Mystic Star Points South

Mystic Star Sailing Adventures in the Bahamas

02 May 2019
19 April 2019 | Georgetown, South Carolina
29 March 2019 | Hopetown
07 March 2019 | Black Point Return
11 February 2019 | Little Bay - Great Guana Cay
22 January 2019 | Rock Sound, Eleuthera
12 January 2019 | Spanish Wells
30 December 2018 | Key Biscayne, Outside Noname Harbor
23 November 2018 | Isle of Palms Marina
09 May 2017 | Rock Hall Harbor
02 May 2017
17 April 2017 | Cumberland Island
05 April 2017 | White Sound, Green Turtle Cay
17 March 2017 | Royal Island
05 March 2017 | Davis Harbour Marina, Eleuthera
21 February 2017 | Salt Pond, Long Island
03 February 2017 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
23 January 2017 | Emerald Bay Marina
05 January 2017 | Pipe Cay
20 December 2016 | Wardrick Wells

Northern Exumas to Hopetown, Abacos

29 March 2019 | Hopetown
Bill Zimmerman
On Friday, March 8, we picked up anchor and headed the short distance north to Bitter Guana Cay and anchored off the white cliffs and beach there. It is another very scenic anchorage with good protection from NE to SE winds with only a couple of other boats here. The beach is populated with iguanas which are visited by a number of small tour boats (and one sea plane) during the day but there is plenty of room and the visiting boats did not make much of a disturbance. We went ashore and found a way back from the beach and up the hillside to the top of the cliffs for good views and a fresh breeze. Overnight we had some heavy rains that persisted the next morning, so we stayed put until the afternoon then had a nice downwind sail with solent jib alone in 20-25 kts around Harvey Cay and north to Pipe Cay. A good number of others were sheltered in the lee of Pipe Cay here while the winds continued strong from the east overnight. Sunday morning (Mar 10) the winds were down below 20 so we sailed on a broad reach under full sail the 38 nm to Highborne Cay along with a fleet of six or so others going the same way. By early afternoon we were anchored amidst a large fleet off the north end of the west coast of Highborne and enjoyed a dinghy trip to the long beach there, then around the southern corner to the high end marina there for a look see and drink at their bar/restaurant which was very nice. The anchorage there was more popular than most with a couple of dozen boats or more, but there was plenty of room for boats to not feel crowded. This spot is often a popular first stop for boats on their way from Nassau to the Exumas.
Monday (Mar 11) we were up early and were underway before sunrise for a long sail north, leaving the Exumas via the vast area of banks between Nassau and Eleuthera. After speaking with our very experienced friends about crossing these banks along this route, we were emboldened to make the trip exiting the banks through the Fleeming Channel, then on to Spanish Wells. There were plenty of dark looking patches on light sandy bottom, but as we crossed them, the depths never varied more than a foot or two from the quite uniform 15 to 20 ft we typically saw. Once in the deep water west of Current Island we proceeded north to near Spanish Wells and anchored of 'Meeks Patch' for the evening and overnight, whereupon we had another good rinse off with a two hour downpour. It was a fine trip with a nice close reach the 53 nm that took about eight and a half hours. The next day around noon we made our way into the marina at Spanish Wells, our second visit since last being here two months earlier. We again rented a golf cart and enjoyed 'bombing around' St George's Cay and Russell Island, and took the opportunity to hit the grocery store and restaurants that we like. After two days (Mar 14) we left the marina and headed the 6 nm over to Royal Island Harbour to be ready to head north to the Abacos the next day. Again we got an early start (Mar 15) and the winds had veered to just south of east making for a fantastic ocean sail on a reach all the way to the Sea of Abaco where we crossed the bar through the reef near Little Harbour. We then continued north in the Sea of Abaco the 15 nm further up to Elbow Cay and the picturesque harbor of Hopetown (73 nm trip/11 hrs). Our good friends on Fancy Free had been able to snag an available mooring inside--an often challenging if not impossible feat--and reserved it for us for the week. We were so grateful since we had not been able to stay inside on previous visits, and plan to stay at least one maybe two additional weeks for an excellent weekly rate. From there we've enjoyed the many features of this cozy quaint harbor and kept it as a base while exploring this corner of the Sea of Abaco, doing stuff with friends while ashore, as well as riding out some stormy conditions on Tuesday (Mar 19). In this anticipated weather event, the winds stayed in the 28-32 kt range with gusts to 40 most of the afternoon and evening and the rain poured for hours. It was so great to be inside this all-around protected harbor for this weather episode. In subsequent days, the weather returned to its beautiful typical normal of sunny, breezy with temps in the 70's. On Tuesday (Mar 26) we headed over to Man O War Cay with 'Sea Jules' & 'Fancy Free' and enjoyed a walk around town, the ocean beach, and enjoyed lunch/dinner at the "Dock & Dine". The next AM we took it easy to make water from the crystal clear seawater around us there and to wait for higher water with the afternoon high tide for reentry into Hopetown Harbour. Once back in the harbor we were ready for another frontal passage that brought a day of high winds and heavy seas on the outside (Thurs, Mar 28), but harbor's protection enabled us to dinghy ashore for walks on Elbow Cay. We plan to continue with more of the same from here in Hopetown for another week or so before moving on to stage for a crossing back to the US in April.

