Abacos Cruise

November 2 through November 15, 2007

The plan for this year was again centered on bicycle racing, culminating in a trip to Sydney, Australia, for the Masters' World  Track Championships.  Unfortunately a couple of bad spills in August made participation in that competition untenable.  This was especially disappointing since I had planned this for more than a year and would be on sabbatical in order to be able to go. As September wore on I decided that a consolation trip was in order.  In addition to racing bikes, I am passionate about sailing, so the plan morphed into a trip to the Bahamas.  As luck would have it, Abaco Bahamas Charters was having a two weeks for the price of one promotion. For the cruise I chartered a Beneteau 31, pictured below.

Exterior View

Main Cabin

For the trip I had two different crews.  The first five days I was accompanied by my son and his girlfriend.  The last five days a change of crew came in to replace Christopher and Tara.  In between I had the boat to myself.

Part I of the cruise, north of Hope Town:

The original plan had been to fly into Marsh Harbour on November 1.  The late season Tropical Storm Noel had other plans, however. When Noel popped up south of Haiti and Dominican Republic on 10/28 I was surprised, since such late season storms are fairly rare.  It is even rarer for them to head for the northern Bahamas.  In the last 150 years of records there are only 16 or 18 such storms to track through the Abacos.

The poor connections out of Philadelphia made flying from Newark the better choice by a wide margin.  Because our flight had been rescheduled we had to be at the Newark Airport for an 8:30 AM flight on November 2.  To make the flight I had to get up at 2:30 AM to be sure that I would be at EWR in plenty of time.  The New Jersey Department of Transportation tried their hardest to thwart my travel plans.  Almost as soon as I got on the NJ Tpk the three northbound lanes were collapsed to one.  Fortunately there are mostly just long haul truckers on the road at 4:30 AM and they don't slow up much in order to gawk as they pass a construction project. Once in the air I happened to look out the window at the engine.  There are little fins and bumps on the surface of the engine to improve airflow.  How do they figure out the need for such small adjustments? As we were leaving the day after Noel passed through the Abacos, the trip went smoothly without delays or interruptions.  Upon arrival in Marsh Harbour (4 on the map above) we took the taxi over to Abaco Ferry, thence on to Hope Town (1 on the map above).

In the log entries that follow, the digits in parentheses refer to locations on the above map.

The Hope Town Lighthouse Captain Jack's

 By 4 PM we were on S/V Anticipation.  After signing the charter contract, paying the security deposit and getting a briefing from Sherman, and chatting with Jim Montgomery, the owner of Abaco Charters, we turned our attention to getting dinner.  That first night we had dinner at Captain Jack's on the harbor.  On walking into the dining room I thought I saw a familiar face.  After the usual "I know you ..." we recalled that we knew each other from Tidewater Yacht Service Center in Baltimore, where I had kept Adagio, our Sabre 42, and Dominique had been working at the time.

11/3/2007, Saturday, Hope Town (1) to Great Guana (2)

Out of habit I was up by 7 AM.  Continental had found a way to squeeze the bottles of Joy and Prell that I had in my luggage so I spent the first 40 minutes of the start of our cruise trying to rinse the stuff out of my clothes. Later in the trip when it rained and I was wearing my foul weather jacket it shed soap bubbles.  Of course, at 8:15 AM it was time to listen to the cruisers' net to get the weather forecast.

Weather: A low over Jamaica to Honduras will be slow to develop.
Today - Wind N 17, 40% chance rain, 82o - 77o F
Sunday - N 15, scattered clouds, 78o - 75o F
Monday - NE 15, scattered clouds,   78o - 75o F
Tuesday - ENE 13, partly cloudy, 78o - 75o F
Wednesday - NNE 11, scattered clouds, 78o - 75o F
Thursday - N 11, 30% rain, 77 - 69 F

Today we skipped breakfast to go into Hope Town to provision for the next few days.  The grocery beats the stores in Staniel Cay by a wide margin, but is not as large and as extensive as the store in George Town.  Once we got everything stowed away we pulled out, headed toward the north end of Great Guana Cay.  We spent the day beating to windward on a beautiful day of sailing.  While underway we had a dolphin (or was it a porpoise) swimming with us for a time. That is always a thrill.

