Sunday, 29 March 2015

March 25-28, 2015 Marsh Harbour

one last look at Hope Town, until next season

back in Marsh Harbour

on our way in we saw 2 women paddling with the wind to their backs, I said to Joe they will have a hard time returning against the wind … about 1 1/2 hours later, they where rescued and returned 

Persuasion, Mary Ellen and Mike had dinner with us

Joe helping adjust lines on other boats, the wind blew 40 knots in the night and by morning it clocked around and was blowing us into the dock …. Charlie, from WingSpread on the left

the Out Island Doctors Castle

Joe harvested another coconut, removing the outer shell

March 24-25, 2015 Fry's Mangrove

this area has hundreds or red star fish, some over one foot wide

anchored out side Hope Town

restored Abaco dinghies on mooring balls

a close up of another dinghy

nearly completed

Kent and Joe examining the door from the Elbow Cay Lighthouse

some of my snorkelling finds, this little crab was returned to the sea, to find a new home

another restoration taking place

the squall hits at 5pm

these waves are at least 2 ft, in the lee of the shore … winds clocking around

Moonlight Maid before she moved

leaving Alan and Heather after coffee, the next morning

March 24, 2015

tides - rise or fall every 6 inches in one hour on average in the Bahamas

in the Bay of Fundy - tides rise or fall 5 FEET on average every hour

just some info

 - left Armstrong Cay at 9:30 - seas flat, so we motored for 2 hours to just outside Hope Town and Elbow Cay Lighthouse

We anchored just outside Fry's Mangrove and when settled we saw on the chart that there was underwater cables in this area, and we where very close to one.  So the anchor came up again, and we moved about 400 ft away, set anchor again. Charts showed no cables in this area.  Well a few hours later when I was snorkelling near the boat, what did I find but an underwater cable, lying on the sand, about 50 ft from our stern.  The anchor was in the opposite direction, so we felt okay about this.

Joe had read about a boat restorer at Fry's Mangrove that gives new life to old boats, and that everyone is welcomed to dinghy in or come by golf cart.

We landed the dinghy around noon and was greeted by a friendly elderly dog.  Our shouts of hello did not bring anyone, so we kind of felt like we should leave and come back in a few hours. We took a few pictures and headed out to take a few more pictures of the restored Abaco dinghies on mooring balls. One more glance back at shore, we saw a woman and another dog, so back again we went and was greeted warmly by Kent Leboutillier, who along with husband "
"Boot", own this beautiful one acre industry. Tomato Paste Resort and Great Harbour Boat Restoration, that restore Abaco dinghies and other historic boats, also a beautiful Mahogony door from the Elbow Cay Lighthouse.
Ceicil, a 37 yr old, Haitian born - legal Bahamian resident was away when we visited, but we understand; he has the talent and was mentored by Winer Malone, Hope Towns legendary and revered builder of Abaco Dinghies.
Tomato Paste Resort has 2 cottages, that can sleep 2 or 4, one is called "Fish Tales" and other " Salty Dog", and a second story studio loft "Bit 'A Heaven".  We where given a tour of all 3 and I fell in love , the detail and workmanship was superior with finishing touches of dolphins and monkey fists handles, and the view from each place was spectacular.
We picked up the local Abaco life magazine and the winter 2015 issue featured Cecil, Great Harbour Boat Restoration and Tomato Paste Resort.
Thru this we learnt that Kent is a baker and her wedding cakes are one of a kind.
and how did they come up with the name Tomato Paste, Boot's friends filled his boots with tomato paste when he was in his early teens, and the name stuck …lol

March 25, 2015

We went into Hope Town and Joe left me for a few hours at our favourite coffee shop with good wifi and I posted 2 weeks of Blog material.
When we got back to Modaki a familiar boat was anchored near by, Moonlight Maid, Alan and Heather, we last saw each other in St. Augustine, Floria, when Joe and I on the shuttle boat, got caught in a down pour and was soaked completely and ended up in the cruisers laundry room.  Heather lent us some dry clothes, while ours dried in the dryer. We had planned a 5pm happy hour on Moonlight Maid, but a squall passed thru, with seas  2 ft plus in the lee of the land, and the winds started clocking. Moonlight Maid re anchored a distance away, so we decided to get together for coffee in the morning.

