Saturday, July 27

Hop, skip and a boat ride

The Abacos Islands are not far from Eluethera.  In fact, it's literally a hop, skip and a day sail away from Eluethera.  Easy enough to get there, right?  Wrong.  One has to have the correct wind direction to make the 80 mile journey north, during day light hours.  And if you are sailing on Anything Goes, it's more fun if the wind is on your beam.  We had a good weather window with the desired wind direction and we were all set to leave.  The only problem was we'd be leaving Patronus behind, on Erica's birthday to boot!  I am not sure if she has forgiven us yet.

We bid farewell to Harbor Island at 0630 and followed our track out of the harbor and through the Devil's Backbone.  Yep, that's right folks, we did it all by ourselves this time.  Our chart plotter leaves a 'trail' of where we have been, so we can follow it in reverse if need be.  It is a very handy feature.  Sometimes I wish my car navigation would do the same!  The wind had picked up and came from a northeasterly direction which could have potential bad news written all over it.  We made it through with flying colors and we only held our breath one time.   Once out of Devil's Backbone, we pointed north, raised the sails and cruised to the Abacos.  The sea conditions were a little choppy and confused as we sailed through the channel.  And when we sailed through the drifting current, we slowed way down.  It took me by surprise and I scratched my head wondering why we were slowing down all of sudden.  I checked the wind speed and the sail trim, but nothing had changed.  Then we passed over a long, narrow patch of seaweed and once on the other side, we picked up speed again.  Once we were out of site of Eluethera, the seas got bigger, more rolly and less frequent which made for a more comfortable ride.  I would say that the sail was rough but bearable.  No one got sick but we were on the edge.

We decided to duck into the southern part of the Abacos, dropping the hook in Lynyard Cay before the sun went down.  I can't tell you how nice it was to be in flat water again.  There were only a few boats that dotted the shoreline here and there.  We caught 4 fish on the sail over, 3 of which were at the same time!  We were so pooped and the last thing Craig wanted to do was clean 4 fish in the amber light of dusk.  We considered taking a fish over to our neighbors but we were too lazy to put the dinghy in the water to actually accomplish that.  Needless to say, Craig worked tirelessly to fillet the fish while I packed it away in our freezer.

 Must be rough catching so much fish!  I know you don't feel sorry for us at the point.

A bloody mess

Marsh Harbor is the main town in these parts.  It is a good place to provision and get stuff, boat or otherwise.

Marsh Harbor was 20 miles from Lynyard Cay and it wasn't an easy sail either.  Well, we didn't actual sail.  We motored because the wind was light but mainly because we had to meander in and around shoals on the inside passage of the Abacos.  We could have gone on the outside but then this post would be titled gluten for punishment.  Why pound in wind and waves when you can take the easy way around.  

And this was our reward for smooth motoring:  homemade ginger molasses cookies made while underway!

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