Sunday, March 29, 2009

Treasure Cay, Green Turtle Cay, and Manjack Cay...

On March 23 we weighed anchor in Fisher’s Bay after a leisurely morning and sailed to Treasure Cay, an easy downwind crossing of the Sea of Abaco in 15-20 knot winds, wing-on-wing with the staysail and Genoa.  We traveled 10.5 nautical miles averaging 4.5 knots, arriving at 1500.  The anchorage in Treasure Cay is well protected and although at first glance it seemed a bit crowded, we easily found a spot.  Treasure Cay is a resort, which I had visited with Rob and Keith by land when we first arrived.  Penelope and I went ashore and had Pina Coladas at Coco’s Beach Bar, and then spent a nice evening aboard Alizee.  The next day I changed the oil and filter and in the process discovered (damn/spit) that the Stearns electric oil-changing pump didn’t function … it ran but sucked no oil.  So, I used the back-up Big Boy extraction pump and managed to suck out 3 ¼ quarts.  Not all of the oil in the system, mind you, but better than not changing it at all.
I spied a CR 42 in the anchorage and went over and introduced myself to the owners.  Later, at my invitation, Deidra and Bill from Pajarito, Lewes DE (1999), came over for a sundowner and we had a good visit.  They bought their Pajarito just about the time I bought Alizee, taking it from Fort Lauderdale to Delaware, where they home ported it, and then down the ICW to Florida again in November and over to the Bahamas.  We hope to see them again while we’re here.
The next day we planned to go on to Green Turtle Cay, but the wind and seas seemed not to be conducive to the trip … it was reported to be blowing 38 knots at Whale Cay, where we would have to go out of the Sea of Abaco into the Atlantic and then back in to get to Green Turtle Cay.  So we relaxed with eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast followed by reading, and I troubleshot a couple of light fixtures (basically burned out bulbs, though a fixture above the refrigerator in the galley was totally corroded and will have to be replaced … I took it down).  In the afternoon, we did some grocery shopping, primarily for fresh vegetables.

On March 26, we departed Treasure Cay for Green Turtle Cay.  Winds reached 20 knots, and we had a great beam reach with top speed of eight knots across the Sea of Abaco to the east end of the Whale Cay passage (Loggerhead).  We sailed out into the Atlantic where 12-14 foot swells were 16 seconds or more apart, turned downwind and found our way into the Whale Cay passage.  A forty-two foot Island Packet was a bit ahead of us with no sails out and under power … clearly not a sailor.  Once through the worst of the passage, he finally rolled out his Genoa, too late to help stabilize him in the offshore swells.  We passed them on the final leg to Green Turtle Cay and found ourselves a good anchorage off New Plymouth.  Once settled, we went into New Plymouth, checked the markets and shops, and had a Miss Emily’s famous Masher at what is still Miss Emily's Blue Bee, today run by her daughter and granddaughter.  We also got a nice Hog Snapper filet, which we barbecued for dinner.
The next morning, David Sawyer from Initiative, the Grand Banks we’d connected with in Guana Cay dinghied up and said hello.  He was off to breakfast, but the timing was off for us, as we were just making blueberry pancakes.  Later we visited him on his boat, tied up in Black Sound awaiting to be hauled at Abaco Yacht Services … he leaves his boat there on the hard when he’s not here, and he was getting ready to leave until November or December.  We also dinghied into White Sound, walked a couple of miles around part of the Cay, had a drink at the Bluff House Marina, and then had lunch at the Green Turtle Club, a nice upscale resort.
With a lot of big talk on the radio about a front coming in on Saturday/Sunday and winds shifting to come out of the southwest, we left our anchorage off New Providence and sailed a short 4.92 nm up to Manjack Cay, making 7.5 knots maximum under Genoa only.  We tucked in nicely at the southern edge of the bay made up of Manjack Cay and Crab Cay, and enjoyed the solitude of islands with no stores, no bars and restaurants, only a couple of private homes.  We dinghied about a couple of shipwrecks along the shore and spotted some nice fish, and then up into the mangroves where we discovered a whole new quiet world and a clearly very shallow drafted power yacht anchored peacefully and completely alone.  This has been one of the nicest places we've found ... peaceful is wonderful.

Surprisingly, at Manjack Cay we found uninterrupted internet access and were able to call Penelope’s daughter and some of my family by means of Skype.  At the high phone rates ($1.49 to $2.00 + a minute), the 2.1 cent charge per minute on Skype is a thrill to say the least.


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