10 May 2011 | White Sound, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
New Plymouth is the town on Green Turtle Cay. It’s at the opposite end of the island from the harbor where we’re anchored. It would be about a 3-mile walk (this island is pretty small) but it was a fairly easy dinghy ride. There are two government docks and two dinghy landings listed on the chart, so we went to both. One is on the Sea of Abaco and that looked like what was used by the mailboat and other little freight boats. The other was inside the shallow Settlement Harbour, and that looked like where the cruisers went, so that’s where we tied up. The sign in the photo is at the end of the dock, as you’re walking towards the town, so I think we picked the right one.
This was another little town with concrete streets and little fences. Unlike Man-O-War, this town is a mix of black and white Bahamians. It’s the first really mixed town we’ve seen. Many of the houses are more than 100 years old. We started our tour at the Captain Roberts house. This was a restored house with an environmental education display in it. It also had a medicinal garden in the back with the plants named. Most of them were shrubs and small trees. The kitchen was a separate building a few steps behind the main house. We asked for a recommendation for lunch from the docent there and she sent us to the Wrecking Tree restaurant. Bud wanted conch stew, which was on the menu, but not available. Bud settled for a conch salad and I got a conch burger. The restaurant, like most of them, had some seating on a porch, so Fuzzy was welcome.
After lunch we went back to look at the town. Bud wouldn’t pay the $5 per person admission for the historic center, so we didn’t get to see that. It probably was overpriced, but I should have lobbied harder. We wandered around for a while and I took pictures. Bud went in one of the grocery stores and picked up a few snacks. One bag of snack items came to $55. I’m not sure I agree with Bud’s idea of what’s worth it!
I had Fuzzy in the front pack for the ride in the dinghy and he ended up back in the pack for a good part of the walk. He has a habit of walking over to a little piece of shade and standing there looking pathetic, old and feeble until we pick him up and carry him. After we left New Plymouth we decided to dinghy over to the other harbor on the island, so it was nice that Fuzzy was in the front pack. We went into Black Sound, that has an even shallower entrance than White Sound, but it’s actually roomier inside. There’s a big boat yard there and a lot of cruisers have their boats pulled and stored and come back for them next season. On the way out of Black Sound we noticed a man way out between the harbors in a dinghy, just drifting. As we came closer we saw it was the same man we’d seen at the dinghy dock in New Plymouth with someone working on his little outboard. So we took him in tow. He wanted to go into Black Sound (we’d seen him in Settlement Harbour) to a Yamaha dealer. He was pretty grateful for the tow, and it was pleasant for us. He was a single hander from Texas on a C&C racer/cruiser. He said the fix in New Plymouth lasted about 10 minutes. The second fix must have worked because I saw him go by our boat at anchor back in White Sound later in the day. I didn’t notice him until he was past us, I tried to hail him but he couldn’t hear me over the dinghy engine.
Bud and I left Fuzzy on the boat (again with a piece of Pupperoni, and again he was quiet) and went in to the marina here. Bud was looking for some Neem salve for his poisonwood. Both of us got poisonwood. Mine came on faster and is mostly gone. Bud’s is really bothering him now and Neem slave, made from a local plant, is supposed to be the best thing for it. Unfortunately, the marina store was out of it. When we were in the marina office, we heard a boat radio in for a slip, an 85-foot motor yacht. As we left we saw they were coming in the entrance channel. Ahead of them were a power catamaran and a sailing catamaran. I stayed up on deck to watch them all juggle for space. The power cat was headed for the same marina and ended up having to back out while the big yacht maneuvered into his slip. The big yacht’s tender was following him. They must have been towing it, but then had someone go aboard and drive it in. It was at least twenty feet long and had a center console and a bimini top. The sailboat cruised rapidly around the harbor and then after a couple of tries snagged a mooring ball. The power cat docked safely another pier at the marina, so all made it in without mishap. That was a lot of traffic for a small space, though. I’ll put a picture of Earendil at anchor in this harbor in the gallery. There’s not a lot of room for an 85-foot boat to move around. Of course it helps if you have twin engines and bow and stern thrusters, which I’m sure he had. Both the catamarans were charter boats, so there was probably more chance for some excitement from them.
We plan to leave here tomorrow at high tide. I’m not sure that any of the islands in the northern Abacos have Internet, so this might be my last post until we get back to the US. We are thinking we will leave Saturday or Sunday, so will probably have Internet Monday or Tuesday, so if you don’t see any postings for a week, don’t worry. (Since our SSB isn’t transmitting properly I can’t post via Sailmail either.) Anyway, the weather patterns are very settled right now, we are much more likely to suffer from too little wind than too much.