the barrier reef where Dave speared a fish. The Reef stretches for 300 miles up the coast of the Abacos Islands making it the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world.

Hope Town, Abacos from the top of the lighthouse

Walking Hope Town

Tuesday we toured the lighthouse and museum in Hope Town and today we visited the sailmakers loft at Man-O-War Cay.
Check out the boom on "the Rage" (insane)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Arrival in the Abacos

We left Harbour Town under light winds and clear skies on Sunday and arrived at Little Harbour in the Abacos by late afternoon. Monday we went for a walk around the settlement where we admired bronze sculptures by the late Randolf Johnston and stopped for a beer at Pete's Pub and Gallery.

Randolf Johnston sculpture

Later we moved to an anchorage near Sandy Cay. We enjoyed a great snorkel on Tuesday morning at Sandy Cay Reef where we saw large stands of Elkhorn Coral.
Elkhork Coral at Sandy Cay Reef