Monday, April 20, 2015

Abaco Islands

Joe takes a closer look at an approaching
squall line on the horizon.
     Both Joe and I agree that sailing conditions in the Sea of Abaco are comparable to our home cruising grounds of Narragansett Bay and Block Island Sound, Rhode Island. Of course there are differences concerning depths and coloration. The Sea of Abaco is warmer, shallower and depending upon sunlight and time of day morphs from viridian to cerulean blue with shades of cobalt and ultramarine. An entire day without brilliant, warm sunshine is rare. A cruising sailor could easily become complacent in the Abacos with numerous all weather protected harbors and spectacular sailing conditions.

Reflections of the Hopetown Lighthouse
by Joe Boulay
Hopetown became our base of operations in the Abacos with a two week stay on a mooring. The pristine beach was delightful for a walk and swim with only a few tourists speckling the area in front of the resort leaving the remainder of the beach relatively secluded. The resort was actually a pleasant stop for a Kalik before heading back to the Simple Life.
The beach Hopetown, Elbow Cay, Bahamas


Friends Kitty & Scott from Tamure aboard
Simple Life in Hopetown

Michele & Guy playing at the Hopetown Harbour Lodge Resort


Pete's Pub, Little Harbour, Abaco

      Little Harbour was also on the itinerary this year since we hadn't stopped there for eleven years! The last time we'd visited we hitchhiked 20 miles from Marsh Harbour with our Kiwi friends Bob and Robin. This time we sailed there timing our arrival for high tide to avoid running aground on the shallow bar at the harbor entrance.

     A couple of highlights of Little Harbour are Pete's Pub owned by sculptor Pete Johnston whose family settled Little Harbour when it was virtually uninhabited in 1951 and the Johnston's Foundry which was built by Pete's father, sculptor Randolph Johnston in the early 1960's. The foundry was closed to visitors during our short stay, but we did enjoy lunch at the pub and a walk on the beach.
Joe ordering Kaliks at Pete's Pub, Little Harbour, Abaco
Rowing in Little Harbour, Abaco
Dolphins on the Little Bahama Banks off Simple Life's bow

Joe & Michele at the Jib Room
Marsh Harbour
by Hayden Cochran
    After a final provisioning at Marsh Harbour Simple Life sailed through the Whale Cay Cut to Great Sale Cay in the northern Abacos where we staged for an overnight Gulf Stream crossing to Fort Pierce, Florida. The crossing was successful with enough wind to sail during the entire passage. The only drawback was the number of cruise ships and cargo ships that crossed our path during the darkest hours of the night. One cruise ship crossed astern within less than a half mile. I stopped counting after spotting 13 ships.

Dolphin escorts as Simple Life exited the Little Bahama Banks

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