Playground for Cruise Ships gone bust
23 April 2009 | Man-O-War Cay to Great Guana Cay – Baker’s Bay Anchorage N26*41.311 W77*09.579; 80*,
Sunny, 15 knot winds
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Miles traveled: 11.2; Anchored 6ft.
Got up and put together some bread to rise, then put on the coffee and flipped on the VHF. Not a lot of chatter on the radio this morning.
After coffee, weather on the Cruiser's Net, and looking about, we decided to head for Great Guana Cay. It's a beautiful day so we had a leisurely sail at 3-4 knots with only the Yankee powering us. It was a nice down wind sail in the Sea of Abaco. Looking across the water - we could see a cloud growing on Great Abaco Island. As the day wore on, the cloud broke into several large plumes. It appears that Great Abaco is burning. Patti from the Cruiser's Net had put out a plea this morning to be careful with any fires because there hasn't been any significant rainfall. There appears to be no fire squad on Great Abaco either. Wayne says the area is probably not populated - but we've watched the smoke march steadily southward for most of the day.
All the way here, I practiced blowing the conch horn. Just when I think I got it, I don't. The good news is - I'm blowing it better, just not consistently. Practice, practice, practice... Then it's Wayne's turn huh, huh, haaaaah...
After anchoring we took the dinghy to a very nice deserted dock on a beach facing the Abaco Sea (not the Atlantic side). This place is labeled on the chart as a deserted playground for cruise ships. According to the readings they built this area as a resort for cruise ships to come into the island. Unfortunately the cut, to get in here, has a bad reputation to rage (when the current sets up against the wind creating huge breaking rollers) during the winter & spring months. After dredging the area, putting in a channel and starting to build up the north part of the island for the cruise ships, they discovered that the cruise ships couldn't come in when they wanted to (due to the rages) - so that went bust. It's now being developed into individual lots and it looks like a marina type subdivision. The beaches are beautiful and anchoring is pretty good. It will be interesting to see how this area develops in a few years. It's kind of funny because coming in to anchor, I was watching the island and the horizon it created. All of a sudden, a large palm tree on the horizon of the island went zipping along toward the south of the island. I thought I was seeing things, but nope, that palm was moving faster than any boat I'd seen move all day. It was only after we dinghied over and saw the construction going on in the middle of the island (moving sand and sectioning off lots) that we realized they were moving palms from various locations to make various lots more desirable.
While waist wading in the water I found a good size conch but he had no pronounced lip (lucky for him - he'd have had dinner and a horn written all over him had there been a lip). Only one red star, a couple good size chitins and snails. Not much else in the line of sea life that I could find without my mask and snorkels.