At dinner we had jerk chicken on the grill, and later in the evening we were treated to a billion stars overhead.  Christopher says he saw the biggest shooting star he has ever observed.  We closed out the evening early.  Early to bed, early to rise becomes the pattern when there isn't any electronic entertainment available. 

In the course of the day we discovered a few shortcomings on the boat.  The ground wire to the keel has broken its fitting.  The topping lift is a fixed piece of line.  This creates two problems.  First, it can't be let off once the sail is raised, so it affects sail shape when close hauled.  Second, when sheeting in the main there is the danger that it might break, thereby dropping the boom into the cockpit when the sail is lowered. Because I thought the electric bilge was not working I tried the emergency manual bilge pump; it didn't seem to be working.

11/4/2007, Sunday, below Crossing Bay at Little Joe's Point, Great Guana Cay (2)

Weather: This morning we couldn't hear the cruisers' net.  A little troubling since it meant we couldn't get the weather. On the other hand the forecast from yesterday was pretty benign. OOOooops.  We didn't hear the net because we forgot to set the clocks back an hour!  As a digression on mistakes and weather: Recently I have been reading about the circumnavigation of the yacht Bumfuzzle.  Pat includes some excerpts from others reading his web site.  They are very uncomplimentary: "Pat and Ali are a disaster looking for a place to happen."  If you read between the lines of the blog you can see that they actually knew a great deal more than would be the impression from a superficial reading.  In any case, at one point Pat is dismissive of how obsessive cruisers of the Bahamas are about the weather.  It is worth noting that in one of the entries for New Zealand Bumfuzzle is moved a couple of miles just to be better sheltered from the wind, and moves are more common when they are in Australia..

The Settlement




In the morning we took the dinghy up to the north end of Great Guana to snorkel on the reef.  Pretty disappointing.  The sea state, while not a rage, was pretty rough due to the north wind, the water was cloudy from the storm that went through a few days ago, and the current was running pretty quickly through the cut. After lunch Christopher and Tara went off in the dinghy while I stayed behind to read.  They reported finding a nice snorkeling spot down near the south end of Great Guana before coming to the cut between Guana and Scotland Cay.  From the cruising guide we knew about the pig roast at Nippers. In the evening we went down there.  Turned out that the pig roast and feast starts at noon-ish.  By the time we got there at 6:00 PM everyone had gone home.  Apparently we had made the transition to island time a little too quickly and a bit too literally. We walked back to Grabber's on Fisher's Bay.  Their rib nite is on Saturday. Oh well.  We had to settle for fresh Mahi-Mahi and conch fritters. The evening was closed out with a rousing game of chinese checkers, just so that we would able to stay up past 8:30 PM. Chris won, Tara was second, and the old man was dead last.


There is a big golf resort cum development going in at the end of Great Guana.  The developer has dredged cuts from the Sea of Abaco inshore.  There must be plans for a marina to go with the resort.  The construction crews seem to be working 7x24.  At night you can see the high powered lights from a long distance.  In the settlement on the island there are painted protest signs "Stop the destruction of our reef."  We asked the folks at Grabbers about the resort.  They were philosophical.  The government doesn't have the resources to turn the land into a protected national park; the best of all possible worlds.  The island needs jobs if it is to have any hope of keeping the young people around.  If there can't be a national park and there must be development to create jobs, then it might as well be a resort that will generate electricity for the settlement, add more waste treatment capacity  to the island beyond its own needs, and build a desalinization plant.  If the alternative is a larger number of houses without comparable infrastructure, then the resort is better. 

