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Sward's adventures
Marsh Harbor to Man-O-War

March 10, 2009

We headed out of Marsh Harbor about 10:30 so we could get thru the entrance before low tide. I decided we would go to Man-O-War Cay first. I enjoyed it so much and wanted to share it with Jude. There wasn't much wind and it wasn't far so we motored. We picked up a mooring, made some sandwiches, got our bathing suits on and headed to shore. I paid for the mooring and we walked. I enjoyed sharing it with Judy. We eventually found the way to the beach and walked for awhile on the sand and coral. We found a patch without too much seaweed, put our stuff down and went for a swim-sooooo wonderful. Then we had our picnic on the beach. We walked back to the marina and went back to the boat. We decided to go back to shore and have dinner at the outside restaurant on the dock. We had sandwiches-unusually reasonally priced and good. Back home to look at pictures taken that day and try to send them to people-what a pain in the neck these things can be sometimes.

03/14/2009 | david
rum punch , more rum punch
Guana Cay to Marsh Harbor

Monday, March 9, 2009
Guana Cay to Marsh Harbor

It was tricky getting to Marsh Harbor from Guana with the coordinates provided by the charts. You couldn't just go straight due to the shallow areas and islands. I got into Marsh Harbor about 9:30. The harbor entrance was a bit hard to understand. I finally saw the marina after the guy told me he was waving at me. I said am I pointed in the right direction and he said yes, but I wasn't, he was 90 degrees to starboard of me, so as much as I looked and looked for him, I couldn't see him. Anyway, I attempted to get into the slip. It was one of the worst one's I've ever done. It bothered me to no end, since I now pride myself of getting into a slip. But part of the problem was that they had a different idea about what I was going to do than I thought I was going to do. They grabbed my lines and I thought would walk it up and tie it off, instead they dropped me back and I hit the piling. Apparently they wanted me to put a line on the piling-I hadn't expected that. I finally told them I wasn't going to use that piling-only put lines on the bow-port and starboard, one on the stern and a spring line. That has worked most of the time for me before. They finally agreed. I had fenders and a fender board to hold me off the dock. I still can't believe what a bad landing it was. It really bothers me!

As promised, Judy arrived at about 1:15. I had been waiting at the office so she wouldn't be concerned about where she was or I was. She came in winter clothes from Massachusetts where they were having 1-3 inches of snow when she left. I told her to get those clothes off and get shorts on and have a rum punch on the deck. We did a few pictures then sat down to relax. I had met a couple of the neighbors on the dock who especially liked my flowers.

I needed to get to the store to get some groceries, and we had to walk and the stores close early so about 2:30 or so, I got my cart and we headed out on a hike to find the store. Marsh Harbor is where people do their restocking since the prices are better, the stores have a good stock. It was a warm day, so it was a hot walk. We got all the groceries we needed and had fun picking out all the possible ingredients of out own concoctions for our rum punches.

When we got back, one of the neighbors I had met earlier came over to invite us to the dock for a little get together she was putting together. She was providing the rum punches and all we had to bring was our own glasses. I got some carrots and dip to bring too. Good thing, there wasn't much food there, The carrots were a hit as well at the rum punch. A good time was had by all-about 7 other people.

Hopetown to Guana Cay

March 5, 2009

Hopetown to Guana Cay

I was going to go to Marsh Harbor to check out the lay of the land the day before Judy got there, but heard by VHF radio from Wind Dancer that Passport was still in Guana Cay and didn't go to Eulethera because of the winds so went back to Guana Cay, so I decided to go back there instead for the night. It was a nice trip.

I had 2 people telling me where to anchor-I love that everybody is an expert of what you should do. Anyway, I got it done-was secure and happy to be there. IB came by, I think eventually he and Rebecca came over and I made them a rum punch, we talked and they went back to their boat and ended up going swimming/snorkling. I got in my dingy to try to patch some of the holes I have with a kind of tape I had gotten at the store as a sample. I didn't know it was good for dingy's. So while I was doing that, they came over and asked me to go swimming with them. I said I needed to get the dingy fixed. When I was done, I did go in, but they were out! There wasn't much to see, but a couple of big, neat starfish-not the kind I was used to seeing in New England though.

When I got back on the boat, I looked over the side and saw a big Stingray. He wasn't moving anywhere. I watched him for awhile and he just kind of hovered. I took many pictures of him, but it was thru the water with the sun's rays. You will have to see for yourself how they came out when I download them.

