Silver Maple Blog

The Voyage Continues!

Heading back north to the Abaco Islands

3 Comments

Sunday, February 1, 2015 to Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The weather this year continues to be unsettled. Very blustery and much cooler than usual. ‘Weather permitting’ is our new favourite phrase. We are having to manage wind and bad weather much more than years past, but regardless we are getting around and having a great time. Beats the snow!

After leaving Compass Cay, we head down to Big Majors Spot near Staniel Cay. Last year when we were here we really enjoyed it and this year is not different. Silver Maple is anchored just off the beach so we can watch the pigs that live there. Sharon and Pete on Emerald Lady arrive shortly after we are anchored. The pigs here swim out to greet you to get treats when you go ashore. Very funny. They are huge! We find out that someone has taught them to ‘sit’ like a dog for treats since they do it right away when we say it. Cute!  After feeding the pigs we go into town at Staniel Cay to have lunch and get groceries.

Silver Maple in blue waters anchored at Big Majors Spot

Silver Maple in blue waters anchored at Big Majors Spot

Pigs swimming to greet us and get fed at Big Majors Spot

Pigs swimming to greet us and get fed at Big Majors Spot

Feeding pigs from our dingy (taken by Emerald Lady)

Feeding pigs from our dingy (taken by Emerald Lady)

He knows how to sit! Too funny!

She knows how to sit! Too funny!

The next morning we head out, leaving Sharon and Pete (Emerald Lady) behind as we head back north. They are carrying on south toward Georgetown. We move Silver Maple back up to Wardrick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park and moor in the beautiful anchorage there.

Sharon and Pete wave goodbye from Emerald Lady

Sharon and Pete wave goodbye from Emerald Lady

Lee and Randy on Silver Maple

Lee and Randy on Silver Maple

Securing the anchor at Wardrick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park

Securing the anchor at Wardrick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park

At the beach at Wardrick Wells with Silver Maple moored in the distance

At the beach at Wardrick Wells with Silver Maple moored in the distance

There are lots of huge yachts around this week and we hear lots of traffic on the radio and hub-bub around Johnny Depp’s island that he owns down here. Some large boats are even anchored near the Land and Sea park. Turns out Johnny Depp is getting married on the weekend. That explains it! Funny we didn’t get an invitation…

After a rocky and windy night moored in the park, we head up to Highbourne Cay. We haven’t been to this island before and it is lovely. They squeeze us into a pretty tight spot on the dock at the marina, but captain Randy lands it perfectly. Afterwards, Lee walks to the beach and Randy relaxes in a chair overlooking the ocean.

Captain checking out the entrance to the marina at Highbourne Cay

Captain checking out the entrance to the marina at Highbourne Cay

Randy's new pet on the dock at Highbourne Cay Marina

Randy’s new pet on the dock at Highbourne Cay Marina

Tight spot in Highbourne Cay Marina

Tight spot in Highbourne Cay Marina

Lovely marina at Highbourne Cay with a great restaurant

Lovely marina at Highbourne Cay with a great restaurant

Beach at Highbourne Cay

Beach at Highbourne Cay

The next morning, we are off again. This time its the ocean crossing from the Exumas back to Cape Eleuthra. As we are leaving through the cut, we hear there is a small craft warning. What?!  The weather websites failed to mention that. Out on the ocean, its windy but the waves aren’t too bad so we continue on. Once we arrive and are docked at the marina in Cape Eleuthra four hours later, a big storm hits. Thank goodness we weren’t caught out in it!

Blustery day at Cape Eleuthra Marina

Blustery day at Cape Eleuthra Marina when we arrive

Local fisherman cleaning fish at Cape Eleuthra Marina

Local fisherman cleaning his day’s catch at Cape Eleuthra Marina

Sharks gather in front of where he is cleaning fish to catch what he throws in. These are bull sharks and not the 'friendly' sharks we've seen at other places

Sharks gather in front of where he is cleaning fish to catch what he throws in. These are bull sharks and not the ‘friendly’ sharks we’ve seen at other places

The next day the weather isn’t much better, so we do chores and clean up the boat. Since the weather is supposed to continue to be bad, Randy arranges to rent a car for the next day to tour the island and see Rock Sound and Governors Harbour, which we have missed the three other times we have been on Eleuthra. When we get up in the morning, winds are down slightly though, so we cancel the car and plan to move the short distance to Rock Sound with Silver Maple. We also see a good weather day to cross back to the Abacos, so we need to move north to be ready to set out in two days. Once on the water its a pretty good day, so we decide carry on past Rock Sound and go back to our regular spot in Hatchet Bay. We miss Rock Sound again! And, our short hour and a half trip turned into six hours. It’s all good though since we are much further ahead for tomorrow.

Still blustery as we leave Cape Eleuthra

Still blustery as we leave Cape Eleuthra

Francis (who we met last time at Hatchet Bay) with his friend, come out to greet us and collect the mooring fee

Francis (who we met last time at Hatchet Bay) with his friend, come out to greet us and collect the mooring fee

Sunset in Hatchet Bay over Silver Maple's flag

Sunset in Hatchet Bay over Silver Maple’s flag

We have an easy sail the next day from Hatchet Bay to Royal Island, where we will start our crossing. By 1 pm we are anchored and able to relax. The next morning we are up at 5 am to begin our big crossing. It’s an eight-hour crossing, plus two more hours to the marina at Boat Harbour. We decide to head there because more bad weather is moving in when we arrive, so we want to be tied to a dock. A very long and exhausting day.

On the way to Royal Island

Captain on the way to Royal Island after navigating Current Cut

Heading to Royal Island after passing through Current Cut

Early morning crossing to the Abacos

There's a line up of boats entering the cut at South Bar to the Abacos

There’s a line up of boats entering the cut at South Bar to the Abacos

We made it!

We made it!

Silver Maple on the dock at Boat Harbour Marina in Marsh Harbout

Silver Maple on the dock at Boat Harbour Marina in Marsh Harbour

We are on Dock 4 -- the fun dock!

We are on Dock 4 — the fun dock!

Now at the Boat Harbour Marina, we are waiting for the winds to die down a bit and then we will move to Hopetown. We had a nice day today in the town of Marsh Harbour doing some shopping. Looking forward to seeing all our friends in Hopetown tomorrow — weather permitting!

3 thoughts on “Heading back north to the Abaco Islands

  1. So nice to hear from you and that you still are enjoying your life as sailors. All is well
    in Parksville , Did an 18k hike of ups and downs out of China Creek yesterday. Pretty wet under foot but a fun day as usual. Mrs. Kenmore is busy washing today.
    Spoke with Dean and Kirk both are well. Dean tells me that Leo has been having fun rolling in the snow.
    Keep Safe…Love to you both. Mom

  2. Wonderful photos! The sea looks beautiful!! Cute pigs… Thanks for sharing.

    Liz

  3. It is just freezing here, -29c winds – 34c Brr. Going downtown -31c tonight. We have lots of snow here high banks lucky you in the sunny Carribean looks great but weather is up and down for you. Getting to be quite efficient sailing. Good! Enjoy the sun and think of me!!
    Love the pictures thanks Lee.

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