Adonai returning home from another season on the Sea of Abaco
29 August 2017 | Marsh Harbor
sunny / gg
Standing on this beautiful island it is hard to leave but its that time of year again. Quietly Adonai is leaving the harbor at 7:09 Saturday morning, August 26, 2017. The sun is shining bright over the clear Bahamas waters. Marsh Harbor and a full season of scouts soon will be slowly fading away.
Sadness looms the island as boats are combing the harbor entrance. A15 year old local boy has been missing since Thursday. His boat was found off of Cistern Cay with the steering wheel broken off. Many believe he hit the sand bar at the entrance of the harbor. He was on his way to meet friends to play basket ball . He was underway on his skiff talking on the phone and then it went dead. It is a mystery.
The air is light as Adonai heads south. I see in the distance the candy red and white stripes of Hope Town Light House. Soon we pass by palm filled Tahiti Beach with her glistening white sands. Looking through the water of the sand flats the day is calm and pleasant. Soon we are watching the orange buoys off Sandy Cay Reef drifting in the midmorning mild current. After village of Little Harbor the channel will lead us into the Atlantic.
Strips of cirrocumulus castellans clouds stretch across the light blue sky above. The water is turning into a shimmering cerulean blue, while the islands turn into dark green bumps on the horizon. Peace encompasses the decks of Adonai while being out in the elements of Gods creation until the weather turns. Uneventful sailing is fun! Events are memorable and make super exciting stories capturing the interest of many. When you are the one in the midst of experiencing the story it is trying, challenging, uncomfortable, a test of faith and alarming. Weatherpassage.com gives a good report today of the weather conditions for the Northern Bahamas which are 180 miles east of South Florida our destination. Modern technology has advantages but is not full proof. Time tells, Captain Ron says " If is going to happen, its going to happen out there!"
Two black birds flying to shore, a lobsterman is on his hookah rig searching the reef. Cave crevices form the rocky jagged coastline of the southern end of Great Abaco Island. The sea has a small roll from the increase of depth changing the color into that deep dark inky blue which radiates power.
Adonai is happy, she has her own spirit and is moving with ease as each wave approaches. Captain Ted lets out the fishing lines in hopes of a good catch. The last few cluster of houses are perched high on the cliffs, painted in peach, yellow, mint green, sunny yellow , conch shell pink, and one blending into the rocks a pale grey. This quiet community on the edge of the sea is far away from modern society.
Golden sargasso grass, what I call mermaids jewelry is floating by making tiny islands shapes on the surface of the sea. I love the color as it is rich and a contrast to the blue of the sea. A flying fish I am sure to see. These are the sights that you will see when you sail across the sea.
Crossing over as little as 5 feet of water of water depth inside the Sea of Abaco which sits on top of the Bahama Little Bank is now far behind. 500 feet and dropping soon 5,000 feet of water will be beneath us. This is where your surrender to go deeper begins. In the the great depth of the sea as you look into and across the unknown you come into a space, a dimension of time which is timeless in nature, filled with wonder and peace, a place to explore beyond what is seen. Time on the sea empties your mind from the busy world we live in and brings healing to your soul, the endless blue lulls you to go beyond.
Yeah ! Flying fish are every where, soaring above the ocean. A flock of birds are flying low looking for fish. As soon as they come they will go. Appearing on the horizon are two massive tankers, ships coming and going across the sea. Hole in the Wall marks the end of Great Abaco. It is a short squatty light house built in 1836 and manually operated. It has a big white bottom and a red top. You are able to drive from Marsh Harbor to Hole in the wall. It is 55 miles much of it through wilderness. Questionable sandy roads through the pine forest, home to the ground nesting parrots only found on Great Abaco. As I look out to the point it is very green, it looks like a lawn but in actuality it is scruffy wilderness bushes.
There is very little activity on the radio, it is getting very hot and humid the wind is close to nil. The clouds are changing to cumulus. It is pretty with shades of grey making shapes against the white puffs, similar to cotton growing in a southern field. Bright baby blue is penetrating from the sky .Our sails are tucked away and the motors are purring like a kitten. It would be fruitless to raise a sail. We are 30 degrees to the close to zero wind! There is a small breath to keep the beads of sweat off your face. The water is reflecting the sun rays sparkling like diamonds. Everything changes from one degree of beauty to the next.