11/5/2007, Monday, Great Guana Cay (2) to Scopley Rock Anchorage at Man-o-War Cay (3)

Weather: There is a front from 29N 65W to 23N 72W that will move west to the Windward Passage by Friday.  A cold front will move into the northern Bahamas by Thursday and moving to the SE by Friday.

Today: NE 10 - 17, Clear, 75 - 78 F
Tuesday: ENE - NE 10 - 15, scattered clouds
Wednesday: N 10 - 15, 75 - 78 F, scattered clouds
Thursday: N - NE 10 - 12, 71 - 77 F, 40% rain during day and 80% rain at night.
Friday: NE 5 - 10, scattered clouds, 40% rain

Broad reach from Crossing Bay down to Scopley Rock anchorage on Man-o-War Cay.  A great sail!  Leaving C and T on board to snorkel along the rock wall just south of the boat, I went into the settlement to buy bread.  Although I was able to find Lola, she had had a run on product that morning and had nothing left.  She told me that the 'crowd' caught her off guard; heretofore it had been a very slow summer.  When I found them, Lola and her husband, easily in their 80's, were sitting in the living room napping and whiling away the afternoon.  They invited me in for a chat.  When I got back to the boat C and T were napping, so I went snorkeling for about an hour along the rocky islets extending north from Scopley Rock.  As a break from the relaxing, we all went for a walk in the settlement in the afternoon.  Upon our return I took C and T up along the rocks I had snorkeled earlier.  Tara wanted to see the fish and Christopher wanted to try to spear dinner.  While they swam I drifted along in the dinghy.  No fish for dinner.  The Hawaiian sling that Christopher bought is going to result in a very expensive dinner if and when we get a fish with it.  Tonight we played "in a Pickle" in another effort to stay awake past 8 PM.


Regarding the boat, I am still trying to sort out the bilge pump, refrigerator drain and shower sump.  It seems that they all use the same pump, but the switching is a bit strange.  To drain the fridge you have to have the valves under the sink turned correctly, the water pressure switch on, and then flick a switch in the head.  The bilge drain, using the same pump is switched from the electrical panel (it is not on a float switch!).  The shower sump requires a different configuration of switches and valves.

11/6/2007, Tuesday, Man-o-War (3) to Marsh Harbour (4)

Weather: A high pressure ridge will build north of the Bahamas, Low torugh south of the Bahamas
Today: ENE - NE, 10-15, seas 6-8 on the ocean east of the Bahamas.
Wednesday: NNE - NNW, 10 - 15, scattered clouds, 75 - 78 F
Thursday: NNE - NNW, 10 - 15, scattered clouds, 71 - 77 F, 20% rain with 50% at nite
Friday: N, 8 - 13, scattered clouds, 75-71 F, 20% rain during day
Saturday: N - NW, 15 - 20, partly cloudy

Tomorrow Christopher and Tara are leaving to go back to work, so this morning we went over to Marsh Harbor.  When Christopher and I came through here in April 2001 there must have been a couple of hundred boats in Marsh Harbour.  Today, in the off season there are 16.  After anchoring and getting lunch we piled into the dinghy with our snorkel gear to go around to Mermaid Reef.  Accelerating away from Anticipation I happened to look over at the transom of the dinghy.  To my horror the starboard end of the transom board was detaching itself from the inflated tube.  We quick shut it down and went back to the boat.  I called Abaco Bahamas Charters on the VHF, with no response so we resorted to the cell phone and left a message for them.  After much hand wringing I decided that there had to be a way to make the dinghy usable.  The solution was to get the transom board back into its socket and then use a piece of line to pull the inflated tubs together tightly.  A dock line was then strung from a ring in the transom to the towing ring on the bow in order to carry some of the load exerted by the outboard when under power.   After the jury rig repair I took Christopher and Tara over to Marsh Harbour Marina so that they could walk over the isthmus and swim out to Mermaid Reef from the beach.  As they walked through the marina some well informed soul told Christopher that he couldn't use his spear on that reef since it is a protected area; this wasn't mentioned in the cruising guide.  On their return they reported that the water was still a little turgid, but that the fish had been the biggest that they had seen.  Although there was still no word from ABC regarding the dinghy, we went into town for bread and Conch salad. A trip to the Bahamas isn't complete without Conch Salad. That night we had hot dogs for dinner.  Why aren't hot dog rolls packaged in the same number as the hot dogs?  That is one of those cosmic questions for which we'll never have an answer.

