Apr 17 to Apr 23 2012

April 17, 2012

Steve and I decided to skip Harbour Island and start heading toward the Abaco. There is another strong weather front moving in on Saturday and we do not want to get stuck in Harbour Island for a prolong period of time and navigating out of there the way we planned is questionable. So, for us, getting to the Abaco to anchor off a secluded beach for a few days sounds better than heading to another town right now. Plus, there are many cute little towns in the Abacos to visit, so we don’t feel we are missing much.

We spent the better part of the day doing laundry, getting propane and topping up our gas, diesel, water and ice. We leave Spanish Wells this afternoon to sail the six miles or so to Royal Island for the night. Tomorrow, at first light, we will make way towards Little Harbour Abaco to anchor at Lynyard Cay for a few days. We are excited to be underway once again J

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View of anchorage at Royal Island

April 18, 2012

We were up and underway by 0710hrs. We had 55 miles to cover and needed all the day light we could get. The winds are ESE between 10-15kts so we motor-sailed all day to keep our average speed around 5.5kts.

As we cleared Egg Island, Steve set a fishing line out. We are entering depths of 1000 feet or more which is ideal for catching mahi-mahi. At 0930hrs, Steve had a hit and reeled in a beautiful and slightly smaller sized mahi-mahi. I was calm this time around and mentioned about how delicious blackened mahi-mahi was going to be for supper tonight when Steve gave me the evil eye as he hadn’t brought it in the boat yet. Sure enough, the bloody fish slipped out of the hook at the same time Steve was reaching down with the gaffe…and that’s how the mahi-mahi got to live another day. The hunger in our bellies was replaced with the hollowness of disappointment. For once I was the optimist and reminded Steve that we had a whole day to catch something else – Steve wasn’t comforted and rightfully so as we didn’t catch a darn thing for the rest of the day.

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First view of the Abaco

We made excellent time arriving at Lynyard Cay by 1730hrs. This is our last Island on our itinerary for the Bahamas. We have come a long way since crossing the Gulf Stream into the signature blue water of the Bahamas five months ago. We will never forget that unmistakable transition from the dark ocean blue of the Gulf to the turquoise beauty of the water entering Bimini. It’s hard to imagine we covered all the islands we did in such a short period of time. We do feel we have used our time wisely to get a good feel for the Bahamas, to see and do as much as we could during our time here and we are very much looking forward to exploring the Abaco.

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First sunset in the Abaco, Lynyard Cay

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Steve blowing his new conch horn at sunset in true cruiser fashion!

Well, instead of blackened mahi-mahi, we had rum, tuna noodle casserole, salad and rum for supper…it didn’t even compare…we may have cried a little ;)

April 19, 2012

We eagerly listened to Chris Parker this morning. We are expecting a pretty significant front to move in during the weekend. It is supposed to deliver squalls with winds gusting up to 50 kts from the S to SW starting on Saturday through to Sunday than the winds shift to the NE on Monday around 15-20kts.  Our current anchorage at Lynyard Cay does not offer S – SW protection so we need to relocate. We have found an anchorage about six miles from here at Armstrong Cay which offers SW protection but we will need to move by Monday morning to an anchorage with NE protection. Sometimes it feels like we are just running from one front to the next.

Our dinghy is leaking again. Since we had it on deck during our passage here, it was good and dry for another 5200 goop job along the seam. It also means we can’t get off the boat until it is repaired. We made the decision to relocate to our SW protection anchorage at Armstrong Cay first thing after breakfast. It seems an adequate anchorage so we will stay for a night to feel it out. We still have a day to spare if we feel we should seek more protection. Two other boats joined us by early afternoon. We were really hoping to have the place to ourselves but I don’t think we will have much privacy in the Abaco. The traffic here already is much greater than we are used to.

Steve repaired the dinghy and we got prepared for the front moving in on the weekend. After our chores we finally went for a good swim. The water here is crystal clear so Steve donned his snorkel gear and set out explore the interesting things living in our anchorage. I was content to do a few laps around the boat enjoying the refreshing water. The water here is much cooler than the southern islands and so is the breeze!! We definitely feel we are heading north.

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Our new anchorage at Armstrong Cay, Steve finally getting to do some snorkeling

We relaxed for the afternoon with our books. I did a little writing and basically enjoyed this fine sunny, breezy afternoon in the Abaco.

April 20, 2012

The winds are 15 kts and climbing so Steve and I got busy tidying up the boat making her comfortable to hunker down in for the next couple of days. The winds could get as high as 50-60kts delivering squalls and thunderstorms; could be exciting. Our anchorage is good protection from the south to west winds and the anchor is holding really well but we will need to move when the winds shift to the north on Monday.

We went for a dinghy ride in the afternoon to explore our surroundings a little as it will be our last opportunity to get off the boat.

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Steve at the helm of the dinghy a little disappointed we couldn’t snorkel

There is a coral garden near the cut out to the Atlantic Ocean that we really wanted to check out but as we got closer to it we realized the water was much too rough to get out to snorkel. Oh well, hopefully we will come across another one on our way up north. We did go for a nice walk on a beach to do a little beachcombing and we saw this rusty wreck on our way there.

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A rusty wreck in very shallow water

We think this used to be a fishing boat. The engine is in the middle with what we believe are the fuel tanks rusting away. It appears a fire took this one. We were amazed the wreckers didn’t take the huge bronze prop.

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Bronze prop on the left

Not much else to do but head back and wait for the weather.

April 21, 2012

It was a sunny and breezy morning. We noticed the water we got from Spanish Wells tasted a little salty but it was mixed with the fresh water we already had in the tank so it wasn’t too bad. Today, we topped up our water tank with the jugs we had filled on deck and realized the water is much too salty to drink. Note to anyone going to Spanish Wells - do not drink the city water!!! We were told the water was city water meaning r/o water but this stuff definitely does not taste right. We decided not to drink any more it as a precaution. We did a quick assessment of our fluids on board and it would seem we have more booze than water to drink on board. Once the weather clears we will get to Hope Town ASAP to get fresh water until then, bottoms up everyone!

The winds started kicking up over 30kts by the afternoon bringing the rain. 

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Thunderstorms in the distance

We began our bad weather shifts consisting of reading, napping and snacking, not necessarily in that order.

April 22, 2012

We are sure the winds are blowing 30kts gusting to 50kts today. Steve said it was a rough night as he was up most of it worried about the anchor holding…I on the other hand had complete faith in our anchor and slept through most of it ha!

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White caps in the bay

We got a little less rain and a lot more wind so we are not moving much at all…more reading, napping and snacking ensued…boredom is setting in.

April 23, 2012

The winds began to shift to the north this morning and still blowing pretty hard. We needed to move as we were now on a lee shore with the change of wind direction. We made an attempt to get the Hope Town but the winds did not permit us to get farther than about 5 miles. Chris Parker predicted 20-25kts but the gusts are much higher than that. Steve, the good captain that he is, made the executive decision to find an anchorage and try again tomorrow. He found a little spot to tuck into near Snake Cay that offered the protection from the WNW. We were told by John from Marylee that this place is a garbage dump but it has an interesting estuary to check out by dinghy. Fortunately, the dump part seems to be buried and not smelly at all.

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View of the garbage patch from Diana

Once we anchored and had some lunch, we went for a little dinghy ride to explore the estuary. We saw a few turtles and BIRDS; three herons and a small bird covered in vibrant red feathers. Steve thought it looked a little like a cardinal. The wind is very cool making it an uncomfortable ride and a little difficult to see in the water from the waves. Regardless, it was still a pretty ride and it felt good to get off the boat for a while.

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View of entrance to estuary from Diana