Northern Abaco and Onward

Hello everyone,

We are currently sitting at Manjack Cay, Abaco and have access to the internet through a house nearby with an unsecured wireless. Yeah! That hasn’t happened very frequently this winter. And, since the wind is blowing, I have time to write and catch up with my e-mails.

So, our last message had us heading on towards Hope Town. And that we did, but not early enough in the day. We had a leisurely breakfast and hauled anchor about an hour before high tide. Not enough time obviously as we ran aground opposite the lighthouse at Hope Town. And the tide was still falling. So we dropped the anchor and went ashore to explore. Up to the top of the lighthouse we went with a lovely view of the islands around and our boat, sitting facing away from the wind but quite upright on its wing keel.

Then, dinghy across to the village itself and check out the stores and pubs here. No hurry because it will be several hours until the boat is floating again. As we were in town later than usual, I was finally able to talk to my Mom. Mostly I had been leaving messages all winter and not actually speaking to her. So this was a wonderful happenstance.

Just before dark, we hauled anchor and moved to a spot with enough water for us to float. In the morning, we were off to Marsh Harbour for laundry and supplies. Flextime were having credit card problems and needed to get to a payphone to straighten that out. The lockers full again of food and clean clothes, we headed out in the late afternoon and anchored near Matt Lowe Cay, away from the crowds of Marsh Harbour.

Friends had rented a house on Man O’ War Cay for 2 months and wanted us to visit. Flextime needed to motor for a while to check out a cooling, or rather an over heating, problem. Meanwhile we sailed slowly to Man O War, where we picked up a mooring ball. Our friends, Tom & Kay, invited us for dinner and we had a wonderful time catching up with them after 5 years.

On Monday, there was time to visit the little shops and stores while the tide rose high enough to allow us to leave this shallow harbour. Lola, a local lady, was delivering bread to the marinas and we purchased a fresh, still warm, loaf. Man, it was delicious.

We sailed on, planning to stay at Bakers Bay overnight. But, the waves were rolling in there and making for an uncomfortable anchorage. The two boats opted to continue on, cross over the Whale Cay passage and head for Green Turtle Cay. Dark clouds and rain storms chased us all the way.

In the morning, we went for dinghy exploration of the two protected anchorages, White and Black Sounds, and then on to the town where we enjoyed lunch at Dave’s. As it was St Patrick’s Day, he was giving out shots of Irish whiskey or Bailey’s Irish Cream. By the time lunch was over, no one felt any pain.

The next day, we moved further north to Manjack Cay, ahead of an expected cold front. Since we arrived, the wind has blown hard and it has rained buckets. We have spent our afternoons playing games with Flextime and the evenings watching movies or discs of Thirty Rock.

But, the weather is supposed to clear up. Tomorrow we will return to Green Turtle, a distance of 2 miles, get rid of garbage and grab a few provisions. Then, start positioning ourselves for a crossing on Thursday/Friday from Great Sale Cay to Port Canaveral.

We will keep you informed. Meanwhile, take care and enjoy the arrival of Spring.

Murray & Heather