Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Well, it's been a couple of weeks or so (maybe) since my last post.  A few folks have requested that I post more often, and I plan to do so.  I am still at Green Turtle Cay, just dodging frequent northerly winds of moderate strength.  Although the weather has been a little frustrating, I have stayed active by drinking, fishing, and diving.  The people on Green Turtle are always particularly friendly and inviting, making my stay pleasant as always.  Unfortunately, I have not taken many pictures since a few cameras have been lost to the salt water, but I'm working with what I've got.  

Despite the frequent winter fronts, cruisers continue to enter the Abacos at a steady pace.  I've kept my days busy enough just trying to get in touch with all of them and hear their stories.   Over the last 2 weeks or so, I have probably met 50 or so alone that I could talk about for hours.  It is amazing the kind of people you get to meet our here.  Will try to post more regularly.

P.S. -  Big shoutout to Byron and Lisa (a couple badass folks I met at Sundowners).  Congrats to both of you. You guys are awesome and will be missed over the nest few months.  Hope to see you when you get back to Abaco.           

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lubbers to Treasure to Green Turtle

Stayed at Lubbers CAy for a few days and thoroughly enjoyed short dinghy rides to Tahiti beach and nearby snorkeling and fishing.  I was unaware at the time, but there was recently a shark attack just north of Tahiti Beach involving a snorkeler looking at a stingray.  Apparently she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got in the way of either a Tiger or Great White (there's some DNA testing in progress in FL since they were able to retrieve a tooth from the victem's back).  The woman luckily survived, but only just.  

If I had known his story a few days prior, I probably would not have been diving for fish in this area.

After staying at Lubbers Cay for a few days, winds came out of the SE and made for a perfect 15 mile-ish sail to Treasure Cay.  

Tahiti Beach at Elbow Cay

I arrived at Treasure Cay in a few hours from Lubbers and made stops for Groceries, liquor, and laundry.  

The world-famous Treasure Cay beach.  Water was a little chilly, but the sun was hot I got in anyway for an hour or so.  

After a few days in Treasure Cay I took the Don't Rock passage north to Green Turtle Cay.  The picture above shows dont rock, and shows how shallow the area is in general (about 6-7ft in the picture).  This is where I got into trouble a few weeks ago headed to Marsh Harbour.

Once at Green Turtle, I met up with friends Brian and Caroline at Sundowners, as well as a few guys I've gone spearfishing with a few times.  One  of those guys, Tom, owns a very cool custom "Cat Schooner" named Island Girl.  I was invited aboard for a wonderful meal, played some guitar and drums, and drank a little too much.

The next morning, Brian, our friend Bruce and I went fishing and caught a couple dolphin and a small wahoo.  The smallest dolphin was sort of an appetizer-size and they were generous enough to give me the whole thing.  I spared no time in getting it to the boat and deep frying it.  Nothing like fresh fish.


Good eating.

The weather in Abaco has been generally good, with only a couple days of strong winds.  However, we are epecting westerly winds around 20-30mph for the next 48 hours at least.  This will leave all pcean cuts impassable for my little boat, and I will stay here in White Sound on Green Turtle until it is over.  Holding has been good so far so fingers crossed.

Today I went to Manjack Cay with a family visiting from Alaska.  Very cool people.  They have kindly invited me to several meals and other activities over the last couple of days.  That's one thing about being on this island.  The locals and the second home owners are ALL very kind and inviting folks.  

Will try to continue posting regularly, I don't really have a valid excuse :) 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Marsh to Lubbers Cay

Up at 0900 in Marsh Harbour to glassy conditions.  Madee a cup of coffee and headed east to Lubbers Cay.  Figured with N-NW winds coming my way I could get some protection, a change of scenery and a place where I can't spend any money.

Approaching Point Set Rock to starboard shortly after leaving Marsh Harbour

Shortly after arriving I went diving near Tilloo Cut and found some conch.  Since I also saw a few decent Mutton Snapper down there I thought I'd use the conch skin as bait.  After 45 minutes or so of fishing I caught something pretty sizeable, only for it to cut through the monofilimant (probably a barracuda, but ya never know).  

Marsh Harbour top right, Lubbers Cay in center, Elbow and Tilloo Cay at bottom with the cut dividing the two.  

So anyway, cracked conch for dinner along with some fresh coconuts for cocktails.  Wind is now N at 10mph with a building light chop on the Sea of Abaco.  No idea what the plan is from here.  All is well!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Still in Marsh Harbour!

