Leaving Manjack Cay, Bahamas May 2009

Date: 03 May 2009

After Manjack we went thru the Whale Cut. It is an area that can have bad weather (as it is out in the open ocean). The weather was good, but everyone except for Philip felt motion sickness. We then went to a quiet anchorage off of the island of Abaco. Not much is there, but it is a secure anchorage.

One of the things about anchoring here is that you can see the anchor. So you know if you have good holding or not. We either go snorkeling to look a the anchor or take our lookie bucket out in the dinghy. A lookie bucket is a bucket with a clear bottom. It’s great for looking at the bottom and you stay dry. I’ve been glad to know our anchor status as the weather here has not been as calm as it should be.

May should be calm and hot (95 degrees). Instead it’s been in the 80′s with squally weather. We just plan on doing what we want in the morning and then hanging out in the boat for the afternoon. It has rained so much that we have so far not used our water maker. We wait five minutes to let the rain shower clean off our boat. Then we open up the cap to our water tank and let it fill up. We have filled our 150 gallon water tank twice with rain water. We also collect it in additional buckets to use for laundry and showers.

Because of weather – they were predicting squalls in the 30-40-50 knot range, we headed to the secure harbor of Marsh Harbor. We hung out in the boat for three days and did school. We also went to the grocery store. So far all we have purchased for groceries is salad stuff and bread. All of our other food is stuff we brought with us from the States. We figure that we are provisioned for three months worth of food. Last night we had pepperoni pizza, with Oreo cookies. I feel like our diet has been great for eating canned food. The canned chicken and ham we have been using has been great. We also have enjoyed the pepperoni and summer sausages that we bought in Georgia. While in Marsh Harbor we bought Conch Salad. It’s the meat of conch mixed in with vegetables. We all enjoyed it.

The next thing we did of interest was to go to the Abaco Sea Park. It is a lovely reef for snorkeling. They have mooring balls in place to attach your dinghy too. We snorkeled and saw some very pretty reefs and fish.

There is an interesting island next to the Sea Park. We saw waves from the Atlantic Ocean breaking over the island. The island had the lovely sand beach and rock outcroppings. On the rock outcroppings are fossilized conchs and other sea shells. We also had a pleasant surprise here. Here we met up with the boat Gromit. They are the family that we traveled South from the Chesapeake and stayed with at Jekyll Island. We enjoyed traveling with them for a few additional days.

We then anchored (with the Gromits) at Tillo Sand Bank. It’s a great place at low tide. The water gets so low that a sand bank comes out. My kids found shells and enjoyed wading and letting the current pull them thru the water.

The next day we went to Hope Town. People say it is the prettiest town in the Bahamas. They have an awesome lighthouse that gave us a great view. Someone in town built a little house just for lizards. Here’s a picture of one of the streets in Hope Town.

Unfortunately a storm came in and we got wet in our dinghy while going back in our boat. Conditions were rough enough that a local small freighter coming out of Hope Town slowed down to keep an eye on us. By the time we got to our boat the wind was blowing 25 knots and lightening was occurring. Needless to say we were soaking wet. So we went out on the front of the boat, cleaned our clothes and took a shower. This was one of the times that we filled our water tanks. Luckily Marsh Harbor (which is a very protected place) was close by. So we anchored there and met up with the Gromits.

Because of weather we spent the next three days in Marsh Harbor. Unlike our last visit to Marsh Harbor we found out about a local reef. This reef was easier to get to, and the fish were much nicer to look at then the Sea Park. We visited it three times and were delighted each time. We used our under water camera for the first time.

While in March Harbor we also purchased a conch horn. It’s a shell that you can blow on to make noise. People blow on them at sunset. The children really enjoy blowing on it.

Today we went to Spoil Cay. They dredged a channel and put all of the soil in one spot. The guide book says it is the nicest place for shelling. We found a ton of wonderful shells. We waded in the water and saw two extremely large schools of tiny fish. We also found several live conchs. While walking back to the dinghy, I found several conch shells lying on the beach. We now have more conch shells than we know what to do with.

Tonight we are in Treasure Cay. This is the first anchorage that we have used where we will have to pay. We haven’t checked in with the marina yet, so we don’t know the cost. However, there is free internet here, which is what I am using now. It is also a very pretty anchorage and much more protected than any other one we have been at. It is considered a hurricane hole. Tomorrow we plan on paying for the privlege of being here and exploring the island. When we come back from land I’ll try to email one more time.

All in all, we are having more fun in the Bahamas than we have had in the last year and a half. There is plenty of swimming, lovely fish and beaches. I also like that the anchorage are close together.

So far we have actually sailed our boat three times in the Bahamas. Today was the best, we sailed most of the way across the sea of Abaco.

Hope all is well with you. Until the next time.