February 4-5, 2014 -- Return to the Abacos
After our wonderful visit to the Exumas, it was time to make our two-day hop back to the Abacos in joyful anticipation of visits from Anneke and Eli mid-February, Sage and Ian mid-March. On February 4, we headed northeast, reaching on an ESE moderate breeze from Roberts Cay in the Exumas, with full sun and terrific visibility through the coral heads of the Middle Ground area, through the Fleeming Channel, and past Egg Island, to anchor at Royal Island, Eleuthera -- a protected harbor that is a perfect arrival and departure spot for Eleuthera. We had a few white caps and 2-3 foot rollers; it could hardly have been a better sailing day. Especially compared to the next day.
The passage from Royal Island to Little Harbour is almost 50 nautical miles, crossing the Northeast Providence Channel between Eleuthera and Grand Abaco Island. We had gotten handier with our chart plotter in the Exumas, and here is the chart plotter for this passage after we had gotten out of Royal Harbour and rounded Egg Island -- a long straight shot at 3 degrees magnetic (about due north) to Little Harbour Cut, with waypoint 04 outside the narrow cut and waypoint 05 inside to assist in getting the correct angle through the cut (you also use your eyes!). The chart plotter shows distance remaining for each leg and approximate arrival time. This pic was taken at 8:02 am, indicating that if we continued on the current speed over ground (SOG) of 5.2 knots, we would be through the cut by about 5:15 pm, in time to get anchored at nearby Lynyard Cay by sunset, 6 pm.
|Chart plotter Eleuthera to Little Harbour|
|Fred passin' time on the passage|
Below is Cap'n Dorothy after navigating the Little Harbour Cut. The line of breakers that you can barely see in the photo look much more serious when they are off your starboard beam. The area with no breakers to the right side of the picture is the cut.
|Post-Little Harbour Cut happy face|
At Lynyard Cay that evening, we got to visit with our friends Marcie and Jim Trantham of Island Jim, who were leaving in the morning to traverse the opposite direction, Little Harbour to Royal Island, Eleuthera. Literally (almost) ships passing in the night! We had a great time sharing things we had enjoyed on Eleuthera and in the Exumas, and hearing things they had enjoyed in the Abacos!
February 6-16 -- Hangin' in the Abacos
You never know when or where you might be stuck waiting for weather, so we had headed back to the Abacos with plenty of time to spare before family began arriving. We got lucky on the weather and made it back to the Abacos quickly, giving us time to explore places we had bypassed previously in order to get down to the Exumas.
Feb 6-7 -- Lynyard Cay Area
While anchored at Lynyard Cay, we dinghied over to visit Little Harbour, a small, fully-protected harbor with moorings, a bronze sculpture foundry, a gallery, a beautiful beach, and Pete's Pub (their motto is "why walk when you can crawl"). Here is the view from Pete's Pub looking over the harbor:
|Little Harbour - looking west from Pete's Pub|
|Looking east from Pete's Pub, Little Harbour|
Below is the gallery and store, with some beautiful bronze sculpture work. Little Harbour was settled by Randolph Johnston, Canadian and long-time professor at Smith College, who sailed to the Bahamas with his wife and four children in the early 1950's to escape the "megamachine." The family first lived in a cave, then a thatched hut. They built a generator for power, then the foundry. Now, of course, electricity, phone, etc, have come to Little Harbour.
|Pete's Gallery - amazing bronze sculptures (some on the building front...)|
|Beautiful sunset at Lynyard Cay|
During the couple of days we were anchored at Lynyard Cay, the water was dead calm at times. Here is a picture taken off the side of the dinghy in about 3 feet of water.
|Clear, dead calm, water|
|Sandy (not!) Cay -- great snorkeling|
Feb 8-10 -- Hope Town, Elbow Cay
We sailed on a moderate breeze with jib only from Lynyard Cay to Elbow Cay, 17 nm (nautical miles), broad reach and tacking downwind. Cap'n Fred brought us into Hopetown Harbor without a hitch, where we picked up a Lucky Strike mooring. Fred went out and about exploring Hopetown, while Dorothy felt the urge to slog on the blog. Sights of Hopetown:
|Hopetown Harbour, Hopetown, and the Atlantic beyond, from the Hopetown Lighthouse|
|Hopetown Harbour -- Aviva dead center/back, green bimini and jib cover|
|Hopetown -- very narrow, easy to walk across to ocean side for swimming/snorkeling|
|Hopetown harbor homes and businesses|
|The streets of Hopetown. Plenty wide for golf carts!|
|Ah, the Bahamian colors!!|
|The breadfruit tree story|
|The breadfruit tree|
|Hopetown, Atlantic beach|
|Shorebirds running back and forth with the tide -- plovers|
|Dorothy sloggin' on the blog, also enjoying artist class on the harbor, lighthouse in background|
February 11-15 -- Man-O-War Cay
We caught wind of a flea market benefiting the Man-o-War Cay school to be held on Saturday, Feb 15, with vendor tables available -- a perfect outlet for Dorothy's "need for seams"! Dorothy busied herself making tissue pack covers and fabric baskets. We sailed on over to Man-O-War Cay, where Dorothy busied herself creating inventory.
|Gotta sew -- the need for seams|
|Double rainbow off Dickies Cay|
We moved down to "the low place," where the island is so low and so thin you can see across it to the Atlantic (can't quite in this photo).
|The Low Place|
|Fred chilling at The Low Place|
|The Road to LowPlace|
After the inventory was built, but before a big front came through, it was time to move inside to the Man-O-War Harbor. We had reserved a mooring, but that didn't pan out -- it was gone. ARG, because we needed to be in the harbor in order to be able to do the flea market. Fortunately we found another (the LAST) available mooring!
|Dorothy and her wares at the Flea Market|
|This was FUN!!!|