11/7, Wednesday, Marsh Harbour

Weather: A cold front will move into the area from NE Florida tonight through Thursday briging NE wind, 10 -15 knots.
Today: missed this part.  Sometines the person doing the weather on the cruisers' net is somewhat disorganized and I miss part of the forecast.
Thursday: N, 10-15, scattered clouds, 71-77 F 40% rain
Friday: NNE, 10 - 12, scattered clouds, 73-77 F
Saturday: NNE - NNW, 10 - 12, scattered clouds, 73 - 77 F
Sunday: N - NE, 5 - 10, scattered clouds, 20% rain, 73 - 77 F

This morning we hailed ABC again and got a response.  As it happened Sherman was already on his way over from Hope Town on another matter.  He took a look at our jury rigged solution to the transom, remarked that they didn't have another dighy for us in any case, and gave us his blessing.  We all went over to the Conch Inn Marina for gas, diesel, water, and showers.  After Chris and Tara left I managed touse up the rest of the afternoon getting bread and groceries.

11/8, Thursday, Marsh Harbour

Weather: The forecasted cold front is still off Florida and north of the Abacos. It should cross the Bahamas tonight and into Cuba. There will be another cold front coming through on Saturday into Monday.
Today: NE, 10-15 + gusts, isolated showers, 69-75 F, mostly sunny in the PM
Friday: NNE, 5 - 11, scattered clouds & chance of rain, 73 - 77 F
Saturday: N, 6 - 13, scattered clouds, 73 - 77 F
Sunday: N, 11, 71 - 75 F
Monday: NE, 17, scattered clouds
Tuesday: E 22, scattered clouds, 75 - 78 F
Wednesday: S 11, 75 - 78 F

Last night it rained hard for a while. This must have been the 40% chance of rain that was in yesterday's forecast.  Today I enjoyed the sunshine, lay around reading, went into town to do laundry and bought a couple of prints for souvenirs.   

11/9, Friday, Marsh Harbour

Weather: Cold front brushes us Saturday as a high builds through Monday
Today: N NE, 10 - 15, 73 - 77 F
Saturday: N, 5 - 10, Sunny, 77F
Sunday: N - NE, 7 - 15, scattered clouds, 71 - 75 F
Monday: NE - ENE, 15 - 20, sunny, 73 - 77 F
Tuesday: ENE, 10 - 15, 20% rain, 73 - 77 F
Wednesday: ENE, 10 - 15, Sunny, 78 F
Thursday: ENE, 10 - 15, sunny, 75 - 78 F

Into town to use the phone in order to check on incoming crew.  In the afternoon I went snorkeling on Mermaid Reef. There are small moorings there.  Since it is a protected area the fish are sizable and very friendly.  The water is not too clear.  This may be partly due to the storm last week, partly due to the wind being from the NE all week combined with the long fetch of this part of the Sea of Abaco, and partly due to the large amount of commercial shipping in and out of Marsh Harbour.  So far snorkeling has been pretty disappointing.

The fittings under the sink in the head leak.  The shower head at the stern of the boat leaks. 

