02/20/2012, Sea of Abaco
We returned to Marsh Harbour, leaving Lynard Cay at 9 AM. Light easterly winds allowed us to beam reach most of the 25 mile sail. This picture of us in the cockpit was taken by Jane on s/v/ Kinvara.
Lisa, Craig, Bill, Hans, Linda, Gail and Peter
We joined fellow cruisers from s/v Kinvara, s/v/ Second Spree, m/v BadJaw on the beach at Lynard Cay. We were able to scrounge enough wood and material to make a fire on the beach for a cookout.
Sunset at Lynyard Cay
This past Tuesday morning, February 14th, we left our slip in Marsh Harbor headed for Lynyard Cay. Lynyard is located directly across from Little Harbor and is a popular staging ground for boats going further south. We arrived around 2 p.m. and found the anchorage full of boats.
Our friends from Kinvara and Badjaw were already there having spent the previous week or so in Little Harbor. It was wonderful to see Hans and Gail again as we'd thought we said our "Final" goodbye the week before in Marsh Harbor. We also met some new friends, Lisa and Craig, from Second Spree.
After we dropped anchor, Hans and Gail came by in their dinghy to fill us on the plans for the rest of the day. Bill asked Hans if he'd take out to check on the anchor with the 'Lookie Bucket,' and, of course, Hans agreed. Quickly the word came back that the Manson was well set and we were good to go.
The plan for the evening was a potluck cookout on the beach. We'd thought we'd go snorkeling when we arrived but it turned out that we didn't have enough time as the fire was being lit at 4:30 sharp! I had to come up with something to bring and I decided on potato salad. Rather than cook up potatoes, I opened 3 cans of Delmonte canned potatoes and cut them up and the rest was my usual ingredients. Amazingly, it tasted just like the salad I make from fresh potatoes and took only half the time. Thank you, Cindy, from S/V Síocháin, for cluing us into the value of having a large supply of canned potatoes on board!
When we arrived ashore, the fire was burning well and circled by chairs, in various states of disrepair, found around the beach. There's nothing like sitting on a beach with a beer, good friends and food cooked over an open fire. It was a great time and beautiful evening...when we got back to Céilí, I sat out in the cockpit for a while just enjoying the starry sky and the peace of the anchorage.
On Wednesday, we said good-bye to Hans and Gail for the last time as they headed to the cut between Lynyard Cay and Great Abaco which would take them out into the Atlantic and on towards Eleuthera. A little later, Bill and I went ashore and walked to the Atlantic side of Lynyard Cay. It's a very short walk, along a narrow trail through tough, scrubby vegetation that reminded me somewhat of sage brush. We passed what once had been a small house, now in ruins and abandoned. We walked up a short rise and we greeted by a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. The shore line was a combination of sandy beach and rugged coral outcroppings. Sadly, the beach was strewn with litter...much of it plastic. The abundance of trash may be the result of hurricane Irene, and not representative of the usual amount of debris but it was disheartening to see nonetheless.
On our return to the boat we got a call from Jane telling us that she and Peter were beach combing on the shore across from us and that it was a great place to pick up shells. Not ones to pass up the chance to add to our shell collection, we hopped back in the dinghy and went over. The beach was awash with myriad shells, sea weed and assorted trash, again possibly remnants of Hurricane Irene. We encountered what looked like a former campsite; a metal shelter frame, a line hung with tattered clothes, and other items suggested that someone had lived there at some point. By the time we arrived, Peter and Jane had already found lots of shells, sea urchins, sand dollars, etc. but there were plenty left for us, including some nice conchs. Among the debris Bill found a small, grubby, formerly white, fender. He'd apparently had wanted one for years but couldn't bring himself to spring for the price...about $40. After some soap, water and elbow grease it looks as good as new and is currently in service. A treasure for him. I came back with a bucket of shells which now needs to be sorted...I mean, how many shells does anyone need?!
After a few hours of shelling, it was time to go snorkeling. We'd been told that there was a pretty fascinating reef just off the beach. The "reef" was formed by a large truck tire, covered with coral and now home to a community of small reef fish. It was pretty amazing...it almost looked like a carousel as the fish swam in and out and round and round. As I was approaching the reef, I passed a barracuda. They always look ferocious but he had no interest in the 'mini reef' or me and slowly swam out of sight.
We left Lynyard Cay on Thursday morning with a nice breeze from the southeast, affording us a lovely sail back to Marsh Harbor. Friday morning we made a bike ride to Maxwell's for a few essentials and decided that a trip to Mermaid Reef for an afternoon of snorkeling was in order. It was an almost perfect day for it...mostly sunny and the water was reasonably clear. Unlike the last time we'd been there, we found fish galore. I never tiring looking at them...their colors and endless variety are simply amazing. After a couple of hours on the reef we went back and enjoyed cocktails and a bite to eat at the newly renovated and recently reopened Mangoes Marina restaurant. We've been there several times now and have been very impressed with the food and the ambiance and have great hopes for its success.
Saturday was a ferry trip over to Man O War Cay for the annual school fundraiser flea market. The market was packed with people shopping for bargains, betting on the hermit crab races, enjoying great food and just basking in the beautiful day. I didn't find any treasures but Bill came home with conch shell horn which, I'm sure, will get a lot of use. Dinner was steak night at the Jib Room across the harbor...delicious as always.
Sunday morning finds me being somewhat lazy and Bill servicing the Espar heater in anticipation of our upcoming trip back to New England. While we may encounter some cool temps along the way I am hopeful that it will be more comfortable than the trip down here.
Time to sort through the shells!