Comments
Vessel Name: Mystic Star
Vessel Make/Model: Outbound 46
Hailing Port: Rock Hall MD
Crew: Bill & Donna
About:
Sailing the Chesapeake for 33 years and the east coast of the US and Canada for the last 7 years. We've sailed on "OPBs" to Bermuda, and to most of the Eastern Caribbean islands from the BVIs to Grenada. [...]
Extra:
2016: The planned trip south in Nov 2016 will involve an offshore passage direct from the Chesapeake to a port of entry in the Bahama Islands. Crew for this trip includes experienced ocean sailors Randy, John & Richard. 2018: We are making the trip south this time with just the two of us so [...]
Mystic Star's Photos - Main
Sailing & ICW to home in Rock Hall by May 1, 2019
10 Photos
Created 5 May 2019
Abacos, St Augustine FL, Georgetown SC
15 Photos
Created 20 April 2019
Bitter Guana Cay to Hopetown, Elbow Cay
18 Photos
Created 29 March 2019
Great Guana, Rudder Cut Cay, Georgetown Regatta, Conception Is, Lee Stocking Is
18 Photos
Created 9 March 2019
Northern Exumas - Shroud Cay, Warderick Wells, Cambridge Cay
15 Photos
Created 11 February 2019
Alabaster Bay to Rock Sound
11 Photos
Created 22 January 2019
11 Photos
Created 13 January 2019
Trip from Charleston SC to Miami FL, Dec 11 to Dec 30. ICW and offshore legs
10 Photos
Created 30 December 2018
Trip South from Rock Hall MD to Florida 2018
3 Photos
Created 1 December 2018
ICW in South Carolina and on to North Carolina
11 Photos
Created 31 May 2017
Arrival in St Augustine and trip to Fernandina Beach & Cumberland Island Georgia
10 Photos
Created 31 May 2017
Last of the trip through Virginia & Maryland
3 Photos
Created 9 May 2017
Touring the Abacos by boat, car, bike, golf cart and on foot
30 Photos
Created 5 April 2017
Eleuthera touring by car & boat, then Spanish Wells and Harbor Island by fast ferry.
30 Photos
Created 28 March 2017
Touring Cat Island, on the beach at Little San Salvador aka Half Moon Cay, Marina at Davis Harbour, Eleuthera
17 Photos
Created 5 March 2017
Photos from our stay at Monument Beach, Georgetown then car tour of Long Island
18 Photos
Created 22 February 2017
Photos of places we visited in the Exumas, Dec 2016 - Jan 2017
8 Photos
Created 23 January 2017
Georgetown Bahamas area, Nov 2016
7 Photos
Created 27 November 2016