Off to the Abacos
15 April 2014
Our blog is suppose to be a free and open communication of our successes, failures, and thoughts as we move through our adventure. We have a confession - we've been keeping a secret from you. We went to Nassau for the sole reason that we were going to fly back to Philadelphia to surprise Courtney for her Squash Banquet. Don't feel bad - we didn't tell anyone. It was a total surprise and a special time to be with our daughter.
We left Sanderling at the Nassau Harbor Club Marina. No, we didn't take Casey with us; we left him with a Bahamian dog trainer we met when we passed through Nassau earlier in March. It was a little anxiety provoking - leaving him with someone we hardly knew, but it worked out.
We had one small repair in Nassau - we needed to replace our macerator which decided to stop working on our trip into Nassau. With the exception of the actual heads we now have an entirely new sanitation system. I'm certainly looking forward to repairs that don't involve this system.
Now we are back on the move. We decided to take an extra day, Wednesday, in Nassau because the weather wasn't great, and Chrisy wasn't feeling 100%. The following day didn't look a whole lot better - but not impossible. The rest of the week basically looked all the same - strong winds out of the east until the next cold front comes through on Monday or Tuesday. If we stayed - we would probably have to stay through the cold front. It's easy for cruisers to get stuck in marinas. There's lots of easy shopping, access to wifi, nice restaurants, showers - basically lots of conveniences. Essentially, Roger made the decision it was time to move but didn't feel great about it as Chrisy wasn't feeling great.
We hoped to go to Spanish Wells near the northern end of Eleuthera. We also had a backup plan in case the seas and winds did not allow us to go to Spanish Wells. When we cleared Nassau Harbor and headed to Spanish Wells it was pretty clear that we would have a long day ahead of us with wind and seas on the nose. We opted for plan B - foot off and head to the Abacos. The trip was longer but certainly smoother. We reefed the main and motor sailed across. We got a late start and it was a long trip. We anchored about a half hour before sunset - raced Casey to shore - and took a deep breath after a long day. The anchorage was spectacular. After coming through a narrow reef we were in the anchorage by ourselves. There weren't even any homes on the shore. We had the place to ourselves. Well we did need to share it with the nurse shark who was cruising around when we brought Casey to shore and with the noseeums who were rather persistent. We were both pretty tired and there was some conversation about staying another day for a rest day.
The following day, Saturday, Roger seemed to have a small case of selective amnesia and was all about moving around Great Abaco to Little Harbor. Again, the weather played a major role in the decision. It was supposed to be calm for the morning and then pick up in the early afternoon. If we got going quickly we could make it around the southern tip of Great Abaco and be well on our way to Little Harbor. If we waited, we might be there for a few days while the weather settled down. "We" decided to go for it.
Our decision was quickly rewarded with calm conditions as we rounded the southern tip of Great Abaco and headed up toward Little Harbor. The wind was right in front of us, but we were able to set a reefed main and motorsail. The conditions were a little rough. But generally not too bad. We did have to navigate through a pretty tight cut with reefs on either side. We headed off to enter the cut which gave the main some work to do, and we made it through the cut going well over 8 knots. Fortunately the strong winds from the northeast held off until just after we got the anchor down.