Thursday, September 21, 2023

April 6-13, 2023 Elbow Cay, Great Guana Cay, Marsh Harbour, Lynyard Cay, Abacos

4-6 Thursday We moved north today to Elbow Cay.  We anchored just north of Tahiti Beach so we could play at the beach.  We took the dinghy to shore.  There is a large sand bar that makes a crescent shaped beach in beautiful sand.  We have been here several times.  But the floating tiki hut bar/restaurant was new to us.  The Thirsty Cuda anchors here everyday.  When we approached it, you could smell fry grease and didn’t expect much, but were pleasantly surprised.  Dave wanted to fix his French fries withdrawal, but decided to get the hamburger with it.  It was a double cheese burger with all the fixings and was moist, not over cooked.  Much more than he was expecting.  We shared an order of their fish bites.  It was grilled wahoo and delicious.  The sesame fried conch looked pretty good, so ordered one of them too.  They were fried, so not as good as the wahoo.  But it came with an aioli wasabi sauce that was great.  Much higher caliber than expected from a floating tiki hut.  We had brought our own drinks, but Erin had to try the Almond Joy piña colada.  She said it was very good.  




After a fun afternoon in the water, we moved the boat closer to the entrance to Hopetown, by the lighthouse.  We relaxed on the boat for the evening and watched the lighting of the lighthouse.  It burns kerosine and has volunteers manning it every night.

4-7 Friday.  The plan for today was the guys were going to fish and the girls were going to shop and hang out in Hopetown.  We found out on the VHF morning cruiser’s net that most of the places in Hopetown would be closed today because it was Good Friday and a holiday.
New plan, Joe, Erin and I took the dinghy into Hopetown.  First we went to the lighthouse.  Climbing it is a “must do” in this area.  The view is fantastic.  Then we dinghied over to the government dock and walked around town, just to show them the town.  We may or may not get back here before they leave.  

view of our boat at anchor from the light house-in center of picture

 We left Elbow Cay about 2:00 and moved the boat to Great Guana Cay.  We took the dinghy to shore and walked to Nippers.  The restaurants couldn’t sell alcohol until 6:00pm, new rule for Good Friday.  We walked the beautiful beach and took pictures.  

steps to the beach before hurricane Dorian


When we returned to the restaurant, there was a squall moving through.  There is indoor and outdoor seating, so we went inside and had a couple appetizers, chicken wings and lobster bites (had to have lobster for my fish on Good Friday).  About the time we finished, DJ and JoDanna showed up.  We had talked earlier to let them know we were headed here, so they joined us.  We all moved outside and visited awhile longer.  I even got Dave to dance to one song!

We headed down to Grabbers, the bar/restaurant on the beach by our boats for dinner.  They had a fish fry special.  You had a full snapper for $22 with one side.  We watched a beautiful sunset and headed back to our boats in the dark.

our boat is in front of the sun

4-8 Saturday There were several small islands/large rocks in the area that the guys wanted to check our spearfishing.  Erin and I followed them in the dinghy for just so long.  Then we had them take us to shore while they continued to fish.  We walked about a block through the little bit of town that was there.  We found a liquor store/little deli and bought a “new to us” beverage.  We found piña coladas and mojitos in a can made by the company Cuba Libra. We each bought one and continued our walk.  We found a dive shop that had a gift shop.  I met Troy, the owner of Dive Guana.  I had heard his voice on the VHF cruiser’s net many times over the years.  It was nice to put a face with his voice.  We were happy to find a few gift items.  Or we were happy because of the drinks.  We decided to pick up more of the drinks to take back to the boat.  The drinks were 8% alcohol and $3 for a 12oz can.  The special was 3 for $8, so we bought a 6 pack of each.  
We went back to Grabbers restaurant on the beach.  We shared a lobster quesadilla and each ordered a drink.  Then we enjoyed their pool and just refilled our glasses with one of our canned drinks.  Needless to say, we really enjoyed our relaxing day at the pool.  Joe came in to pick up up later and we had one more drink with him.  Erin had run punches, but I had beers.  So she ended up napping that afternoon.  Plus she is so tiny, that those 4 drinks were pretty hard on her.  


view towards our boat

distance to the bar

We moved the boat to Marsh Harbour that afternoon.  There were strong winds predicted starting tomorrow, so thought we better get to a protected bay and be sure to be able to get to church on Sunday and to the airport on Monday.  Joe made us chicken enchiladas for dinner on the boat.
4-9 Sunday. Joe took Erin and me to the government dock on shore for church on Easter Sunday.  My friend, Hermonette from Hopetown had rented a car for the day.  So she dropped off her family at church and came back to pick us up at the dock.  She said her daughter thinks of Easter as the prom of the church year.  She was up at 4:00 this morning because they had a make up artist come to their home.  (They had to leave Hopetown by ferry at 8:00am.). Their hair, nails and make up were beautiful.