11/10, Saturday, Marsh Harbour

Weather: A weak cold front NE of the area will move south today and Sunday, with a high building through Wednesday.
Today: N - NE, <10 building to 15, 73 - 77 F
Sunday: N - NE, 10 - 15, sunny, 71 - 75 F
Monday: ENE, 12 - 15, scattered clouds, 75 - 78 F
Tuesday: E, 10 - 15, 30 - 50% rain, 73 - 77 F
Wednesday: E, 5 - 10, scattered clouds in AM, 20% rain in PM
Thursday: E, 0 - 10, scattered clouds, 75 - 78 F

Today the new crew arrived in the afternoon.  For reasons of privacy we'll refer to the new crew as Number Two, or Two for short (making Christopher and Tara 'Number One'?).  From here on almost all of the pictures were taken by Two.

Since coming into Marsh Harbour there was a large sloop, Rejuventaiton, anchored next to us.  The first few days there were four men on board.  The day they were leaving Christopher and Tara met the crew.  They had sailed down from Oriental, NC over the four days aftre TS Noel blew by. When Two and I were headed out to Anticipation someone on Rejuvenation hailed us.  We were invited onboard by Mike.  In his seventies, we guessed, Mike is planning to spend the winter in Marsh Harbour.  When younger friends and family are available he plans to visit a few other areas in the Abacos. 

This was the sunset that greeted Two for the first night in the Bahamas. It is the kind of sunset that Christopher and Tara had most evenings. The relevant map for the last part of the trip is below.


11/11, Sunday, Marsh Harbour (4) to south of Lubbers Quarter (5)

Weather: There is a cold front NE of the area and moving east.  A Hi will move SE from the US into our NW waters.
Today: NNE <10 increasing to NNE 10 - 15, 73 - 77 F
Monday: ENE, 15, scattered clouds in AM, 20 % rain in PM
Tuesday: E, 15, 30% chance of rain rising to  60% chance by evening, 73-77 F
Wednesday: E, 10, scattered clouds, chance of rain in PM
Thursday: 20% chance of rain in AM, scattered clouds in PM

Today we had a beautiful sail from Marsh Harbour down to a point behind Tilloo Cay just below Lubbers Quarter.  There are some large houses over looking this wonderful anchorage.

Here we are anchored at (5) in the chart. There were only a few boats out on the Sea of Abaco last week, and even fewer now that we are below Hope Town.  This is explained by the fact that the season really hasn't started and in this southern portion of the Sea of Abaco there are some large unmarked shoal areas that need to be avoided.


Since the day was a little cloudy and cool went for a walk on the ocean side of Tilloo Cay. These three scenes are becoming all too common on the beaches of the Bahamas. The detritus is not from crusiers or the locals.  Rather, it is trash lost from onboard passing ships or thrown in the water thousands of miles away.  The answer to the trivia question on the morning net the other day was "Plastic is now more common in some of the world's oceans than is plankton."



After our walk on the beach we took the dinghy around the point that we were tucked behind so that we could scope out the snorkeling possibilities and check out the buildings.  The really big house, all in blue, is behind the trees in either picture.  And, yes, that is a castle keep.  Is there a damsel in distress up there?  We called out to Rapunzel, but no hair was let down for us to climb.  The story is that an orthopaedic surgeon invented a device that is now used by all surgeons.  With his gotten gains he bought the whole point and built the two houses and keep.  We were told that at one point he had a sea plane on the property as well.  In case you are looking for a way to spend this week's allowance, the property is for sale.


On our walk across the island to the beach, where we found all the plastic in the above photos, we also came across some beautiful flora.  Along the path someone had planted palm seedlings, but this papaya was so big that it must have been there for a long time.  There was a number of shrub-like plants with these beautiful flowers on them.

Does it look like I am enjoying this lifestyle?  There is a saying that the worst day of sailing is better than the best day at work.  Keep that idea in mind, we'll come back to it later.



This is a view of the Sea of Abaco as we departed from marsh Harbour headed toward Hope Town. It was the only cruising boat we would see out on the water in the course of the next few days.