I asked IB and Rebecca if they were going to go to shore, and they didn't know. I really didn't care if I did or not. They eventually said they guessed they would for a walk. So we went in together. We did, just take a walk. Nippers was hopping on a Sunday night with mostly locals from several islands and were a bit buzzed and many of them, so we just walked thru and walked some more. Grabbers had live music and a bunch of people. To get anything to eat was about $20.00 so we declined and weren't in the mood to drink so we decided to go back to our boats.

I said my goodbyes since I would be heading out early in the morning to get to Marsh Harbor to get Judy, my sister. She was to fly in and arrive at the marina I had reserved a slip at, at about 1 PM

Hopetown, Elbow Cay

Tuesday, March 3, 0209

I went into the marina to settle up for the mooring-$17.00/night. I was very happy to have beenon it due to the high winds. The anchorages in the Abaco's tend to be seaweed and sand. The anchors don't hold well in seaweed. I went to the store to get some pineapple juice-one of the main ingredients to the rum punches besides the rum.

When I got back in the dingy I saw Passport and Wind Dancer heading out of the harbor, they had to wait for the tide to come up since they draw over 6 ft. I only draw 5. I put in the lat. and lon's into my GPS to head to Elbow Cay/Hopetown. I left the mooring at 1:00. It was only 3 plus miles so I didn't put the sails up and slowly motored. Another sunny beautiful day. Heard that Massachusetts had a foot of snow yesterday. I'm so glad not to have to deal with that anymore.

Hopetown/Elbow Cay
March 3, 2009

When I got to Hopetown this afternoon they said all the moorings were full and there isn't any decent anchorage. I asked what my options were. The marina manager at Hopetown Marina said he had a slip at thge dock for $1.00/ft. That's a great price for my 32' boat. When I tied upm, a perfect landing on the dock, I might add, we talked about me going to a mooring tomorrow for $17.00 a night. I was thinking the 32/night might be considered to have showers etc. I laso heard there is a festival this Saturday called Heritage Day and said I might stay. He ended up telling me that if I wanted to stay to the weekend I could have a slip for $20.00 a night-the same as the mooring. I said you've got a deal.

So, I put my bathing suit on, made a rum punch and sat in the cockpit writing this and getting a little buzzed!

What a life!

March 4, 2009

I eventually went to shore. On the way, I saw a Gemeni 105 Cateraman with the home port of Portsmouth, RI. I stopped by to ask if that is where they are from. There were two older ladies in the cockpit. They said, no, they were from Duxbury, MA. They introduced themselves to me. One of the woman is the liveaboard-I was surprised because she seemed to be in her mid 70's or so and her sister was there for a visit. The liveaboard-Diane, said she doesn't move the boat herself, but has help bringing it to Mass. each year and back to Hopetown for the winter. I was impressed, she didn't seem the type at all.

They told me there was going to be some live music later and they invited me to join them. I said I would but found out that the group was from Cornell University, but a group of men that have been singing for 50 years together-didn't think that was my cup of tea! So I didn't go.

I was kind of in a funky mood for a few days so just hybernated. Saturday I finally got myself together to go ashore for the Heritage Day. Unfortunately, I got there too late for the activities regarding the heritage of the island. Only the arts and crafts things were going on when I got there. They did have the museum open though. I walked around a bit more then went back to the boat.
While walking, I came to the end of the road and saw an old man sitting there, alone, just looking out at the beautiful view, watching the boats coming and going from the harbor entrance. I took his picture from behind. I started a conversation with him. I asked him where he was from, he said I was hatched right here! I said, you were born here? He said yes. I asked him what he did for a living here and he said fishing. He explained his job to me, I found it very interesting: He said he would go out in a small sailboat-about 12', with the captain of the boat, and he would catch crawfish or crayfish-can't remember which. He had a long pole-about 15 feet long to roust out the fish from the caves, caverns or where ever they were hiding. Then would scoop up the crayfish and put them in the boat. He said they would get between 50-120/day. That sounds like a lot of work and muscles. The boat captain had to keep the boat still for him to do what he needed to. He said they would put them in a net to drag in the water to keep them alive.

Feb 27-March 2, 009
03/14/2009, Man-O-War Continued

Friday-February 27, 009

I was surprised to see "passport" (IB and Rebecca) pick up a mooring right beside me. I was thrilled. Lee and Barb on Wind Dancer were there too but they were socializing with Clairebouyant most of the time.