While we were waiting at the dock, we talked to a boy scout troop from Charlotte, SD.  There were about 20 boys and 6 leaders. They were their on a Sea Scout adventure.  All of them were staying on one catamaran.  3 taxis picked them up.  They happened to be at the same catholic church we went to.  
After mass, the church members served us some Bahamian favorite foods.  They were handing out plates with a hot cross bun, a little sandwich that looked like ham salad, and a fried dough with meat inside similar to an empanada.  We took one plate to share.  After having the fried pastry, we decided to take the rest home to Joe and Dave.  Hemonette was going to give us a ride back to the dock, but we decided we wanted to walk the 1.6 miles.  On the way, 4 people stopped to offer us rides.  I don’t think I’ll get a taxi in the future.  I’ll just start walking and someone will offer me a ride.
Our friends on another sailboat, JoDanna and DJ, had given us homemake sourdough English muffins.  So while we were at church, Dave made Hollandaise Sauce and we had Eggs Benedict for our Easter brunch.  
That afternoon, Dave made water while Joe, Erin and I took the dingy to the rocks and bay next to the entrance of the harbor.  Joe snorkeled along the rocks while Erin and I followed him in the dingy and watched the approaching storm.  We made it back to the boat before the storm hit.  I made Texas Caviar (bean dip) and Joe and Erin humored me by playing cards.  We had burgers on the boat that night and played more cards.  They enjoyed playing Swoosh, my new favorite game.

4-10 Monday. Joe and Erin were leaving today. They spent the morning packing.  Then they actually wanted to play cards again before leaving.  The seas were getting rough, so Dave took them to shore to meet the taxi to the airport about 1:00. 

 The wind was really picking up, so we decided to move the boat to a different spot in the harbor.  Some of the boats were dragging anchor, which could hit another boat.  AND a catamaran had anchored a little too close for comfort behind us.  We realized it was a boat from Brunswick with a barking dog that Dave had already had a “discussion” with.  We didn’t want to listen to it here, either.  It was a challenge to move the boat in 20+ knots of wind, but we handled it and were happy with our new position.  
We had a lazy day on the boat after we were settled.  We had a very windy night, which was predicted.  But our anchor held great, no dragging.  

4-11 Tuesday. The winds were predicted to be strong for several days, so we started doing routine boat projects again.  I defrosted the freezer an cleaned the floors.  Dave straightened out the cock pit after having guests.  And he worked on some adjustments to the bimini to stop water leaking though one of the zippers.  Still tweaking his handiwork.  

4-12 Wednesday. Still strong winds, but seemed better.  Our friends from Brunswick, John and Deborah on Wonderstruck, picked me up with their dinghy to go to shore for groceries and laundry.  I decided to take one load of clothes, since they were going.  The laundromat was very clean with nice machines.   BUT it cost $4 for one wash and $5 for 45 minute dryer.  Crazy, but nice to have done.  It’s been too rainy to do laundry on the boat,  We made a quick trip to the grocery store, about 3 blocks away, while our clothes were washing.  We made it home before it started raining.  But the wind caused waves to come over the side of the dingy getting us wet anyway.  Dave stayed at the boat and made water.  We run the generator and water maker for about 3 hours when we make water.  
That afternoon, a few boaters from Brunswick came over to our boat to play cards and have margaritas (compliments of what Erin had left on the boat).  Kit from Pemiquid and JoDanna and DJ from Jera came over.  We had a fun afternoon in our cockpit with full curtain enclosure for protection from the wind and rain. 

Kit, DJ, JoDanna, Mary

4-13 I got up to listen to Chris Parker’s weather report for the Bahamas at 6:30am.  After his forecast, subscribing vessels can call in with specific requests.  I called to ask about crossing from the Abacos to Spanish Wells Eleuthera on Friday vs Saturday.  Saturday would be calmer, but Friday actually sounded better than it had all week.  We were anxious to get there, because we had friends arriving on Saturday.
We took our garbage to shore and stopped at a couple boats before leaving Marsh Harbour.  We had something to return to DJ and JoDanna on Jera.  And we picked up something from John and Deborah on Wonderstruck.  We said our good-byes knowing we would see each other again in Brunswick, GA.
We left Marsh Harbour and headed to Lynyard Cay.  That anchorage is nearest the southernmost inlet to leave for Eleuthera.  There area a couple shallow areas to go through as we head south from Marsh Harbour.  We planned to leave at high tide, but with visiting and an issue with updating our charts, it was a little later.  We saw a boat go through the shallow area and called them on the VHF radio to ask about the depth.  It sounded like it would be fine.  As we passed over the area of concern, the charts said it was only 4 feet deep.  Our draft is 5 feet.  But the actual depth was 9-10 feet deep 2 hours after hight tide.  Good to remember.  We took the route between the mainland and the island of Lubbers Quarter.    
We were anchored at Lynyard Cay by 6:45pm.  Luckily, we had leftover chili already made for dinner.

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