This blog post is where we began to start the journey back across the Whale to Green Turtle Cay and stage toward catching the Gulf Stream back to Florida. But before I get into that, I have to mention something that happened back home on March 31st. We missed another family birthday party. 😦 Finnegan (Finn), Sarah and James little guy turned 1. 😦 Looks like he had a great party!
And here he is with all our other grandkids. They sure have grown, even from when we saw all of them in the Bahamas. Aren’t they just the sweetest? We are truly blessed and can’t wait to be home with them again.
So, back to the blog post about crossing the Whale. We watched the sun come up. Beautiful!
We weighed anchor at 07:50 and motored over to the Lighthouse Inn Marina for fuel and water. We waited to get on the dock as the Donnie IX from Marsh Harbour picked up some passengers.
It was a beautiful day to be on the water. We left Amazing Grace behind. They were going to go in and take a mooring ball for a day or two. They were having a technician come either that day or the next to check their fridge that had stopped working. Ugh, we know that feeling!
Here are some of the sights we saw from Persuasion as we headed over to Green Turtle Cay:
Looking over at Man-O-War Cay
Great Guana Cay
A dredger at work
Bakers Bay in the distance. It is on the southwest side of the north end of Great Guana Cay. This had been a popular spot for cruise ships. The channel had been dredged and all the spoil from the dredging had been dumped and created the Spoil Banks and Spoil Cay in the photo above. Bakers Bay Marina and it’s developer , Discovery Land Company built Bakers Bay Club and Marina Village, raising environmental concerns for the locals of Great Guana. So, the company also built the Abacos’ first sewage treatment plant there to please the locals. Bakers Bay is home to many famous people. Lots of mega yachts enjoy the area and the gated community. There is a huge boat called Discovery that leaves Marsh Harbour daily and brings workers over to the area. We saw it come and go many times when we were in Marsh Harbour. Boaters can still anchor off Bakers Bay but the walks along the beautiful half-moon beach and the trail to the ocean are reserved for those who stay at the Bakers Bay marina or live in the marina village.
Sand bar and Bakers Bay
Heading out to to the “whale” (where you have to go out into the ocean to pass by Whale Cay)
Surf on a reef
Looking out to a very calm day on the ocean. Reminds me of when Margie, Scot and Jody were visiting in the Bahamas and all you could see was water and sky. Margie asked Grampie “what happens when we get to the end, will we fall off?” 🙂
Not much surf pounding on Whale Cay
The Whale Cay passage can be very rough and when it is, boaters are advised not to attempt going. This was a beauty of a day for it!
Treasure Cay in the distance. We spent quite a few days there in 2015
No Name Cay. They have pigs on this beach so lots of boats around
Looking at New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay from the beautiful Sea of Abaco
Bolo Ferry runs from Treasure Cay to Green Turtle Cay
The dock where the supply ships come in
So we were very thankful for the wonderful, calm, day for the Whale passage. We set the anchor outside of Black Sound at 12:50 and had travelled 26.37 nm.
We hailed Modaki (Joe and Yvonne’s boat). They were on a mooring ball in Black Sound and they came out for a visit.
Our first visit with them this trip was too short. We had briefly visited after we checked in to the Bahamas at the customs office in New Plymouth. Then we had to head across the Whale to Marsh Harbour because it was a good day for it and we needed to get our Bahamian phone number there. We had spent many days in GTC in 2015 with Modaki. We went to No Name Cay, Gillam Bay and other beaches looking for shells and sea glass. And of course, walked the streets of New Plymouth.
While we were visiting with Joe and Yvonne on Persuasion, Glenn and Debbie from Calliope dinghied by on their way into New Plymouth. They were in a slip over in White Sound at the Bluff House. We had met them with Paperbird (Greg and Lyn) in Beaufort, SC and then spent time with them in St. Marys, GA and in Fernandina Beach, FL.
Joe and Yvonne were busy getting their boat ready to be hauled out the next morning in the boat yard in GTC. We invited them to come back to Persuasion for supper that evening. We had a great time catching up and hearing about each others time in the Bahamas this winter. Ever since their first trip to the Bahamas in 2015, they come back every year. They are locals here now. 🙂 They leave Modaki on the hard at the boat yard for the summer and fall. They left at dusk to dinghy back to their boat. Modaki was going to be hauled out at 07:30 the next morning.
We had a lovey sunrise on April 2nd.
We worked on the boat in the morning. We were having head problems. For you non-boaters, that is the toilet. That took longer than we expected and is always a messy and stinky job. 😦 We dinghied over to White Sound to the Green Turtle Club with our jerry cans for fuel. We stopped at Calliope’s boat hoping to visit with them but no one was around. Sorry we missed them. It was a very windy day. Going over to White Sound was not too bad but on the way back, we got absolutely soaked. We noticed Amazing Grace in the distance sailing in to Black Sound. We then dinghied in to Black Sound and tied our dinghy up to go up to the Abaco Yacht Services boat yard to look for Modaki. They were busy working. Modaki was all strapped down, their dinghy beside the boat and they were busy cleaning things and getting all packed up to fly home on the 4th.
We wanted to pick them up for supper on Persuasion again but they said they were too busy. We could sure understand that. So much to do to get your boat closed up. We made arrangements to pick them up the next morning to go to the liquor store for breakfast. Yes, the liquor store! It is also is a cafe.
