24 February 2016
Tuesday, February 23
We were up early and ready to explore Hope Town. As we motored around the moored boats, we passed the "Abaco Rage", a restored racing sloop built in Man-O-War in 1980. It is very fast with its long boom giving it more square footage of sail. This boat is still winning races. We took our dinghies ashore at the Hope Town Inn and Marina. We met a man there who told us about the wooden Abaco sailing dinghies and showed us one that was being restored. We checked out the marina on our way to the lighthouse. We climbed to the top of the lighthouse to take in the view. Elbow Reef Lighthouse was built by British Imperial Lighthouse service in 1864. In a major refit in 1936, the fixed light was replaced by a rotating first order Fresnel lens. The last light of its kind and thanks to dedicated keepers it continues to shine exactly as it has every night for 80 years. Carl and Don were really interested in checking out the workings of this light. We stopped by the gift shop and then headed back to our dinghies. It was overcast and looked like it might rain. It started to spit on us and just as we got to the boats it poured. It moved through quickly and the sun came back out. We took our dinks to the upper public dock and walked across the street to the beach. The sand is pink from crushed conch shells. There are clusters of coral rocks along the beach. As the tide goes out, they are more exposed with little pools of water left behind. Here, Judy and I searched for sea glass. We found glass in all colors. We also found some interesting coral. We spent hours walking and collecting. Back up on the main road, Carl and Don headed for the ice cream shop while Judy and I browsed through a few art galleries and gift shops. Before you know it, it's five o'clock. Tuesday night is taco night with 2 for 1 Margaritas at Capt. Jacks. We quickly agree on Capt. Jacks! We enjoyed the sunset at the end of the deck tonight, overlooking the moorings. It is a beautiful evening for a little walk back to the dock. Carl and I returned to the boat to turn on the anchor light. Then we rode over to JilliQ to see Jill and Dave. We found their boat this morning, but they were gone. Now we have missed them again. I have some school supplies for ECC (Every Child Counts). Jill told me about this school for special needs children. I was excited to find out about this because I have read that you should not come empty handed when you visit the Bahamas. There are many needs here, but I decided that this is the school that I wanted to contribute to. I wished that I had time to collect more, but I left the bag of school supplies that I bought in Vero Beach in the cockpit on JilliQ. When we returned to the boat I sent Jill an email. She was nice enough to say she would take them for me when she goes. Before turning in for the night, from the cockpit I can hear the crash of the ocean waves and I see the lighthouse in a whole new light.
Wednesday, February 24
We're up at 6:30. After breakfast and listening to the cruiser's net, we drop the lines from our mooring at 8:30. As we pass JilliQ, Jill and Dave came out to wave goodbye. We promised to let them know if we return to Hope Town and they may stop to see us in Treasure Cay before they return to the states. We are leaving the harbour on high tide this time. It is a gorgeous day and the winds are 15-20 out of the south. Perfect for sailing back! We have a glorious sail almost to Archer Cay when we were hit by 30 knot winds. We furl the head sail and reef the main. It continues to blow 20-30 all the way back to Treasure Cay. We are getting back just ahead of another front moving across the Gulf stream tonight.