Welcome to the Sea of Abaco

I love to drone along burning $5 an hour...

The anchor was difficult to extract from the bottom, it having been hooked in for five days with winds gusting beyond 35kts from WNW to ESE. We applied more power ahead to free it than ever before. The material adhering to it was of the color and consistency of white potter’s clay with sand and a few shells mixed in. I had to use a boat hook to dislodge the twenty pound glob adhering to it.

We and the plotter-disabled boat left the harbour at 0815+ and headed south in the hope and expectation the ESE wind would go SSE. Hope springs eternal and expectations are often unmet. Such was the case today, but at least by taking the southern route from Great Sale, we didn’t have the wind on the nose the whole day — and we picked up as much as a 0.8kts helping current from the ebbing tide.

We were too briefly escorted by a porpoise and saw quite a few turtles in the four foot size  range as we progressed. They hold their heads above the water so as to look like aged crab floats on the Chesapeake. The only white knuckles moment came west of Hawksbill Cay when we encountered a reef that shouldn’t have been there per the charts (paper and digital), though later I discovered it was marked on the charts on our hand-held backup GPS. We cleared it by a foot (slowly) and have now marked the spot with a skull and cross bones. Beyond that, the day was one scoped by engine noise and turquoise.

Sea Of Abaco Visitor Welcoming Center (Centre of the World Rock)

Thanks to helping current we reached Spanish Cay two hours earlier than our worst estimate. When we arrived, 79 of 81 slips were available. There had been a mass exodus in the morning, plus we are in a lull between winter cruisers and sport fishing tournaments. We slipped with the help of the Dockmaster, “Tornado,” and we mean help. These are good people. The office offered the welcome news that slip fees were 2/3 of what we expected (and budgeted) so we may stay an extra day.

Another front is forecast to come through tomorrow, but it is expected to be far less energetic and dissipation is its predicted fate as early as Sunday. We may leave on its dissolving coat tails, or we may stay a day longer. Oy, the hard choices…

We are now in the “Sea of Abaco.” The visual piloting rules here are the same, but we are more closely bounded by islands and cays NE and SW.

K and M had us aboard K’s boat for cocktails by way of thanks for acting as guide-boat. We have now met the Guru of the “Dark and Stormy.” Made from Gosling’s best black rum and their ginger beer, these are stealthy libations. Much boat talk, life talk, cruising talk ensued — with only enough work talk to remind us how happy we are to have put work in the optional category for a while.

K’s  long haired dachshund allowed us to share her domain and endured our inclination to dote on her. We can’t be around a dachsie and not think of our Gretl.

At sunset, an expedition yacht arrived looking faintly military in the sun-silvered salt mist. It looked faintly military until it slid alongside and looked simply beautiful. We suspect there is a connection between the yacht and the island’s owners?

The Atlantic is not far from us. We saw it breaking on the barrier reefs as we arrived. Now it is sending a slight swell through the marina. At high tide the breakwater sorta isn’t one.  After the “Do Not Pass Go” since last Sunday it is trivial.

Spanish Key

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