We had been in touch with Amazing Grace and they had their tech onboard in the morning and he had diagnosed their problem but just gave them a temporary fix until next season when he will get a new part. We saw them with their sails up mid afternoon and they had a great sail across the Whale. They anchored in the same anchorage as us and we had supper together on Amazing Grace. We called Joe and Yvonne to check and see if they had gotten a lot done and if maybe they changed their minds on supper. We could pick them up and bring them to Amazing Grace if they would like to get away but they said they would continue on through the evening. It’s hard when you are working on your boat and still need to get meals but she said they had canned goods and a few things left in the fridge. They were going to have beans and wieners. Ironically that was what we were having too. 🙂
We had a beauty of a sunset when we got back to Persuasion.
On April 3rd, we and Amazing Grace dinghied over to the boat yard. Joe went with them and Yvonne with us. They had met Jim and Cheryl in 2014 in Annapolis when we were all on our way down south for the first trip. We tied up at the dinghy dock in New Plymouth and walked to the liquor store. Here are some sights of New Plymouth we saw on our way to breakfast.
Some houses right on the water
St. Peters Anglican Church
Cheryl and Yvonne
And then we arrived at the liquor store.
Jan and Cam from Te Amor were in our anchorage too so they came for breakfast with us. They have been coming to the Bahamas for over 20 years and all of us at the table had met them before. We had last seen them in Royal Island waiting out a big blow. The breakfast was good and it was nice to visit with the cruisers and hear their stories of their time in the Bahamas.
And all too soon, it ended. We knew that Joe and Yvonne still had work to do before they left for home the next day so we didn’t want to keep them out too long. We all said goodbye to Jan and Cam and then walked back to the dinghy. I snapped a few more photos. You may have noticed a few more of New Plymouth we posted back in January when we checked in. It is a very quaint little settlement. Maybe not so much of the New England look of Hope Town but it is a lovely place. Golf carts are used on the streets here. (I should have mentioned in the Hope Town post that golf carts can be used in the north end and from the post office to the south end of Hope Town, just not on the main narrow streets). We didn’t walk through the whole settlement of New Plymouth this time but here are a few of the photos we took this time:
Some more of the homes in New Plymouth
The Albert Lowe Museum; circa 1866
Cheryl went into a second hand shop while the rest of us walked back to the dinghy dock. Jim snapped this photo of us. We were thankful that we got to visit with these guys, even if only for a short time. We reminisced and made new memories.
Mike dinghied them back to Modaki at the boat yard. So long friends; till next time!
Jim and I walked back to the store and soon Mike was back. We dinghied back to Persuasion and weighed anchor around noon bound for Manjack Cay.
We hailed Calliope to say we were sorry we missed them. He said that they had walked to the Tranquil Turtle Beach Bar on the other side of the Bluff House. It is a beautiful little restaurant with a patio overlooking the Sea of Abaco. I remember having a meal there after we cleared customs in 2015. We had a slip at the Bluff House for a couple of days and walked down for lunch. Hopefully, we will see Glenn and Debbie from Calliope somewhere up in the Chesapeake.
Manjack Cay is a beautiful place for anchoring and walking across the cay to the ocean for beach combing. It is only about an hour away from Black Sound. We motored the 4.64 nm and set the hook. We then decided that we would get the jib out and use sail tape on it for now. When we get home we will take it to a sailmaker to have it assessed because the UV protection is disintegrating. Jim came over to help us raise it.
Then we all dinghied in to the shore. Anytime we had been to Manjack before, we always took the trail to the left to the ocean. That is where Yvonne and I found a lot of shells and treasures. This time, we took the trail to the right. Bill was there loading up seaweed in his wagon. (He and his wife Leslie live on Manjack Cay and we met them with Joe and Yvonne in 2015. They look after her boat orchid when she leaves Modaki to go home for the summer and fall) He told us that this art trail just opened this year. Just as we started in the trail, there was a palm tree with carvings on it.
And we noticed this huge cactus.
There were some amazing art projects along the trail. All made from natural or recycled things. A few are captioned below:
Happy Trails painting
A monkey with a coconut for a head and shells for eyes and ears
A pig with his shades
A bird made from painted leaves, a stick and sea lace
Painting on seeds from a tree
A palm leaf painted up
An amazing Bee
There’s truth in this
Painted sea biscuit
Love this one; You had me at Manjack
The trail went on further right over to the ocean. Unfortunately, the noseems were so bad on the trail that we had to turn back. There was this sign as we got back to the beach. Bill and Leslie have chickens roaming around.
We didn’t go on the other trail figuring that the noseems were bad there as well. The day was overcast and very humid and they seem to thrive in that weather. We sat on a picnic bench and talked to a couple who had just arrived in the Bahamas. They left Israel 2 years ago on their 41 foot catamaran and were home schooling their two children. What an experience those kids are having. The family is planning to cross the Atlantic this summer and spend another year in the Mediterranean before returning to Israel. Here was our peaceful view as we all sat and talked to the family. Manjack Cay is just so beautiful!
That evening, we had Jim and Cheryl over for chicken stir fry and rice. Yvonne had to clean her fridge out and she had given us some goodies from it when we picked them up for breakfast. We used her sweet chili sauce for the chicken and enjoyed the ginger too! Many thanks for the other goodies too, Yvonne.
So that was our short but fun time in Green Turtle Cay and Manjack Cay. It was a great time with both old and new friends. I’m sure you followers would agree that these Cays in the Abacos are lovely. And should you ever get to stroll all the streets of New Plymouth, you will see just how quaint a settlement it is. I know you would certainly enjoy the tranquility of Manjack Cay. Make sure you take a dinghy ride to see lots of turtles and starfish. And of course, walk over to the ocean to hear the surf and gather some treasures.