Out in the distance approaching is Royal Caribbean a giant cruise ship with a blue hull and baby yellow life rafts. I have 3 friends on a cruise and it is fun to think of them on the top deck waving hi!. The Berry Islands are making them selves know also at this time . Showing up as a speck on the horizon which is our destination for the night. It is nice to take our time and not travel through the night which is our usual. Last year a hurricane chased us back to the Florida Keys. This year is much more relaxing being able to take a good chill and enjoy the journey. Last night in Marsh harbor, Bahamas Sea Base hosted a party for all the Sea Base Captains . The season of Boy Scouts this year was 16 weeks of scouts, for us a new group of 20 each week. Now there is a lot of space on board with just Ted and I.
There is an old ruin of what looks like the skeleton of an Anglican Church towering on the SE tip of Whale Cay. Nest is a cluster of tall palms marking the land. This is our 4th year passing by. It is still as intriguing as the first time we passed . Black birds continue to fly over head. The sun is falling closer to the horizon, we have arrived the Berry Islands. We are anchoring close to Chub Cay. I could give you the details of cooking chicken for dinner tonight but that would be just desperate for conversation and mundane at the same time. I will spare you at least for tonight.
My favorite time at sea is the stars and they are shining grandly tonight. I love to look deep into the Milky Way. Do you know how old some of the stars that you see are? They may not even exist anymore. Some of the light is millions of years old. The speed of light is fast, 186,000 miles per second. So the stars are very far away. I love the sound of water lapping on the hulls in the background and the music being played in the loose line above. I cannot imagine a greater place to be tonight.
The sun likes to rise early and so does Captain Ted! It is time to pull up our rusty yet trusty chain who has served Adonai by holding us steady to the anchor which keeps us from going ashore. Its Sunday 7:18 a.m. and underway. The clouds puffy and fluffy look good for making imaginary friends in the sky. Birds and boats are coming to life adventuring forth into another glorious day. Many ships are on the horizon along with one a very strong water spout. It looks like G & G Shipping is passing by over to Eleuthera or Spanish Wells this morning. We are now traveling across the Grand Bahama Bank, the depth is 12 feet on average. Many are out lobstering the shallow bank, mostly like from Andros or maybe Bimini. It is surprisingly busy, not like Miami or New York City but active for such a desolate area, miles and miles of blue. A big sea turtle surfaces for air. The radio has quieted down from last nights ships calling into the Harbor of Nassau. Multiple languages with different accents attempting to communicate. The present day Tower of Babel.
Ladies here is the food report. The over priced good looking raspberries are a bit moldy making the can of peaches a choice selection. Ordinary food on board becomes extraordinary, even more so when chilled! The deep meaning of feeling hungry onboard is good, because it means you are not seasick.
There are many hidden mini adventures while sailing and motoring. As I pull out our mustang survival vests they appear similar to my raspberries, moldy! Being stuffed away in a closet for six months will do that to anybody or any thing especially in the tropics. Our 409 EPIRB a steady friend since 2006 sits by the companion way ready to be of service. Along with the safety gear is a satellite phone. Safety is to be taken seriously on the sea. When something goes bad it goes bad fast which I have witnessed from my own experience. The one time you may need a life saving device you want it to be operational. Safety is not a joke. Modern day has lessened risk but Mother Nature still has tremendous power to strike at times with out warning.
Lets go back to peace in paradise. It is a fabulously beautiful calm day. 10:54 a.m. and sunny on August 27 , 2017. Aboard Adonai is Ted and Gail Gordon. The water has changed to a turquoise green because of the sandy bottom below. Water reflects life the forever changing expression of beauty through color, shape, and form, transformed by light, waves and contrast. Evening approaches with a greeting committee of 17 speculated beautiful curious porpoise! They hung around Adonai for 20 minutes bringing joy to our hearts to have such a blessed moment in time. It us 6:12 p.m. out at Orange Cay a string of smaller jagged out cropping rocks. Home to the remains of 4 piling and a flock of birds and one wayward mosquito.
Day 3 of the sea and the sun still is rising early! 6:18 a.m. and what a superior night under the stars has past. Pink rays burst forth shooting a radiance of love as it passes through the morning grey clouds puffing into life on the horizon. I feel like I am looking across an Indian painted dessert sky that I see pictures of and have only imagined. We are on the edge of the Great Bahama Bank and soon we will be into the Gulf Stream taking us to our home port in Tavernier Florida. As we enter the shipping lanes it is very busy with large ships in every direction. It is important to keep your eyes open. We would be like a swatted fly on the side of an elephant otherwise. The sea and air is light at this moment making for a very comfortable day. Hours of sun and sea pass by. Eventually the sight of orange lobster balls appear as we approach Molasses Reef. Just on the other side we will tuck in behind Tavernier Key grateful for another day, grateful for safe passage and all the blessing sent our way.