Playground for Cruise Ships gone bust
Sunny, 15 knot winds
04/23/2009, Man-O-War Cay to Great Guana Cay – Baker’s Bay Anchorage N26*41.311 W77*09.579; 80*,
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.
80* and Sunny
04/22/2009, Hope Town, Elbow Cay to Man-O-War Harbor, Man-O-War Cay (N26*35.711 W77*00.457)
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Hung around until 2pm before leaving the harbor. Visited the grocery store, dropped off garbage and had a last walk about. I polished off a John Sanford novel, Wayne napped, and then we headed out for Man-O-War.
On the way out, we bumped on a hard patch, but only once (thank goodness). I followed the path out that Wayne came in on, but man it was rough watching the depth sounder... I do not like hard shallows in our little boat. It made me cringe. I was on edge until we finally got out to 8-9 ft. The tides were flooding and we were doing a zooming speed of 2 knots against the wind and waves. I finally decided we were clear of any other boats and gave Wayne the helm and practiced blowing on the conch horn. Wow - it made me dizzy! I got some sounds out of it - some actually sounded pretty good, but the sound wasn't consistent. That ole cow sound came out again, dead air hooting, and a few good blows interspersed with some strange high pitched toots. I am definitely not ready to sound the entrance of the king... More practice on the next island hop.
The moorings at Man are extremely closely packed here - and I thought they were close in Hope Town. The first one we went for, belonged to the marina but was to shallow when we approached it and had to forgo it. We found another one and managed to attach to it but wow are we close to another boat. The boats surrounding us on the moorings look like they're wrapped up and uninhabited. I think we're in a storage area LOL. We got into Man-O-War at 4:05pm and dinghied to the marina to see who we were supposed to pay for the mooring. They said it didn't belong to them and to just wait - Someone would come to the boat to collect. We walked around but most things were already closed. Found a great couple of shops, grocery store and 2 banks. The banks only open once a week. One opens from 2-4pm on Thursday, the other one opens 1-4 on Friday. There are two boat works places here - nice boat building going on!
Back at the boat we sat up top and watched the sun go down - it was a very nice golden sunset with pink/red bottom clouds. Wayne convinced me to try my hand at the horn again since others were blowing the sun down. Yikes - hope I didn't offend anyone - how embarrassing- there was that cow passing gas sound again!
Had the rest of the Marsala beef/mushroom stew for dinner that I made last night, then sat up top enjoying the evening. Nobody has come by to collect yet for the mooring - Maybe in the morning. I have Internet here J
Still at anchor in Hopetown
showers on and off
04/21/2009, Hopetown, the Sea of Abaco
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Hope Town - Cap'n Jacks moorage, Sea of Abaco.
Rainy morning. Showers on and off. Wayne put up a towel to direct water to the holding tank and it stopped raining right after that (isn't that always the way LOL). We worked on some necessary paperwork (unfinished business from home) and stayed aboard reading, and catching up on downloading pictures from my camera (amazing how quickly that card fills up), Internet and emails.
I tried my hand at the conch horn again at sundown. Yikes! Wayne says Louie Armstrong has no worries from my direction.
It's interesting that Atlantic Cruisers picked up a Pacific tradition. The conch horn heralds back to the Polynesians/Hawaiians that used the conch horn for ceremonies and to herald in the arrival of the king. I'm not sure who started the sundown tradition here but it seems most prevalent in the Georgetown area. Wayne wants me to learn to blow it to herald in his arrival LOL
Local businesses use the conch shell as decorations and building material too. This picture was taken in a restaurant - the shell is used as a table decoration.