Saturday-February 28, 2009

IB and Rebecca came by to say hello and said they were going snorkling and asked me to go along. I was thrilled, I've wanted to go for awhile,but can't bymyself. Eventually they came over in their dingy to pick me up. We went about 3 miles out in the Abaco Bay to a reef. So awesome, mostly small fish, but great coral, sea fans, etc. and awesome caverns. I loved it. I had a throw away underwater camera and took some pictures. I don't know if any will come out good. After we were done snorkling, we sat in the dingy and had sandwiches and snacks. So cool. After tht we headed back-much drier ride and shorter.. IB went thru an area that he thought had been too shallow originally.

They told me that they had created some pretty good rum punches and invited me over. We discussed dinner and decided to make pizza. They had dough for 1 and I had one so I brought my veg's and dough over to their boat, a Tayana 42-a really nice boat. We had a really nice
evening. They insisted on me taking the leftovers home and I enjoyed them the next day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A cold front was soming thru so we all battoned down the hatches. The afternoon had a couple of squalls and in the evening the winds picked up to 30 plus so we rocked and rolled. I stayed onboard all day doing some projects. I remarked the anchor chain with sail material that Lee gave me and colored wire ties. It will help me to know how much chain I have out so I can know when is enough. I also redid the bungee sail tie cords. I think I did some other things-can't remember.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The wind was laying down. I straightened the boat up, took a short nap, then changed the oil in the Honda generator and the engine.

Lee and Barb came by to ask me to join them for dinner on their boat. IB and Rebecca were going too. I made my famous chheese dip.

When I got there, Lee said did you change your oil filter too? I said no, I forgot. He said I need to pump out all the oil I just put in before I can do the oil filter. How depressing. I'm dragging my feet on that one.

It was a nice dinner and company. They, both boats, were heading to Eleuthera in the morning. I was going to go too, but decided the time was too close for me to pick up Judy in Marsh Harbor on Monday since it about 100 or so miles there so I opted out.

Man-O-War Cay continued

Well, the mechanic, Jerry Tubbs, an older gentlemen, came and crawled around checking everything. Finally, he checked the back of the battery switch and the nuts were loose and that was the problem!! I had done that awhile ago trying to check out something else and left them loose incase I needed to go back to redo them in another way. Only these things can happen to me. That was the only thing we hadn't checked the other day. I did mention it to the guy who helped me in Great Guana, and he thought he didn't need to look at that. At least it is fixed. I will get off the dock soon so I don't need to pay for another nights dockage. I will anchor here somewhere and spend time seeing the sights.

The reason for the delay of info on the blog is because I've tyed this about 4 times and the computer connection quit each time I hit submit. I was frustrated with the effort. This the second time again today. I'm trying a different method this time. The last time I tried a few minutes ago the internet provider said there was a problem with the optic cable-try again later!!!!!!! UGH!

After the repair I took a walk around the island. It was a picture perfect day. I've already downloaded the photo's. I walked probably 2-3 miles. There are only a few shops-2 small grocery stores, a shop where 3 ladies were sewing canvas bags, they had a million in stock, I wondered why they needed 3 sewing to make more. There was an ice cream shop, realestate office, gift shop, hair salon and a "Take Away" restaurant. They are not called take outs. You can't eat there-only take away. There a couple of boat yards, where they were building 23 ft. powerboats. There weren't any boats in the yard, but lots of activity in the sheds. The boats are called Albury 23's. Albury is one of the original family names on the islands.

I went to a beach where 3 other boaters were. I went swimming, again the water was incredible. There was a lot of seaweed and flies so I left. There are only 2 roads on the Island. Some paved in cement then sand roads further out of town. On the right were sandy paths going out to the beach along the way. When I finally got to the end of the road is where was a spot that was about 300 feet wide where the Atlantic Ocean was on one side and the Abaco Bay on the other. Unbelieveable. I had seen a small sailboat with a gaff rigged bright red sail. It was so perfect. I have pictures of that too.

02/27/2009 | Cheryl
Great pictures, great journey, glad you're having fun. Reality is right around the corner, but it is only a choice, one you never have to make if you choose!

Be well
03/02/2009 | DAVID
battery cables , wow
so simple but so very frustrating , no?
wish we were there , sounds wonderful.
Try to stay off the sand , remember your impeller.
ice box must be good
we love you and are wishing you well

03/02/2009 | lee
Found you! Sounds like you made it a ground and off ground. I don't have a lot of time but I did look around on sailblogs and your posts seem to be the most reciently updated.

I put swards adventures in my favorites list so I'll check back and see how its going on dream on....

fairwinds, Lee

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