11/12, Monday, Veteran's Day, Tilloo Cay (5) to Little Harbor (6)

Weather: In the Northwest Passage there are reported gusts to 35 knots associated with the front. A high moving to the southeast will pass over us through the period Tuesday through Thursday.
Today: NE, 10 - 20, piping up through the day. sunny, chance of evening rain 20 %, 73 - 77 F
Tuesday: E, 10 - 15, scattered clouds, 30 - 40 % chance of rain, 77 F
Wednesday: E, 5 - 10, rain in AM
Thursday: ENE, 5, early AM rain, 78 F

The sailboat on the right is Anticipation. Between the two sailboats is Capella.  Her owner will loom large in the recounting of the day's adventure. This photo was shot from the beach in front of Pete's Pub.
This morning before setting out for the day I went snorkeling around the anchorage. Again I was disappointed.  There were some largish fish swimming around a couple of jetties constructed by real estate developers, but there wasn't much other life.

The plan for the day was to head down to either Lynyrd Cay or Little Harbor.  Protected from winds from NE to SE, Lynyrd Cay is a pretty place to anchor and provides dinghy access to the underwater Park around Sandy Cay.  On the way I made a serious navigational error and found us on the wrong side of Channel Cay.  We had been lucky with the tide and currents and hadn't run aground before popping out just between Channel Cay and Sandy Cay.  As I sat in the cockpit and looked at the chart I realized that there was something terribly wrong with what I was seeing on the water.  Quickly we dropped the sails and started the engine to get back out to where I had wanted to be.  Had I not noticed the error we would have found ourselves on the reef and rocks extending off the SW corner of Sandy Cay.  A little chastened and feeling that the wind was building more than expected we decided that we would skip Lynyrd Cay and go into Little Harbor. Once clear of Channel and Sandy Cay we had a beam reach under just the genoa and made 6+ knots.  We got to Little Harbor 1 1/2 hours before low tide, which should have been enough for us to get inside.  Unfortunately I favored the wrong side of the channel as a high speed power boat was coming out.  The result was that we ran aground while the wind was blowing us toward the shallows and the tide was running out.  Larry spotted us and came out to give a hand.  No Luck, we would have to wait for the rising tide.  While we waited we put an anchor off the bow and another off the port quarter to keep us from being blown onto the shoal while we waited.  Since it would be a couple of hours wait we went into 'town' to see the sights: Pete's Pub and the art gallery.

While walking through town Larry came rumbling along in his pickup.  The shift lever is now a coat hanger going through the floor.  The ignition is a toggle switch screwed to the dash.  The return mechanism for the gas pedal and brake pedal consists of two bungee cords.  We had a delightful hour or more with Larry.  We learned a lot of local color, which includes him.  After 12 years in Little Harbor he is relocating to Honduras, where it is less crowded and the waterfront is not as expensive.  He'll be going there in M/V Capella, a former shrimper.  The boat has a history.  He bought it in the Carolina's.  He says that in Forrest Gump if you watch the scene in which Forrest is coming back into port after the hurricane you can see Capella in the background.  Anyway, even after some modifications you can see the similarity between Capella and the boat used in the movie.

When we saw that Anticipation was beginning to float free we went back out to bring her into the harbor.  We picked up the mooring that Larry suggested. We were glad that we picked up the mooring.  During the night the wind howled and it poured rain.


Pete's Pub is a destination, in the parlance of tourist guides. The tradition is that you donate a t-shirt to the decor of the pub.  The pub was founded by the Johnston family when they washed up in Little Harbor.  The story goes that they ran aground her and never went any further.  Once aground they moved ashore in the located in the cliffs above where Capella is tied up while they built a home.  Johnston family owns the pub and most of the mooring balls in the harbor.  They also have a gallery that features the artwork of the family.  Neither the gallery nor the pub were open since it is still too early in the season.

