Bahamas cruise in monochrome…

god rays

The last weeks cruising the Abacos, Bahamas, have felt much longer — they’ve stretched like elastic as our days have unfolded organically and naturally.

We have molded our course to the wind and the weather and are now waiting for a good window to cross back to Florida on Windsong II.

Here are some images that stick with me — and just seem to  call out for monochrome treatment.

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Colour in the Bahamas…

I’ve haven’t been posting much this last while due to unreliable and non-existent wifi, but I’ve had ideas for a few theme posts in my head.

So, now that we’re back at Treasure Cay, where the wifi is the best we’ve had in the entire Abacos, here is a post focused on colour…

Much as I love black and white on my walls, I adore colour all around me in life. As the artist Kandinsky said: “Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.”

 

sunset mh and sailboatlr

Marsh Harbour sunset

waves tc

Pristine water

cdn flag sailing

We proudly fly the Canadian flag — and so do many other cruisers…

manowar scene2

Manowar scene

bougainvillea effect

Hopetown scene

bacon bbq2

Bacon on the barbie

sweet mailboxlr

Sweet painted mailbox

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Waiting for weather…

bob and sherry green turtle cay

Out here cruising on the sailboat, you’re always looking at the weather!

So it was that we saw a front coming and headed for safe harbour at Green Turtle Cay, an island three and a half miles long and a half mile wide, with 450 inhabitants.

There are two sounds that provide protected anchorages at Green Turtle — and we are most familiar with White Sound, which also offers mooring balls for $20 a night.

So we left Crab Cay early in the day with Tranquilizer and arrived just in time to pick up the last two. The wind had already piped up so it was a bit of a challenge to pick one up — also it had no pennant to grab — so it would have required lifting a 40 pound ball and chain, not an easy manoeuvre.

Luckily, a considerate Canadian fellow saw us and came over in his dinghy to give us a hand.

On the good weather days we rented a golf cart and toured the island, showing Beatrice and Marco some of our favourite spots and beaches and picking up some essential supplies in New Plymouth, the settlement — rum and coconut bread! We visited Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar, home of the Goombay Smash, and had one — one was enough! (Another day we went to Pineapples and had a copycat smash — and it was even stronger!)

While we were at Miss Emily’s, young Garrison came along looking forlorn. I asked him what was wrong and he said he had nobody to play basketball with — there were no kids on the court.

Marco, being a kind and sweet man — also 6 foot 5 inches –volunteered to have a go. Afterwards Garrison came inside to have a look at our cameras. I really wish I had had a polaroid at that moment to give him. What a sweetheart!

marco and garrison

garrison

On bad weather days, we hunkered in the sailboat and watched the wind cause its havoc. One day Bob observed a family of four in a dinghy that appeared to be flailing in the sound. Their motor had stopped working and they were clinging to the pilings on a dock. It didn’t take him long to jump into our dinghy and go see if he could give them a tow. They happily accepted and Bob delivered them back to their cat. We all try to help each other out here.

bob being towboat

Bob towing disabled dinghy

Scenes from Green Turtle…

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pano green turtle beach

Atlantic side beach — the beaches were all ours!

Piggyville…

Many have heard of the swimming pigs of Staniel Cay in the Exumas, but not so many know about Piggyville on No Name Cay in the Abacos.

The last two times we were in the area, we didn’t have time to visit, so this time with a very fluid schedule we made the time. And Beatrice from our buddy boat was full of delight to finally see the wild pigs of the Abacos!

There were lots of children having fun feeding the pigs, which is encouraged, and we couldn’t help think of the grandkids in the North and how much they would enjoy this too.

sign

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Island Hopping (2)…

Windsong II and Tranquilizer left our slips in West End about 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 16 heading for Great Sale Cay. We motored about 25 minutes and entered a narrow shallow cut in the coral called Indian Cay Passage. The passage took one and a half hours.

While motoring slowly, we used our depth sounder and chart plotter to find the deepest water to go through and watched the bottom only inches from our keel — just over five feet. Having done this last year and the year before, we kept our previous tracks, and these gave us confidence. We were on an incoming tide so if we did get stuck we would just have to wait for the tide to lift us off. Once through, we where on the Little Bahamas Banks — 10 feet of water! Lots! And all of it turquoise!

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Given that we were heading northeast and with a brisk wind on our beam, it was a perfect time to put up both sails and run at an average 7 knots. With this nice turn of speed Windsong II got us into the anchorage earlier than expected.

We anchored with over a dozen boats, some going east like us, and others going west, back to the U.S. Marco and Beatrice came over for sundowners and snacks and we discussed our plans for the next few days. After a nice dinner of BBQ chicken and roasted asparagus, we enjoyed the glorious sunset and then fell into bed and slept soundly. Eight hours in the sun and wind can knock a person right out.

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great sale cay for cover

Sunset at Great Sale Cay

The next day — St. Patrick’s Day — we set out for Crab Cay, a large isolated anchorage with a nice beach. The winds were WNW, and we had a great sale to Crab Cay, often doing over 7 knots. We noticed a huge difference in our speed from having our bottom painted. We just slid through the water.

After four  enjoyable hours, we arrived at 2:00 pm and had plenty of time for play — and work (Bob washed our very grungy dinghy bottom). We all had a refreshing dip and went back to the boat for a delicious dinner of strip loin steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. Another great night’s sleep and we were off to Green Turtle Cay to find a snug anchorage to wait out the coming cold front.

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Crab Cay Anchorage, Bahamas

Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters.

Howard Bloomfield
windsong and dinghy2

Taken from our friends’ sailboat, Overdraught, of our sailboat  WIndsong II in the distance and our dinghy as the sun goes down on Crab Cay.