Well we made it. Sailed all day Monday, Monday night, and Tuesday then anchored just north of St Augustine. The overnight sail is not something we would want to do on a regular basis. We covered a lot of distance but it is very exhausting. We wanted to do it to test ourselves but it takes a lot out of you. When the wind dies and the boat starts rocking back and forth it is very difficult to rest let alone sleep. The next day we motored up the ICW to Fernandina Beach where we checked into the town marina, fueled up (only 35 gallons from Green Turtle Bahamas) and took a dock for the night. We called US Customs 1-800 number to check in and they gave us 24 hours to report to the local customs office for a face to face meeting. Thursday we took a short walk to the customs office and he stamped our passports with no problems whatsoever. Fernandina Beach is a lovely town that we enjoyed on the way down. We will spend an extra night here then it will be time to head north for the long trip home. It is realy nice to be back in the land of plenty. Went to a Mexican restaurant for fajitas and a giant Margarita, go figure. Martha says tonight she just wants some good old US bar food so we will lock for a happy hour and chicken wings no doubt.
We set sail Saturday morning from Green Turtle Cay and sailed just over 50 miles to Great Sale Cay. Why its called great sale and not great sail is beyond me as its a totally uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere. We were able to actually sail the whole 50 miles with brisk winds of 15 to 20 knots on the beam. From Great Sale we motor sailed another 50 miles with a 15 knot wind at our back and are currently at the West End of the Grand Bahamas. A check of our fuel consumption showed we only used 5 US gallons of diesel for the 100 miles. It doesn't get much better then that. The weather window looks good for crossing the gulf stream so we plan to rise early and head for the USA. If all goes well we may even take advantage of the push from the stream and do an overnight-er to get us to the top of Florida. Don't want to make any predictions that may spoil our good luck with the weather but we will see.
Martha using her new found basket weaving skills to pass the time en route.
Our friends Scott and Maggie joined us for 10 days of fun in the sun in the Bahamas. As space on Eagle's Wings is limited we arranged for a time share on Treasure Cay for a week and crowded in to the boat for the other 3 nights. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed their company very much. Sleeping in the condo was also a nice change for us.
Eagles Wings arrives with our guests, Scott and Maggie Munro
The beach on Treasure Cay is one of the top 10 beaches in the world. We spent a lot of time walking the over 5 miles of beach each day.
Our condo was very comfortable and in a great location close to the marina and beach.
We never tired of the view of the palm trees and beach from our condo.
Scott checks out the mechanics of the Elbow Cay Lighthouse on a trip to Hope Town
Scott and Maggie at the top of the lighthouse. What a view from up there.
03/20/2013, Abaco Islands
We are now enjoying the Abaco group of islands. Hope Town is a quaint little town with a very well protected harbour. Most people stay on mooring balls as the harbour is too tight for anchoring. We got a dock for 2 nights beside the Lighthouse at, you guessed it, Lighthouse Marina. At a dollar a foot with a 34 ft boat it is quite reasonable. Our friends Luke and Bobby from Latitudes and Ron and Lynn from Northern Spirit are at the same marina making it nice. On Thursday night a group of us got together to celebrate Martha's birthday. We started the night out with drinks on Latitudes. We were then picked up by the shuttle boat for a short ride to the Hope Town Inn and Marina for a great dinner. We then returned to Latitudes for home made birthday cake and whipped cream topping. Yummy. Martha had a special evening.
Elbow Cay Lighthouse built in 1864
Hope Town Harbour
Hope Town beach on the Atlantic side
Birthday cake for Martha with all our friends on Latitudes
Saturday the Atlantic settled down enough for us to do the 50 mile crossing to the Abacos. We left Royal Island at 7 am with 20 other boats and made it to the Little Harbour cut at 4 pm. The waves were down to only 6 ft with a 10 second interval. Earlier in the week they were over 14 feet. The crossing was smooth and uneventful but we had to motor all the way with some periods of motor sailing. We spent our first night in the Abacos on a mooring buoy in Little Harbour. Sunday we made our way to Great Guanna Cay and went to a wild beach party at Nippers Bar. We will spend the rest of March sailing around the Abacos group of Islands then look for a good window of weather to start heading home.
The pink beaches on Harbour Island
Kalik Bahamian beer and Conch fritters, a great combination. Martha drinks the regular, I like the light. This is the last picture I took on my Panasonic Lumix LX5. Getting into the boat from the dingy the waterproof bag let go and it hit the water for 3 seconds. That's all it takes to fry one of these digital cameras. It was a great point and shoot. Dammit
For mercy sake "No Wake" Sign just outside Spanish Wells
We have been on a mooring ball in Spanish Wells for the last 3 days and it looks like we will be here for a while longer waiting for a weather window to cross to the Abacos. Spanish Wells is a very unique island. It is almost all white and very prosperous. It is also dry so no alcohol is sold or served in restaurants. Needless to say there is not much night life on the island.
If you want to buy booze you need to take a short ferry or dingy ride over to Eleuthera to the duty free shop. The ferry boat does a booming business.
We were lucky to get the last of only 7 mooring balls in Spanish Wells. This was due to our 34 ft length and 4 ft shallow draft. It pays again to have a smaller boat.
The homes on Spanish wells are very well kept and many have lovely manicured gardens.
The main industry is fishing and the major catch is crayfish or Bahamian
Lobster. Spanish Wells supplies over half of the lobsters for all of the Bahamas and the fisherman make a very good living.
Martha makes a new friend on the island. This dog is 7 years old and is a cute as a puppy.
The first step at the dingy dock can be a challenge at low tide.
Out for a walk by the giant Nassau Grouper Mural with our good friends, Bobby and Luke from Latitude's.