Up at 0930...been sleeping in for the last couple of days.  Weather has been fair, with only short periods of gentle rain throughout my stay here.  Jen and Eric arrived yesterday on The Contagious and we made another grocery run for dinner.  Put a pork shoulder in the pressure cooker and made amazing pulled pork sandwiches,fries, slaw, the whole deal.  It was awesome. Today we have no big plans, but I'm about to go ashore and get a Bahamian cell phone.  It's going to be nice to be able to call locals and businesses without leaving the boat.  

Random pic of the Union Jack dinghy dock here is Marsh.  May be a good place to get your stuff ripped off...

With rain today and tonight I don't have much reason to leave here very soon.  Here in the next couple of days I'll most likely be heading to good ol' Man O War Cay or Hopetown at Elbow Cay.    

All is well! I'm going to try to get more pics as I go.  These posts aren't nearly as interesting without them!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Resting in Marsh Harbour

Up at 0800 yesterday, good weather in Abaco.  This norther that blew me south seems to have moved on.  ENE wind, mostly sunny.  Took the dinghy ashore to do some provisioning at Maxwells (Largest grocery store in the Bahamas).  I was amazed that I was able to walk out of there only spending 20 bucks.  Also filled up on fuel and water.  Stopped by Snappas for a while that night for a drink.

Today weather has been great agagin.  The boat received a thorough rinsing from a few rain showers passing by.  I've just been laying around with a fishing line over the side but no luck yet.  No big plans tomorrow but may hang with some of the neighbor folk.  

All is well, may be heading to Hopetown soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Allans Pensacola, days of sailing, and back to Marsh Harbour (barely)

Sunday at noon Meadowlark sailed North from Manjack Cay towards Allan-Pensacola Cay with another small boat, the S/V Contagious.  Weather was perfect for the 22 mile journey and we arrived at sunset. 

A wrecked yacht just south of Allans-Pensacola.  

Anchorage at Allans.  Four other boats were at anchor when we arrived.  The Contagious is on the far left.  The next day we went on an awesome wreck dive on the barrier reef - a 300ft steel cargo ship sunk in 1907.  Speared a few snapper and had a fish fry on the beack that night.

Made a sign in a run bottle for the signing tree on the ocean beach.  Eric, Jen and I looked for the nearby US missile trcking station ruins, but found the trails to be overgrown and sealed off.

Signing tree.

Eric and Jen headed west towards Fox Town while I stayed another night at Allans. Enjoyed a campfire and watch the sunset with a pipe and bottle of rum.  

The next day Meadowlark sailed south towards Manjack again with a strong northerly front on the way.  Made it to Manjack by 1600 just as the wind began to pick up.  We bounced around a good deal only getting a few hours of sleep.

Today was a rough day on the Sea of Abaco.  Very rough.  I decided to take advantage of the northerly winds to sail south to Marsh Harbour (over 20 miles).  For the first time I feel Meadowlark may have met her match and was afriad a few times I would lose her to the rocks near Whale Cay.  Waves in the "Don't Rock" passage reached appx 6ft, many of them nearly breaking over the bow.  The  outboard was partially submerged numerous times and the boat was heeled 30 degrees with only 10sq ft of genoa exposed.  This made for a very long and wet 6 hours to Marsh.  With luck on our side, we made it into the harbour where we now sit on the anchor with winds ENE 20-30 mph.  Will stay here for a few days to regroup and maybe do a little provisioning. 

Who knows what's in store for us now, but now feeling optimistic and glad that all is well!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Junkanoo, Manjack, and Northbound

Lots of things going on over the New Year.  The Junkanoo celebration at Green Turtle Cay was aweseome.  The parade went on into the evening and the party continued well into the night.  Thhe night before, New Years Eve, is a bit of a blur.  

Sailed north to Manjack and met up with another sailor Erik and his girlfriend Jen.  Erik (26) has been aboard a 29ft sailboat on and off since he was 19 and is a wealth of knowledge about boat related things.  We all had a fish fry on the beach last night.

I've done a little exploring on Manjack in the dinghy.  There are some cool mangrove creeks that snake their way through the island.  They're full of green turtles and grey snapper of all sizes. 

Erik and Jen and I are thinking of usng this fresh SE wind to sail NW about 22 miles to Allens-Pensacola Cay.  These are Islands we have never explored.  They are uninhabited, so much more solitary.  I am a little low on gas, but I may be able to pick some up at Cooperstown, just north of Manjack.  

Weather has been great over the last few days.  SE wind anywhere from 5-20mph and mostly sunny skies.  I figured I'll stay further north until the next W or N wind comes rishing in and use that to go back the way I came.   

All is well!!!