Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!
We have two new virtual crew members to welcome aboard this week. Jim R. and Hannahhal. Glad to have you aboard, hope you enjoy the beaches of Treasure Cay.
1 – The crew took a day trip to Treasure Cay to go take in the sites of one of the top ten beaches in the world on Tuesday.
2 – On Thursday, they took the southern route back to Great Sale Cay.
3 – On Friday, they turned south around Mangrove Cay and transited the Grand Lucayan Waterway thru the Grand Bahama Island.
4 – They completed their travels at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club where they will begin their wait for the next weather window to get back state side.
This week’s adventure did answer the questions of:
1- Who were the next people to try and make a go of it in the Abaco’s?
2 – When did they arrive?
3 – How long did they last?
Click on the link to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, and a summary of the day’s experience.
This week’s video shows the crew on a trip to Treasure Cay via bicycle, ferry, taxi, and foot. Still Waters II is shown as she transits portions of the Grand Lucayan Waterway and eventually pulls into safe harbor at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club. Enjoy!
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
New Plymouth was founded in 1786.
The new settlers to the Abaco’s were loyalist from the United States who did not want to be under the new government formed after the British surrender during the Revolutionary War. The first 600 persons left New York in 1783. In all, about 2000 folks migrated from the US to the Abaco’s in the 1780’s. However, they quickly learned that the limestone islands were not easy to farm. By 1790, only 400 of these loyalist remained in the Abaco’s, mostly those that did not have enough money to leave.
New Plymouth was the main community for those that remained. The people made their living by farming, fishing, and wrecking.
The crew decided to go explore the Gillam Bay and walk the beach around the south end of Green Turtle Cay.
This is a well visited area so the shelling was not all that great. However, the Admiral did manage to find several sand dollars.
The crew decided to take a day trip over to Treasure Cay. The beach is supposed to be three miles of pristine white sand with great views of the turquoise waters in the bay. The day started with a bicycle ride into New Plymouth. Then a ferry ride over to the Treasure Cay airport ferry dock 6 miles north of town. A taxi ride delivered the crew to the Treasure Cay Marina and then it was only a short walk to the beach.
The crew headed north along the beach and found a nice place in the shade to take in the sights.
In a short while, a most interesting lady showed up in the same area. There was a broken plastic chair beside where the crew had sat down. The woman began repairing the broken leg with duct tape. After she got settled in her beachcombed chair, she sat about preparing to complete a painting she had been working on. Her son was going to be sailing by later on his boat named Osprey 007. She was going to paint his sailboat into the bay today.
The woman, named Elizabeth, was an art teacher from Canada. Her and her husband escape the frozen tundra every winter by visiting the Bahamas. When in Canada, they live near the end of the Trent-Severn Waterway with a view of Beausoleil Island in the distance. You may recall, the crew spent a few days docked at Beausoleil Island when in Canada during the summer of 2016. This is another one of Elizabeth’s paintings. This one shows her dock with the Island in the background, and is titled: Tea on the Dock.
After enjoying the beach, the crew headed to the Coco Beach Bar to have lunch.
As they waited for the food to arrive, a storm began to brew on the horizon. With the sun still shining to the southwest, the sun rays reflected the turquoise water color up onto the clouds which made for a colorful cloud cover.
After lunch, they walked around town some more and then headed back to Green Turtle Cay by reversing their trip over: Walk, taxi, ferry, and bike ride back to Still Waters II.
The crew met another interesting couple the other day. They sail on a catamaran named Sabbatique. They have been living aboard for about two years.
But most strangely enough, Kevin and Monique grew up in a small town in Mississippi, named Picayune. Just so happens that the Admiral has relatives that still live in Picayune. The couple also has lived in Atlanta, same as our crew. It is a small world. The two couples hit it off amazingly well and decided to have dinner together. Kevin and Monique offered to take everyone by dinghy over to White Sound and eat at the Bluff House.
It turned out to be a beautiful night for a late dinghy ride with the full moon lighting the way. The food was good and the conversation and company were exceptional. The crew was having so much fun they forgot to take a picture of Kevin & Monique. The Admiral solved this problem by pulling this photo from Monique’s facebook page. The wonders of modern technology.
Sabbatique shoved off the dock headed to Treasure Cay, followed shortly by our crew. The two crews hope to cross paths again in the spring and summer as they cruise the east coast.
Our crew has headed back towards Great Sale Cay where they hope to make it to Freeport before the predicted high winds this weekend. A look at a few islands as the crew heads back.
Then the sunset to bring the day to a close at Great Sale Cay.
The reflection of the sun on the moon also made for a great moment as the moon came up over a few sailboats also anchored.
The crew woke with the winds building and the waves starting to slap the hull. The crew weighed anchor and started the 24 miles towards Mangrove Cay. When they arrived, the crew turned south along the west side of Mangrove Cay.
After another dozen miles, the crew approached a rare navigational aid in the Bahamas. This aid happens to be named Cormorant Point. Interesting enough, there were two Cormorants sitting atop the poles when the crew went by.
Then after just a few more miles, the crew reached the north entrance to the Grand Lucayan Waterway. This is a manmade canal thru the middle of the Grand Bahama Island. The developers hoped to build homes along the waterway, but by the looks of things, the developers ran out of money before they finished.
But more importantly for the crew, the north entrance is only about 3 feet deep. The crew needs 4 feet to safely navigate the entrance. The crew arrived about two hours after low tide on a rising tide. This gave them just enough water to float into the main canal. The skipper was busy silencing the low level alarm because much of the marked channel was only carrying 4 feet of water.
After transiting the waterway, the crew found a spot to drop the anchor for the evening. The spot was well protected from the 20 mph winds that blew all night.
With strong north winds blowing, the crew was not sure what to expect when they exited the waterway. Luckily, they would only be travelling about a mile offshore on the leeward side of the island. The waves turned out to only be 1 footers, so the ten mile ride to the Ocean Reef Yacht Club was fairly calm.
The crew will stay at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club until a weather window opens to allow them to cross back over to the states. Looking at the long range forecast, the first weather window does not look to open till March 17th. The wait begins.
Ditto the comment on our Mum, Elisabeth (corrigenda: it’s an “s”). Christy and I are on Osprey 007, currently sitting in a marvellous hurricane hole in the Double Breasted Cays (at 27 deg 11.76’N 78 deg 16.51’W, approx 5 feet entry with help from tide getting in, entered from the north-west) where we sat out the front that just passed (30 gusts to 40 knots) with four anchors down and a line to the mangroves. VERY calm, unlike the anchorage out at the Sandy Cay, where we spent the first night here. We saw Sabbatique on “Tea-dock” at Treasure Cay! Next time you are by Beausoleil Island, drop by our dock for tea! It is unmistakably the first dock east of the mansion on Watson Point. Our story with photos should be written up (in due time) at xtybacq.com, for eg: http://www.xtybacq.com/sailing-georgian-bays-north-channel-in-our-1995-corsair-31/.
Cheers! Fair winds!
Ben and Christy
Thanks David for the lovely picture of Elisabeth, my talented mum. She was thrilled to find your blog, and your wonderful tales of boating adventures. Best wishes.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the kind words. We look forward to bumping into them again.