Happy Boxing Day!
Yes, that’s a holiday here in the Bahamas. Government offices are CLOSED. And we have left Marsh Harbour and are anchored off Lynyard Cay, with the hope of making what will likely be the longest passage of our adventure, to Eleuthera, tomorrow.
As we leave the Abacos behind, at least until we head back north, I find that most of our visit to these charming cays has been a walk down Memory Lane. Of all of the Out Islands, we’ve visited the Abacos most often; they are a sailor’s paradise, heaven for beach-lovers; isolated enough for seekers of solitude, yet convenient enough for those who don’t want to leave all of the comforts of home behind.
Even though it had been 8 years since our last visit, little has changed in these timeless islands. The Cruiser’s Net still comes on at 8:15 at VHF 68 (though, sadly, without the friendly voice of recently-deceased Patty Toler); the bread and key lime pie from Vernon’s Grocery in Hopetown are still knee-buckling delicious; and George is still selling his famous conch salad on the waterfront in Marsh Harbour.
While it’s not really my preference to stay in marinas, price and circumstances had us staying at Harbour View Marina for 4 nights. Christmas is a surprisingly slow time here, so we had the run of the place — not only is it well-priced, it’s convenient, clean and well-equipped (pool, laundry, showers).
IE Imports actually imported the boat parts we needed as and when promised (ahem, West Marine and FedEx … you could learn a lesson here) — no package rage here! We found the rest of what we needed in town, or were able to make do (at least for the short run) with automotive equivalents.
Rick went up the stick to install a VHF antenna; turns out ours had been missing for some time. It’s amazing how much radio chatter we can hear now….
For the work better left to experts, Brown Tip brought his dive tanks and got underwater. His many talents also include rake-n-scrape music and fishing.
7 fresh-caught lobster tails for $8. Wow! Brought right to our slip. Dinner tonight (and lunches the next few days) will be amazing!
The new (since my last visit) Maxwell’s supermarket in Marsh Harbour was simply amazing as island supermarkets go. I found things on my list that not even Publix in Florida had. And the liquor store across the street from our marina sold a case of Sands beer for a mere $35 — the going rate is over $50. The larders are full.
We had dinner at next-door Mangoes on Christmas Eve. They were hosting a “block party” with a fixed price menu and DJ music (hope you like your Christmas tunes island-style, with a lot … a real lot … of bass). At the bar, we met some other cruisers (evidently Mangoes Marina is the place to stay; we always seem to be a step ahead or behind or just off) and ended up inviting some of them to dinner on Christmas Day. Thanks to Rob and Kate on Adagio for sharing the holiday with us, as well as providing a delicious entree.
I took advantage of some downtime before Christmas dinner to do some cleaning. Alas, when I took my rugs out to the dock to shake them out, the ugly winds caught one of them and swept it right in the harbour.
I lost the rug shown on the bottom, my favorite. I’ll consider it an offering to Neptune and hope it pays off.
We may be out of WiFi range for some time after today, so I’ll wish everyone a happy new year now. Wishing everyone the best in 2014!
From Gillam Bay.