March 26 - 27, 2015

We moved Modaki close to Moonlight Maid and had a great catch up of both our adventures this year. Moonlight Maid stayed anchored another night off Hope Town and the next day rounded the Whale to Green Turtle Cay.  They are heading back to Florida and then flying home to Halifax.

When Modaki and crew got to Marsh Harbour it was packed full of boats, probably 100 plus. Bad weather was coming our way, with the next low. We found a spot, not the best, at low tide we had 6 inches under our keel. The weather was to be calm for the night and we knew we would be moving by morning.

A few calls to Mango Marina, and Ray made space for us at the dock. Slip #31, our usual spot.  At 10pm the wind blew 40 knots, with some rain.  Our fiends on Persuasion, Mike and Mary Ellen, had supper with us on shore and was back on their boat before the winds picked up. And with this type of low the winds clocked again.

March 28, Saturday

Joe and I did major grocery shopping, and got a taxi back to the boat, we went exploring again, and found a path way to the Doctor's Castle, but was unable to get any good pictures, there is so much development around them and trees are over grown.  Some of the windows are boarded up also.  We understand that their daughter Gayle, still lives there … she fundraises for the "potcakes"
the local mixed breed of dogs …

Monday we will be heading over to Great Guana Cay, and get ready to cross the Whale, when the seas settle down.  Then to New Plymouth, and explore the northern Abaco's, before we cross to Florida.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

March 22 - 23, 2015 Little Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas

Curley Tail

Paying our mooring fee at Pete's Pub Bar

at anchor in Little Harbour

one of the caves

some of the bronze sculptures

outside the museum and art gallery

the front counter was part of an old boat, even with the propeller

back at Pete's Pub

signed t-shirts from all over the world

foundation of the light house

inside, looking outside

heading off to another beach

a great sea glass hunting beach

having the Blaster drink

inside the cave

a mushroom (flowerpot) Island

this cave looked a bit dangerous, rocks ready to fall

some of our sea glass

anchor well dug in

red starfish, in about 5 ft of water  .. this area had hundreds of red star fish

that's me … funny picture

March 22, 2015

We entered Little Harbour at high tide.  Low tide its 3.5 ft deep.  Modaki is 5 ft loaded.

Little Harbour is beautiful, small, surrounded on 3 sides by hills and dotted with private homes.  Mooring balls are $25/night with no services.  No anchoring.

Sculptor Randolph Johnston and his wife Margot who worked in ceramics, lived in a cave and on their boat while building their home in the 1950's. Randolph was an internationally known artist renowned for his "lost wax" casting in bronze. His son, Pete, owner of Pete's Pub has been also using a 5,000-year-old wax process in casting his bronze sculptures. They can be seen around the art gallery, museum and Pete's Pub.  Prices are around 3 - 4 thousand dollars and higher.

We walked to the ocean side to see the foundation of the lighthouse, we understand the mortar was mixed with conch shells for strength.

Close by " A Bight of Old Robinson", to the west has numerous interesting shallow creeks, some with "Blue Holes".  We will have to save this for next year.

We headed out again for about a 1 1/2 mile walk to another beach.  Here we found an abundance of very round sea glass. It was a bit of a challenge, because the ocean waves would wash in the glass and you had to scramble to grab it before it was washed out with the next wave. Joe found our first ever glass bottle stopper.

It was a very hot day and I found a safe area to go for a swim.

On our way back tot he dinghy, we stopped at Pete's Pub for a drink.  I had a Blaster, made from 5 different rums and 3 fruit juices, it was so good I had two.  This pub is open air with sand floor and all outside.
Next stop was the caves, accessible only by dinghy at low tide.  I'm sure a lot has changed since Randolph Johnston and his family lived there.

