A view from Hope Town
04/15/2008, Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Abacos
After breakfast I worked on the dinghy...for the first time in a about 6 weeks. Yesterday I noticed that the fabric that the attaches the transom was coming unglued on one side. I cleaned everything, applied some glue, and then used duct tape to hold things in place.
The next project was to empty out the lazerette in search of a rattle at low rpms that we have heard lately. It ended up being the exhaust pipe on the hull. The problem was easily fixed but putting everything back took a long time. However, I will need to check out the motor mounts to make sure that nothing is loose.
We stopped by "Fine Lion" to get the lay of the land and then went to shore.
Hope Town harbor is about ½ mile in diameter. There is no room to anchor because of all the mooring balls. The town is old... some of the homes are circa 1850's. Like most of the Abacos, the building are painted in pastels and right now, flowers are blooming everywhere. In the old part of town the roads are wide enough for a golf carts with paved paths that are even narrower. There are lots of cottages so the area is busier that some of the towns here.
We wandered around and had a nice walk before stopping at "Captain Jacks" for a light lunch.
What was left of the afternoon was spent reading in the cockpit watching the boats come and go.
"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.