|The beautiful beaches of Hopetown|
|Mac & Cheese and Peace & Rice |
two Abaco Dinghies on the beach in Hopetown
Photo by Joe Boulay
Weather this season seemed more unpredictable than ever before. After monitoring weather windows for several days we hastily chose to cross over from the north to Abaco. It was a good crossing. Did we plan to spend the season in Abaco? It wasn't in the original plan. Our plan was to head toward the out islands of Exuma and meet up with friends Bob and Robin in the Jumentos. A few nasty cold fronts and a couple of gales later and I was more than happy to spend the winter in the relative safety of the Sea of Abaco. Hopetown's mooring field filled with like minded cruisers who'd made the same decision.
|Hopetown Harbor from atop the lighthouse|
Boaters who headed south to Georgetown this season were not exempt from extreme weather. Stormy weather and seas hit there along with a rare derecho packing 50+ to 100 mph winds that struck during darkness and lasted several hours. Numerous vessels anchored from Staniel Cay to Georgetown, Exuma suffered serious damage. A few were holed and totaled. Damage ranged from torn canvas dodgers and biminis, capsized and shredded dinghies, mangled stanchions and damaged fiberglass. A few cruisers suffered injuries. One lost a finger in an anchor windlass mishap. Anchors and chain were lost and seasoned cruisers were rattled beyond reality when the unexpected derecho descended. Living aboard is a challenge in and of itself. After hearing of the freak storm I thought, "Why take chances making life more difficult? I like sleeping at night. Maybe we should stay in Hopetown."
|The waterfront settlement in Hopetown|
|Joe enjoying the scenery at On Da Beach|
|Dan's birthday party from Cutting Class & Michele having a chat|
|Will from Antares spends his days restoring Abaco Dinghys|
Wintering in Abaco gave us the opportunity to relax and meet a new group of boaters who've spent winters in Hopetown for several years. Joe was fascinated by a few who spent their days restoring wooden Abaco sailing dinghies and was even invited to skipper one in a race! I became friends with a group of intrepid ladies when I raced for the trophy in the Di Hunter Women's Race aboard Sunfish sailboats on a blustery day in March.
|Michele on a screaming reach to the finish off|
|Joe skippering Nothing's Easy an Abaco Dinghy|
|Joe with a nice catch|
|A pair of lobsters speared in the same hole|
|The ingredients prepared for Szechuan Lobster|
|Man O War Dinghy|
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