Monday 23rd
We left Little Harbour on the rising tide about midway…. Foresail out and gliding along at 5 - 5.5 knots. We passed 2 ocean openings and both only had swells, no breaking waves.
We stopped for the day at Armstrong Cay, snorkelled, walked the beach, and Joe continued to scrub the bottom of the boat.
There is 3 other boats in this remote anchorage, no wind at 10 PM.

BUT by 10:30 PM a squall came thru, with high winds from N then NE, 25knots plus, and lots of rain, of course our bow is now heading away from shore. Joe stayed up, and set the anchor alarm.  We had the key in the ignition switch, everything ready to start the engine and head out  into the Sea of Abaco, if our anchor dragged.
By 1am the squall passed and Joe headed to bed at 1:30 am
The next morning we had collected enough fresh water for me to wash some clothes, before we headed out to Hope Town. 

March 18 - 21, 2015 Blog issues

March 21, the first full day of spring in the Bahamas, the flowers are in bloom

Mike, Mary Ellen from Persuasion … walking thru the stone cut … we are planning on crossing back to Florida with them

Happy hour on Persuasion, Tutti, me and Mary Ellen

a new anchorage on Lunyard Cay

its amazing what is washed up on shore, someone making art from it

lots of Curley Tails

the lighter colours is the shallows

Modaki is the middle boat, we dropped the anchor in the shallow, sand area, and backed down into the deeper area

we found some nice white sand dollars on this beach

the forest fire that is mentioned in the blog

Mistress's crew getting ready to snorkel on Mermaid Reef
we are hoping to cross back to Florida with them also

Persuasion and Modaki back to the reef

these are some of the fish we saw

Parrot Fish

Joe feeding them the oatmeal mixture

grey Angel Fish

March 18-20, 2015
MARSH HARBOUR and blog problems

First thing was to do the laundry, and it needed to be done.
Then picked up a few groceries.
We took the dinghy to Mango's to buy water and use the internet, to see what the blog problem was.  The blog and our gmail account for the blog both vanished into cyber space.  We managed to change our password for the gmail account, and got that back…and there was a message saying 
We violated googles terms and conditions and because of this SCAM, they removed our blog.  No warning just shut you down.

Thanks to friends back home, Martha Nicol, has a friend Greg Davis at Annex Graphics, he sent a request to have our blog reviewed.  And Sue Allison's friend Miranda Miller sent the same request on our behalf. We would of sent a request too but we could not find an email address any where.
A few days later we received an email from a no reply address, from The Blogger Team saying ….
the blog was mistakenly marked as a TOS violator by our automated system, and we have reinstated your blog …

So here we are again up and running …..

One afternoon we went with Persuasion (Mike and Mary Ellen), to Mermaid Reef and snorkelled. This time we took liquid oatmeal and canned corn. We made sure the camera was on and we got a few good underwater pictures.

We also walked with Persuasion thru the rock cut to Boat Harbour to look for some Snake Skin Shells and conch.  We sure picked a hot day for this hike.

Happy hour was on Persuasion and Keltic Kat joined in too.  It turns out Pat (K.K.)
knew Mary Ellen's uncle, they both flew airplanes out the the same airstrip.

March 21, 2015

Modaki hauled anchor and said our good byes and motored all the way to Lynyard Cay, about 4 hours, south.

We walked the beach at low tide and found some sand dollars.

The forest fire is still burning, at least a week now. Tonight the wind is blowing the smoke away from us. We understand the fires are deliberately set to flush out the wild boers on the island.  The fire department here only fights house fires.

We met a single handed sailor, Don and his dog,PuBu on HERMES, a Pearson 33
his home port is on Lake Ontario, New York side
Don has been sailing for quite some time and knows the Bahamas well.  We hope to meet up again.