Next Stop the Florida Keys
12 August 2022 | Sea of Abaco
Gail Gordon | perfect!
August 7, 2022
26 21'N: 76 35'W
Rolling around the Sea of Abaco at 5 a.m. as the main sail is being raised. Little Harbor channel is just ahead. The last two weeks in these beautiful waters of the Bahamas was shared with Troop and Troop from New Jersey.
We shared great times swimming on the reef, sleeping under the stars, running from the rain, cooking great meals and exchanging thoughts and feelings. Each person who comes across our deck is special and is here for a purpose. Whether it is a moment of excitement for seeing a shark, the elation of a sea turtle, or possibly encountering the neon squid on the reef, or contemplating and discussing life and its challenges. It is important because we are sharing a moment of time which will never be again. As we live life together, we learn and grow. I cannot think of a more beautiful place to be alive than on the Sea of Abaco.
The wind brushes across your skin as the wind fills your sails, taking you across the turquoise water. Each island and reef is a gem of its own, uniquely created, hosting life in various forms, shapes, sizes and colors. The undersea world is stunning with sea-fans waving as the sea gently surges. The mystery of the marvelous hand of God at work to bring you good pleasure, filling your heart with awe and never ceasing. The white sand beaches stretching along the coast of palm-filled islands beckon you to explore her settlements filled with island homes.
The allure of an historic, red and white candy-striped light house on Elbow Caye is compelling. stands tall . It stands tall as a popular landmark, shedding light across the sea at night. During the day, it beckons hikers to climb the 101 steps for a bird's-eye view.
Remote Water Caye sits quietly undisturbed most of the time. On one side of the Caye, tucked away in trees, is a deserted fish camp- and on the other, the beach hosts our last cookout. Ending our season with a bang, the scouts caught and prepared a 10-pound mutton snapper. With the opening of lobster season, the fish was accompanied by fresh lobster in a coconut curry sauce over an open fire.
The Bahamas have a special place in our hearts along with the beautiful people that live here. The joy of the islands is experienced as we see Florence and Forty at "Cafe Florence" on every Wednesday. Here, hot cinnamon buns are devoured by our scouts with a smile. What I love most about our visit is the light of love which shines forth form Florence's eyes, which I will treasure for ever.
25:24'N 77 57"W
As night falls, the brilliant stars and moon reflect shimmering light across the way to soothe your soul, as peace whispers in the gentle breeze with a trail of memories in our wake. It is time to move on to what is next, a mystery to be revealed. Viento Azul is now a quiet vessel with captain Ted at the helm and Gail by his side.
Having left the Sea of Abaco with the wind blowing 17-20, our travel is one of rocking and rolling across the deep blue at 7.5-8. The main sail and jib are reefed. As the day wears on, the seas subside along with the wind. Yet, we pass our waypoint of Chub Caye earlier than expected.
In the dark of night in the vast wildreness of the shallows of Elbow bank , the sea is flat with a depth of 9 to 14 feet. Our speed has decreased to 5 - 6 still undersail. It is peaceful and dark with a spit of rain only for a moment. In the wee hours of the morning, the lighning flashes, making you aware of its presence, but thankfully never showing its face. The water rushes by, lapping on the hulls while the warm wind whispers as a new-found friend to look and see the Milky Way above.
Our compass heading is 246 degrees. Passing the reef, the depth reaches over 2,000 feet with Florida ahead. As we get into the deep of the ocean, we change course setting to 237 degrees, headed for Crocker Reef close to our home port of Islamorada, Florida . As we progress, it becomes a busy day of shipping surrouned by 10 large ships at one time. You definately want to keep your eyes open.
Thirty-six hours from departing the Sea of Abaco, we reach Snake Creek drawbridge. Talking to the friendly voice of Vinny Bob above, he raises the bridge close to 7:30 p.m. just before the most magnificent sunset. Our lines are tied off at the dock for the next two weeks as we prepare for Guatemala.