05/28/2009, Green Turtle Cay
May 26... Bakers Bay, Great Guana to Green Turtle Cay
05/28/2009, Baker's Bay, Great Guana Cay
We left Bakers Bay around 9am and headed out the Ship Channel to round the Whale but then headed east out the Loggerhead channel to do some fishing. After an hour or so without a bite we headed back in the Whale channel and proceeded north to Green Turtle.
After some lunch, we dinghied in to "Pineapples" for a beer and then over to New Plymouth. The power was off on the island and it was hot. We're far enough south that the sun is amazingly hot when overhead. We spent the afternoon in town stopping at both groceries and a few other shops before heading back to the boats.
I made some sweet and sour sauce from some mango chutney and vinegar, cut up some peppers and onions and added it to some ham that I had and wrapped it all in foil. I added one can of pineapple and tossed it on the grill for about 30 minutes. It ended up being quite tasty.
We watched a movie before heading to bed.
At 2:30 I woke to lightening and a little rain. As I was shutting the hatches the wind picked up a little more so I went up to the cockpit to see the storm. The holding at Green Turtle isn't the best. On our way in we spotted an area of sand and dropped anchor in the middle. After backing down on it, I thought we were ok. There were about 6 other boats in the area but none of them were very close.
The wind was out of the SE at about 30k at this point but the storm was still coming so I remained in the cockpit. In just a couple of minutes, through the lightening flashes, it was apparent that a boat was dragging down on "Fine Lion." Someone was on deck with a head light frantically trying to get their anchor up. Another person was at the helm with their engine in reverse trying to head off a collision. With about one boat length to spare they got the anchor on deck and drove around to the NW, re-anchoring well down wind.
In a few minutes things began to subside a little so I went below to grab one of our side curtains and zipped it in place. The other one was up, but I hadn't been able to get the second one up in the wind.
With the wind back to about 20k, I went below and made a bed on the settee. Unfortunately in about 10 minutes the wind began to pick up again... as did the lightning. When I got to the cockpit the wind was shifting and within a minute it was 180 degrees from where it was during the first thunderstorm minutes ago. The rain picked up lowering visibility to about 100 feet and the wind was holding a 35 knots. This was the worst possible scenario for our poor anchor: marginal holding and a 180 degree shift in 35 knots. The boat that had dragged down on "Fine Lion" and re-anchored, was now sliding directly toward us. At this point I went below and got Kathy. It we had to take evasive action, she needed to help.
Once again there was action on their deck with someone scrambling to retrieve their anchor in the worst conditions. As they got themselves organized and on their way to re-anchor yet again we began to see gusts above 45k. I started the engine to take some pressure off the anchor if necessary, but left it in neutral for the time being.
With things under control for the moment and the GPS saying that we hadn't budged, I looked around during lightening flashes and "Fine Lion" was gone. I should have been able to see them but they were not where they were supposed to be.
I stayed at the helm with an eye on the GPS and watched the storm. It was taking forever to get past us. After about 20 minutes I got a glimpse of nav lights to our port well off. In the next flash I verified the shape as "Fine Lion" - they where doing slow circles to the west, waiting for things to abate to the point where they could re-anchor.
I went below at 4:30, dried off and spread out on the settee. It had been 2 hours of 35 knot winds gusting at times to over 60. Our anchor had held .... even with a 180 degree wind shift, and we were no worse for wear.
May 25... Fishers Bay to Bakers Bay, Great Guanna, Abacos
05/28/2009, Fisher's Bay, Great Guana Cay
We didn't get any weather this morning and the water is was calm and the skies were clear for the first time in at least a week. I ran ashore for some ice and checked out Milo's vegetable stand but the tomatoes were tiny so I passed them up.
We hauled our anchor up and headed north to Bakers Bay, which is only about 3.5 miles. After our arrival we took the dinghies over to an island where there are tons of shells. Kim and I hiked all the way around and found a spot on the back side where the shells and rocks were piled up in a 3 foot berm. If we didn't see anything we liked we dug with sticks causing a minor avalanche and uncovering another layer of shells.
I saved a few and found one heart bean but it was the walk that felt good. We returned after a few hours and had some lunch. We read for a while and then Kathy and I took off again for the new Bakers Bay Marina. The channel was cut out of solid rock and led about a kilometer in to a huge marina with no boats. It is still under construction but the channel goes at least a mile into the island.
At the resort last night a fisherman had given Kim a bag of Mahi... so we were invited over to "Fine Lion" to share the windfall. Steve grilled it and fixed some veggies on the grill. Kathy made some rice and some pickle roll-ups.... we had another great meal and then returned to watch a movie.
There is a low pressure system in the area that is tropical in nature. We watched the trough form last week in the southern Bahamas and are in the process of figuring out where it's going. It is not really a danger at this point with winds to 35 knots and it should be moving away from us to the northeast...
We will continue to move north slowly and wait for the trades to reestablish before heading back to the States.
May 24th Fisher Bay, Great Guana Cay
After coffee and a big breakfast, I took the dinghy to shore and wandered around until I found a place that sold ice. With that chore accomplished, half of my jobs for the day were finished. My other task was to make conch salad for either lunch or dinner.
On Sundays Nippers has a Pig Roast and although we weren't particularly interested in the pork, it does attract lots of people. Nippers is on the ocean side of this Great Guana Cay, and is a multi level bar with two pools and miles of perfect beach. Actually there are about 5 bars and I counted 8 bartenders behind the largest.
The entertainment today was a "The Limbo King" from Nassau who was going to perform at around 4pm so we didn't want to get there too early.
We left the boat abound 12:30 and left the dinghies on the beach. Then we walked the west side of the island around to Orchid Bay Marina, a distance of about a mile. We had a bag of books that we needed to drop off at Pirate's Cove which is an internet café, ice cream shop, laundry, and tee shirt shop. This year they've added a little tiki bar just off the street.
"Buck a Book" is a charity that a couple in Marsh Harbour operates to generate money to save the wild horses of Abaco. There are 8 left and they are the last of a Spanish Breed that either swam ashore or were left here a few hundred years ago. Anyway we had ten or 12 books that needed a new home and we dropped them off.
We felt in need of a little more walking, so we walked about a mile to the Orchid Bay Marina to check it our. It was very nice-lots of beautiful flowers. Then we head back to Pirate's Cover where we sat at their Tiki bar and had a Kalik watching droves of people turn the corner in front of us heading up the hill to Nippers. The sky was grey and threatened of rain, but that didn't seem to affect anyone. They came in all shapes, sizes and ages, dressed (or not dressed) in every imaginable fashion.
Eventually we followed the mob up the backside of the dune check things out. We walked on the ocean beach and tried to wait for the "Limbo King", but it started to rain hard so we headed back down the hill and ended up at Grabbers to listen to the band again. We were back on the boat before dark.