We watched the weigh-in for the fishing tournament yesterday afternoon & cooked steaks with Mary & Andy last night. The tournament boats pulled out again this morning and today will determine the winner. We are still pulling for China Doll. We see our weather window and plan to leave West End tomorrow morning. We will spend Saturday night on the hook in Big Sale Cay and make Green Turtle by Sunday. Weather permitting; we will get to Marsh Harbour on Monday. We did boat chores today including laundry, and getting everything ready for possible high waves tomorrow until we make it around Indian Key and get some protection from the wind with some barrier islands. This evening we went to the Manager's Cocktail Party at the Straw Bar on the beach and then went to a party at Nancy & Dougs onboard "Pretty Lady", a 90 ft custom Hargrave. What a beautiful yacht! It even has an elevator!! Late dinner at the restaurant, Bonefish Folleys!
We decide to leave early, but that presented a problem with low tide. The Indian Cay cut is shallow and the Bahamians are very laid back in their maintenance of aids to navigation. There “used to be” 3 poles to mark the narrow channel but 2 of them have been gone for 10 years. Everybody just knows where that channel is. Well, we don’t!!!! So we head a little further north and cut through at Memory Rock. It added a little more time but made for a less stressful day. The water and winds were calm. We picked a good day to travel. Big Sale Cay is a much protected natural harbor. There were 5 boats anchored for the night. Dinner onboard “Good News” and a full moon lit our dinghy ride home.
Statistical Update. We have been on this trip 113 days so far. We have made 45 stops, 4 of those were anchorages, and the rest were marinas. We have traveled 1912 miles and spent 228 hours underway. That averages to 17 miles traveled per day overall. We cruised to Green Turtle Cay today and will overnight here before getting to our destination for a month, Marsh Harbour, Abacos. Green Turtle is a charming island that I have heard about from Bob Gallant who comes here for a month every year. Bob should get here at the end of this month and we hope to stop & visit with him & Brenda on our way back to the states. Tonight we have dinner at the restaurant, and it is truly a gourmet experience. It’s fun to be around boaters. They never meet a stranger and everybody has a story. It’s very interesting! Made new friends tonight with folks from New Mexico and some from Germany!
We say goodbye to Green Turtle Club this morning and tell them we will catch them on the way back to the states in a month or so. Hug Mary and Andy from “Good News” because they are staying at Abacos Beach Club in Marsh Harbour and we will be at Marsh Harbour Marina. We have so enjoyed their company and will definitely be seeing them & staying in touch while we are here even though we might be in different areas of Marsh Harbour. We hope it works out that we can travel together going back. Although the trip to Marsh Harbour today is only 22 miles, we have to pass through a treacherous stretch of water called Whale Cay Channel for about 3-4 miles. You only do this passage in fair weather. It was rough but passable today. We are glad to be here for 30 days to settle down for awhile & visit many different islands by dinghy or water taxi. This marina is family owned and run. Tonight we attended a wine & cheese tasting & auction at The Jib Room (our Marina’s Restaurant) to benefit the “Every Child Counts” fund for the local handicapped school. There was an incredible amount of money raised and such a great feeling of community. There was also great wine & appetizers to die for! Calamari, conch fritters, cheese & fruit trays, ahi tuna trays, and more. It’s so great to see these local business people taking such an interest and the boating community is really supporting them. We are glad to be here.
“Cruising has two main pleasures. One is to go out into wide waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wide waters.”—Howard Bloomfield
Did I mention how happy we are to be stationary in Marsh Harbour for awhile? Beautiful place, lovely weather, new friends here and old friends coming to join us (The Murray Becks & Graces from our Yacht Club)!!! Everyday it strikes us anew, How blessed are we here on the “Life is Good” Tour! Today we settled in & started exploring a little. Bicycled into town, checked out the prices at the grocery store, OUCH! Glad we provisioned well before we left U S. Visited “Good News” at Abaco Beach Resort and guess what…..tomorrow they are joining us at Marsh Harbor Marina. The resort is beautiful with all the amenities, but they are on the beach side vs. the harbor side of the island. They cannot use their dinghy for transportation without going all the way around the island to the harbour! We are delighted to have the Sarvers moving closer again!!!
Beautiful day with temperatures rising to 80. The roads this morning were filled with walkers. I enjoy a stroll myself and enjoyed meeting Zeta from Canada and ran into some Loopers as well. Got the scoop on where to buy local catch including $5 lobster. We will be trying to eat our stock this month to make room to fill the our freezer with lobster & conch before we leave. Welcomed “Good News” to our dock, explored the harbor by dinghy, and went to “Ribs Night” at The Jib Restaurant with “Good News” Mary & Andy and Ellen & Woody from “Double S”. Ran into some folks from Birmingham, the Fuquas, who own a home here & have some friends in common. Once again, a small world. Just another day in paradise!!!!