11/13, Tuesday, Little Harbor

The plan was that we would start back towards Hope Town today.  Toward that plan we got up early, got breakfast, went out to retrieve the stern anchor that we had left out near the channel yesterday evening when we refloated on the tide.  Once we had our anchor we went over to Capella to return Larry's float and the small lights he had lent to us for use in marking the desired mooring in the dark.  While on the way over to Capella it started to drizzle.  While visiting with him we missed the weather on the cruisers' net, but he showed us the NOAA weather web site; it didn't look good.  And then it started to pour, at which point I remembered that I had left some ports open.  We rushed back to the boat to close things up and dry things out as best we could.  No sooner were we back than it stopped raining.  Since the forecast for Wednesday was for light winds from the east and scattered clouds we decided to postpone our departure.  Instead we did the tourist thing.  Before lunch we walked out to the light that marks the entrance to the ocean passage cut at Little Harbor.  The stone cottage occupied by the light keeper in a previous era is still standing.   

From the light house we walked west to the little beach that marks the east side of the entrance to Little Harbor.  In the photo you can see the rocky point that characterizes the western side of the entrance to Little Harbor.  We found some nice shells pieces of coral on the beach. One white coral piece is reminiscent of the stylized depictions of a mountain in a Japanese water color.  This also seemed to be the beach to which sea urchins and sponges go to die; there was just an inordinate number of them on the beach. 

After lunch we went over to explore the caves in which the Johnstons lived when they first came here in the 1950's.  Larry had told us that there were bats in them as well as at least one owl.  We could hear the bats, but didn't see them.  We also did not see the owls.  Could you live in a cave?  From the caves we crossed over the hillside to the beach.  There was little evidence of sea life; almost no shells washed up on the beach.  On the other hand, there wasn't as much plastic washed up on the beach as we saw on Tilloo.

The beach on this east-southeast facing portion of Great Abaco is really windswept, but beautiful.  When we walked out to the beach on Tilloo we had to cut through what showed evidence of being developed as a subdivision.  Along the sides of the track out to the beach someone has planted 'seedling' palm trees and other plants.  On the trek out to the beach from Little Harbor we found the same thing.  Development isn't such a great thing, although with affluence comes the wherewithal to plant trees.  This palm was surely planted quite awhile ago and today offers a great photo op for those willing to walk out to the beach.

11/14, Wednesday, Little Harbor (6) to Hope Town (1)

The weather is even worse today!  It is blowing harder. The wind is from the north.  Exactly the direction we have to go.  What happened to the forecasted light winds from the east? If we'd had the forecasted weather then we'd have had a pleasant beam reach on the trip back to Hope Town. It is raining, and it is cold.  Since the boat must be back tomorrow and our plane is tomorrow we must head north.  Even waiting until later in the day is not an option since we must ride the tide out of the harbor.

The trip was pretty miserable, especially going past the Little Harbor, Bar Channel, and Pelican Cays passages out to the ocean.  There was a wind driven chop on top the swell coming in from the ocean.

Along the way we were treated to a visit from dolphins.  They must have been checking to see why these crazy folks are out on the water when they just need to wait 24 hours for better weather.

Am I enjoying this lifestyle?  What was that about the worst day of sailing?


Once in Hope Town and on the mooring the sun tried hard to make an appearance.  At least it was out long enough to get a nice final shot of the lighthouse.  We went into town to see the sights.  Along the way we stopped at the post office to send a card to Larry thanking him for his help.  We addressed it as "Larry, M/V Capella, Little Harbor, Bahamas." The post mistress assured us that it would get to him.  While walking in town we came across this strange palm.  One of the locals told us that the fruit is not edible.  We didn't have the courage to try ourselves and didn't have any prisoners to test it.

Toward evening enough of the rain storm had blown out to treat us to a final spectacular sunset.

11/15, Thursday, Hope Town to Home.

The weeping, the wailing, and the gnashing of teeth as we faced our departure from the Bahamas on yet another otherwise beautiful day was pitiful to behold.