Filling in the Green Turtle gaps
16 January 2011 | Green Turtle Cay, Abacos
Beth / 70's mostly
While Jim went home to Halifax to do some "work work" (as opposed to boat work), I stayed on Madcap in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay and had a most delightful time of it! The mooring ball, owned by Rick Sawyer is about as secure as they come here - (translation: keep an eye on the chains and lines) but because there is little or no wind in the sound, they don't get as much strain as in other places. In fact, a boat stayed on that suspect mooring where we temporarily tied up for the whole week and it was fine.
Jim was picked up right at the boat by the Green Turtle Ferry Bolo boat at 6:30 Saturday morning. If his flight had been later, he'd have been able to take a regularly scheduled trip ($10 one way or $15 return) but since his flight was at 8:30 from Treasure Cay, he had to charter a special trip costing $75 instead. Drat! We thought for a bit that there was a party going from Green Turtle Club to split the fare but that turned out to be Sunday. Drat again!
I managed to do some boat work - sanding and cetoling the hand rails on the cabin roof and some waxing and cleaning, interspersed with swims, walks, visits, books and naps. From Black Sound, it is easy to dinghy to the public dock at the end of the sound, tie up and go walking. A sharp left leads along the east shore past Abaco Marine Services all the way to White Sound, with periodic turnoffs to the beach. A right turn leads to the town of New Plymouth - up the hill to the Telephone Office and the school and then downhill to either of two streets leading to the water. That same right turn followed by a sharp left just up the hill leads down again past the ball field to our little local beach at Gilliam Bay. (That's where I shot this pic at the end of a twilight walk.) On other occasions, I went to the Other Shore Club and combined a walk with a shower or bathroom stop, (showers $3. and you pay Kevin) and Bob (Gratia) showed me where he ties up part way along the sound - with a shorter walk to town.
I took all of these walks - sometimes a couple of times a day. On the day I walked over to White Sound (about 45 minutes) I was delighted to find Passages and Volantis tied up at the dock. The fellows on Island Dreamin', the Hunter on the ball next to Madcap came by while I was there, so we were able to talk about favourite spots in the Abacos. While Passages and Madcap prefer the anchorages, Island Dreamin' was looking for places to tie up and have fun. Fortunately the Abacos has both!
Pat and Dianne (Sharpie's Dream - a Bayfield 32 from Ontario) arrived at the Leeward Yacht Club, and dinghied over to say hello. Donn and Sandi (Cypraea) got towed in by Minden - a Bayfield 40 and tied to the ball next to us, while Minden went over to White Sound. (I got a message from Pat (Kolibri) suggesting that with all the Bayfields down here, we'd better organize a gam!)
We had a bit of adventure the next day when Donn in his dinghy and I in mine pushed Cypraea (with Sandi at the wheel) from one mooring ball to another. Cypraea has a non functioning transmission and will be here until a friend brings a new one from the states. It is always interesting to figure out the best angle for little boats to guide a big boat safely from one place to another, and after trying a few options, we made a successful trip, passing Madcap on the way.
Also during the week, I visited the well stocked library in town (open M,W,F 2 - 4) and exchanged some books for new ones. Both the library and the Leeward Yacht Club have a good selection of books for trading. Captain Roberts House is open daily 10 - 2 (except Sat when it closes at 12) and has a fine display of things marine and ecological. Unfortunately, I arrived just at closing time so I had to take a quick run through. It's worth the stop. I had wanted to watch the video that Tom (Ripple) took of some of the older fishermen talking about the old days. That will have to be next time, because despite Sally's welcome, closing time is closing time!
I enjoyed meeting Peter and Lesley (Cloud Nine) at Happy Hour at the Leeward Yacht Club one evening. We had great fun connecting the dots on Madcap, because Peter remembered a C&C named Madcap, owned by a fellow named John and kept at Trident Yacht Club in Gananoque ON. We figured that particular Madcap must predate the Bayfield 36 of the same name that we bought from John Killick! Would that be right John? ... or Ralph? (Peter also says hello to Grant at TYC!)
Laundry day turned out to be an exercise in patience. The machines at LYC are lovely and clean (2 of each costing $4 per load - tokens available at the office and at the Tiki bar) but electrical power on the Cay is a bit hit and miss. It was off for most of the day earlier in the week while work was done on the lines, but it went off unexpectedly while my wash was just starting its final spin. I read for a while on the sunny deck, chatted with Rick and learned that one should not just take the word of anyone who comes by collecting fees for moorings. A very nice chap named Matt had been by the day before to do that. When I mentioned that we were on Rick's ball and would be paying him when we left, he didn't push the issue, but Rick said that he did manage to collect from a few other boats. Matt is, however, a good fisherman, and will catch and sell lobsters for $5. each! It can be a bit difficult to track down who owns what moorings, but it is worth taking the trouble to do that. I always say, "If in doubt, ask Kevin" the dockmaster at the Other Shore Club who is our "Go To Man" for any questions!
Eventually the power came back on and I managed to finish the washing. Lighter items got strung all along the life lines on Madcap while the towels and denim went in the dryers just in time to allow Lesley to get her wash started.
I enjoyed a couple of swims at Gilliam Bay but never did take my snorkelling gear over to the beach farther along the cay. While it wasn't quite warm enough to stay in for a long time, 15 - 20 minutes was very refreshing. Brisk walks every day kept me limber and it was always nice to end the days in our cockpit, sometimes watching the sun go down around 6, and sometimes coming home from Pineapples or the LYC or Cypraea after dark, wending my way carefully along in our little dinghy.
Jim arrived back on Friday - one day later than planned because of a delay getting out of Halifax. He had a great week there - seeing Mary Beth and speaking at a leadership conference. This is the kind of "work" he really enjoys - using his experience to inspire and mentor others. We took turns talking non stop about what we each did during the week and how we felt about it. Fortunately, we were both happy with the experience of doing our own things for a few days! We tucked into tasty conch burgers at the Plymouth Rock Liquor Store and Cafe at lunch time, and Donn and Sandi (Cypraea) came over to celebrate his return that evening. We had a lovely time under the stars in Madcap's cockpit, sharing stories of the ways we keep learning and growing as we age. They are prime examples of life long learners and had much to share.
So ... it was a full and satisfying week! Now on to the next adventure!