When we arrived in Marsh Harbour, the weather was fine, but later that evening we got blasted with a thunder shower.
We're told they are common in the summer and that turned out to be true.
This one packed 30 knot winds, and we're in a protected harbour!
Nice to have all the necessary instructions available when you go ashore :-)
This picture is for Wanda's cousin Donna. She is a painter, and this flower garden made us think of her.
It didn't hurt that it was also at the entrance to a fine restaurant.
Just thought I'd include a picture of the Marsh Harbour anchorage after the storm cleared. There really were boats and marinas out there!
In the early 1950's, a guy named Randolph Johnson took his family and moved to the Abacos in search of an independent life.
He believed that the world was on a path to destruction and that he could show it the error of its ways through art.
He settled in his own private 'desert island' in Little Harbour and produced sculptures of bronze and his wife did some ceramics.
He and his wife are dead now, but their sons still carry on the craft.
And one of the sons has opened "Pete's Pub". The original was built from part of the boat that the family arrived in at Little Harbour.
I believe it burned down in a fire, and this is the reconstruction. Not a bad burger, and a pig roast on Saturdays :-)
This is a view of Little Harbour looking west. At one time, when the boat they were living in had rotted away and they had not yet built a house,
the family lived for a while in the cave you see on the left, far side of the harbour.
This is the entrance channel to the harbour in Hopetown, very narrow and shallow.
Probably the most picturesque village in the Abacos.
Hopetown has two roads and then a number of these little walking lanes that connect them every 100 yards or so.
No caption required.
This is the harbour at Hopetown. In the background is the famous lighthouse that has been in continuous operation since 1864.
I don't know if you can read this, but it tells the story of the lighthouse.
The part it doesn't tell was related by the guide at the museum in Green Turtle. Evidently, one of the more profitable
local industries in the Abacos was salvage from ship wrecks. There are even stories of ships that were deliberately led onto
the rocks by people a little short of business. The last thing they wanted was a lighthouse and opposed it loudly.
The view east from the top of the lighthouse. In the foreground is the harbour and you can see the Atlantic ocean in the background.
Katrissa is the sailboat on the extreme right of the picture, and on the far side of the harbour is the best restaurant we ate in while in the Bahamas.
They also have a very beautiful beach bar overlooking the ocean with a reef just off the beach. This place is a 'must return'.
I guess it shouldn't really be a surprise that the power and telephones sometimes fail :-)
After 4 days in Hopetown, some of the time in rain, we pressed on to Man-O-War Cay. For some reason I didn't get many pictures here, but this is
one of the gardens along the roadway.
On to Great Guana Cay.
This is a deserted beach on the ocean. It is the waterfront part of an available building lot - anyone interested?
And this is the introduction to a place called Nippers, a rocking party bar overlooking the beach.
And yet another pig roast!
The water was this colour all through the Abacos. The dark colour is grass, although coral heads look much the same and they can get you!
Can you say 'visual navigation'?
Tacking across the Sea of Abaco, heading for Manjack Cay (or Munjack? or Nunjack? .... whatever).
We anchored for the night and pressed on to Great Sale Cay to wait for a good time to set out for Florida.
This is the first day of the long trip back to Florida. We saw every kind of weather - this was a storm on the Little Bahama Bank.
We started the trip with 4 other boats; three of us are headed for Ft. Pierce, and the other 2 to Port Canaveral.
Wanda Doolittle :-)
Most of the day, we had the wind dead astern so we sailed 'wing-on-wing' with the main on the port side and the genoa on the starboard side. The main was rigged with a preventer but we don't have a whisker pole so the foresail flogged a bit.
How's that for sailor talk :-)
Another storm - this one was nasty but we were able to avoid the worst of it.
The wonders of modern electronics allowed us to 'see' the storm and track our course.
Those of you that are really observant will see that our knot meter is not metering.
After we left the Little Bahama Banks, we sailed overnight to the Florida coast. The night was peaceful and uneventful but just about dawn, when we were 15 miles off the Florida coast, a long line of thunder storms came up between us and the inlet. They had lightning and waterspouts, so we elected to stand off until they passed. "The best laid plans of mice and men", it is said, but it worked out not too badly. We did get a little wet and the entrance through the inlet was rougher than it would have been had we arrived before the ebb, as was planned.
This picture is Katrissa, the laundry ship, acting as a clothesline in the Ft. Pierce Harbourtown Marina.
For you mechanically inclined types, we had a small over heating problem and this was the culprit in the raw-water intake hose.
For the rest of you, that dangly thing that looks like a weed is a weed and it's not supposed to be there :-)
It is a sailors' tradition that after you accomplish a particularly arduous task, you all get together and eat and drink and make sure you all have your lies (oops, stories) straight before you relate them to anyone else.
These are the two other couples that crossed with us from Great Sale, and another couple that we had met before.
Since we had spent so long in Vero Beach during the winter, we had to stop in and visit the guys in the marina. It sure looks deserted compared to our previous visit.
There was one special reward: while we were relaxing in the cockpit, Wanda spotted a West Indian Manatee having lunch by munching
on the algae that was growing on the mooring ball floating next to us. They are big slow-moving creatures, very ugly, extremely endangered,
and there are serious fines for hurting them. Unfortunately, too far away for a good picture.