"Restless" in Hope Town
04/14/2008, Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Abacos
April 13...Fisher Bay to Hope Town
As forecast, the wind piped up this morning to about 20kts and since we were on a lee shore Sapphire was rocking and rolling. Our anchor held well but walking around the boat was difficult. At about 9am a Sunsail boat came in (chartered sailboat) to attempt to pick up a mooring next to us. They looked ok heading up wind to the mooring with one of the girls on the foredeck with a dock pole. But things went south quickly from there. The Captain wasn't able to get the boat close enough to the mooring for the girl to grab the line with her dock pole. On the third attempt she was able to grab the mooring but couldn't hold it when the boat floated back over the dock pole which was attached to the mooring on one end and the girl on the other. She held on as long as she could, bending the pole and almost breaking her arm in the process, but eventually had to let go. The dock pole was still attached to the loop on the mooring line so on their next attempt she jumped in to rescue the pole.
At that point, with someone in the water in three foot seas, it ceased being entertainment so I jumped in the dinghy to assist. By the time I arrived the young lady was back on board with the pole but the pick up had caused them to drift into another boat behind. After some quick fending off they were back in the general area of the mooring. I took their line and ran it through the loop on the end of the mooring and returned it to the boat. By that time there were three dinghies on the scene to make sure that their boat was correctly secured.
Shortly after, we hauled anchor and with "Restless" headed south for Hope Town. We sailed on mizzen and staysail for about 8 miles and anchored behind some small islands for protection while we waited for the tide to rise enough to get into the harbor. At about 1pm we took off for the 2 mile run into Hope Town and picked up the moorings that Steve had reserved a few days ago.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon reading. Steve and I took a short dinghy tour of the harbor looking at boats but that was about it for entertainment. We will be here for at least 3 more days so there will lots of time to explore. Lots of our friend say that this is their favorite town in the Bahamas.
04/13/2008, Great Guana Cay
April 12th...Fisher Bay, Great Guana
I spent most of the morning cleaning the bottom of our boat. Although the bottom paint has held up well, all boats still need some work in tropical conditions. There are divers in all the major harbors who will scrape and clean your hull for a couple of hundred dollars, but I prefer to do it myself. This is the second time that I've scraped. My system is to use a wide putty knife going around the hull scraping anything in reach. Then I put attach the scraper to a dock pole and hit the areas that are deeper. Finally, I go around again with a long handled brush to knock off any left over slime and junk.
Around noon I finally got out of the water, showered and got ready for going ashore. We were invited a few weeks ago via email to a surprise birthday party for Penny on "Viking Rose" to be held at "Nippers" on the other side of this island. We left the boat a little early to walk the town and as luck would have it, ran into the birthday girl and Richard doing the same thing. There really wasn't much to the town , so we joined them for the walk to the other side of the island. "Nippers" is a restaurant situated on the Atlantic that has two pools and miles of beach to walk. It is nice but not posh. We had a beer watched the ocean roll in and before long Steve and Carol showed up. A few minutes later Barry and Susan (who don't even know Penny, but should) joined. A fourth couple joined us and still Penny was unaware that anything was up. Finally when the group got to 12 she wised up. Richard ordered everything on the hors de vours menu and we all sat around most of the afternoon.
On our walk back we bought some nice looking tomatoes from a roadside stand which we ate along with our baked chicken for dinner.
Leaving Marsh Harbour
04/13/2008, Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco, Bahamas
April 11...Marsh Harbor to Fishers Bay, Great Guana
When you check into the Bahamas, Customs gives sailors a Cruising permit for one year. It costs about $300 and allows your boat to be in Bahamian waters. You also have to check in with immigration ... if your entry point has no immigration office the Customs office checks you in for 90 days. If you stay longer, you are required to find an Immigration office and apply for an extention. So, although Sapphire was legal, our Visas were expiring on Monday. Since our plans were to leave Marsh Harbor today for Great Guana Cay, we needed to find the local Immigration office.
We left the boat at about 9am and headed to the area of town where the map said we could find the Immigration office. After wandering around for 20 minutes, we found a policeman who directed us back to the government dock where the office had moved. After another hike we found the Port Authority office where the Immigration office was located. After about 45 minutes of being harassed by a fat Bahamian lady with a brown uniform, we left with another 60 days added to our Visas.
Back on the boat at around 10:30 we left Marsh Harbor for Fishers Bay, Great Guana, which was a trip of about 11 miles. It was a beautiful day and the anchorage was wide open. We parked behind "Night Hawk" and had lunch... Craig and Kris from "Tilt" stopped by for a visit. Within two hours the anchorage was packed... with boats anchored way too close.
The bottom was grassy so I dove on the anchor and found it dug in but not buried as we'd like. Winds are not forecast to be over 15 so we should be ok.
What hopefully is the last cold front of the year, is going to be passing on Sunday night so Steve called Hope Town to reserve moorings for the three days or so that the winds will be gusting from the north.
"Restless" pulled into the anchorage later in the afternoon with a bucket full of conch... his first. We went ashore and removed them from their shells and then back to "Night Hawk" for a lesson in skinning them.
Susan had us all over for Barry's birthday dinner and cooked some of the Mahi that she caught on the crossing up to the Abacos. It was delicious.