Friday, January 15, 2010

Enjoying the Abacos!

We're back!! Finally had to bite the bullet and pay for internet access again, just not many free wi-fi spots in the Abacos.
So after a few days in Green Turtle Cay, we made the move south to Man-O-War Cay.

Here is a link covering our current "stomping grounds", the Abacos region of the Bahamas.

Man-O-War was another beautiful little spot, once again quiet streets and a laid back pace (and also dry, no alcohol is sold or served). Our first afternoon on the Cay was spent exploring the town. That took all of 15 minutes, so then it was time for ice cream and doing, well, not a whole lot!
The next day we loaded-up the dinghy and went to a beach just beyond the anchorage where we geared-up for a little wakeboarding. The water was flat calm and crystal clear, but unfortunately the winds soon picked-up and it was time to put the boards away and do a little more exploring.

Later that night we enjoyed some fun in the cockpit, knowing that cooler temps were on the way.

This was our last day of nice weather on Man-O-War. The front came down from the North, and although it wasn't as cold as Florida (they had snow in Stuart and just above freezing in Miami), it was not what we had hoped for in the Bahamas!! The winds stayed over 25kts for 2 days, gusting over 30kts at times, with cold rain on the first day.

Then of course we ran out of propane!! Lisa and I must have miscalculated because we both thought we would be fine for a few more days. Anyway, no propane on "Charlotte-Ann" means no cooking, no hot water (showers) and no refrigeration!

Anyone care for some turkey SPAM!!! Mmmmm...... with ketchup.

So after 4 days on Man-O-War we moved along to Marsh Harbour. MH is the largest town in the Abacos, and the 3rd largest in all the Bahamas. I believe the population is around 5,000, but I could be wrong (I'd Google it right now, but this connection isn't very good, the Blog entry is taking enough time as it is). We anchored out and had a visit with our friends Terry and Kim on "Clarity". The next morning was , for lack of a better term, "efficient". It was time to do all the things we hate to do, but that can only be done in larger towns.

First Mitch and I brought our 2 empty propane tanks to the hardware store. If you have them there before 0900hrs you will get them back by 1030hrs. So we dropped the tanks off and returned to the boat. Lisa, Delaney and 2 loads of dirty laundry joined us for the return ride to the public dinghy dock. We brought the clothes to the laundromat, and after they were loaded, Mitch and I went back for the filled propane tanks while Lisa and Delaney went to the grocery store. By the time Mitch and I dropped the full tanks off on "Charlotte-Ann" and got back to the laundry, the wash was done so we loaded it into the dryers. We then went to find Lisa and Delaney, grabbed all the groceries, and again made the 10 minute walk back to the dinghy and then out to the boat.
We then turned around, got back to Lisa and Delaney and lugged all our clean clothes back to the boat. Not bad for under 3 hours!!!

That afternoon Mitch and I went over to the Moorings to check out the catamaran my cousin and his family were chartering in a weeks time. This 40 ft. Leopard Catamaran really made our 34-footer seem incredibly small!!

Our next destination was Hope Town, about 4 miles SE of Marsh Harbour. What a difference compared to Marsh Harbour!! Once again, narrow, quiet streets and beautifully kept houses all done in pastel combinations that in most circumstances you would never think of matching on the same structure. This is the Bahamas we have come to expect.

Once we were settled in, I caught a glimpse of what seems to sum up Hope Town.
Yes, this is a picture of a cat sleeping in a hammock!!!! Doesn't get much more laid back than that, does it!!!

And once again, a stunning beach just a 1 minute walk from the dinghy dock.

Not only is the beach beautiful (and not busy) but the reefs just off the shore are great for the kids. We spent our entire first day swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear water.

So how did we spend today??
A little schoolwork first thing in the morning. Lunch on board (BBQ'd some hot dogs). Off to the beach for a little kiteboarding (unfortunately very little, bad wind direction), sunbathing and castle-building.

Mitch and I then went skateboarding through town to buy some fresh grouper, after which Lisa and I went back to the boat while the Delaney and Mitchell played in the park with some local kids they met. Once supper was made I dinghied to the park, called for the kids and we made our way back to the boat. BBQ'd grouper, a game of Yahtzee, kids and Lisa in bed while I work on this Blog entry.
Here is a short video showing "downtown" Hope Town with the Library, Post Office, and Police Station (the beater Jeep is the Police car). This is also the park the kids have been playing , all within 100' of the dinghy dock and300' from the beach.

So we are heading back to Marsh Harbour tomorrow. They are calling for gale force winds on Sunday, and that is when Colin, Natalie, Freya and Callan arrive from Oman for their 2-week charter. They will get their boat on Monday, so we will spend that day loading up with more provisions, then head back to Hope Town on Tuesday. Alan and Spencer fly in on Thursday (to Marsh Harbour, but they will catch the ferry to Hope Town), then after they get here we will head to ..... ????
All for now.

Mark, Lisa, Delaney and Mitchell

PS. Eddie, we plan to get some answers to you this weekend!