Published: April 25th 2010April 25th 2010
About Time on the hard
About Time will be summering on Merritt Island just west of Cape Canaveral.
We are back in the US now after being in the Bahamas since Nov 18th. The boat has been hauled and is in dry storage at Merritt Island (Cape Canaveral). On Monday we will drive home to Guelph, and arrive about April 27th. Hopefully the boat will be safe and sound, until we return around November 1.
In our previous blog, we had just arrived in the Abacos. Our first stop was in Little Harbour, where we enjoyed a fantastic dinner of fresh Mahi that we caught on route from Spanish Wells. After a walk on the beach in Little Harbour, a visit to Pete’s Pub, and the Johnston’s foundry, we started exploring the Abacos with our first stop Lynyard Cay.
Still the weather was not real warm, so after a peaceful night at this great anchorage, we pushed on to Hopetown, where we met up again with our friends on Doublewide and Tamaki. At the entrance of Hopetown is the famous red and white candy stripe lighthouse that is often featured in promotion of the Bahamas and the Abacos. We anchored outside the entrance to the harbour, as inside the harbour is very crowded with mooring balls, and
Bronze Sculputer at Little Harbour
Johnson the sculpture was born in Toronto and sailed with his family to Little Harbour to get away from the "rat race" back in the 1950s.
we can only get through the entrance at high tide. The beach at Hopetown is very nice, and the town features quaint houses and narrow streets, that are mostly travelled by walking, bicycles and golf carts. Cars are the exception in Hopetown. The local grocery store makes fresh bread every morning and it is very pleasant to smell the bread cooking each morning. Of course we sampled a loaf of Vernon’s fresh bread, and it even tasted better than it smelled.
From Hopetown our next stop was Man of War Cay. Man of War Cay is where the Albury family has been building first class boats for many years. A prosperous boat building industry thrives here, as well as canvas, sailmaking and other very well respected crafts people. The residents of Man of War are very ambitious, the homes are well maintained and , like Hopetown people prefer driving golf carts to cars. There are nice shops with interesting locally made crafts in Man of War. While lots of tourists visit Man of War Cay, it seems more authentic and certainly not a tourist trap.
We would have liked to spend more time at Man of War Cay,
but there was a special Easter event happening in Great Guana , so we pushed on to Great Guana Cay. One of the very nice and comfortable things in the Abacos is the short distance between destinations. It is easy to sail in the protected waters of the Sea of Abaco, and usually it’s only a couple of hours travelling time between places. One of the clubs in Great Guana , called Nippers promoted a big party on Easter Sunday, with a easter egg hunt both for adults and children. For the adult easter hunt, they hid Easter eggs in the reef in front of Nippers and for children the eggs were hidden in the sand. While the egg hunt was on, they served drinks and a buffet, and it was kind of like being at a bar in Ft. Lauderdale or somewhere in the US. It was fun to watch, and certainly a different way to spend Easter Sunday. At the far end of Great Guana, there is another nice anchorage called Bakers Bay. A big development is underway in Bakers Bay, and while it is progress, in a way it’s unfortunate, when they destroy the natural beauty of
the Bahamas , and build these mega/American developments with canal homes, golf courses etc.
After a couple of days at Bakers Bay we crossed to Treasure Cay. Treasure Cay is an established residential resort with an incredible beach, golf course, restaurants, and upscale homes. I think a lot of really rich people own houses in Treasure Cay. There is a nice , well protected anchorage in Treasure Cay, and for a modest anchoring fee boaters are allowed to visit Treasure Cay, and use their facilities. The wind was blowing strong while we were in Treasure Cay, so we were well protected from the weather.
At this point, we were ready to get back to the US. Once we start thinking of going home, it seems that the main focus is to start looking for good weather to cross the Gulf Stream and on to the US. To start the trip back, we needed to cross the Whales Cut in moderate weather, as it can get dangerous and impassable if the wind blows a long time out of the north. After a couple of days at Treasure Cay, it looked like the opportunity to cross the Whale Cut was about
to change, so we headed through the Whales Cut and onto Green Turtle Cay.
Green Turtle Cay was a very interesting stop, and there is a town called New Providence, that reminds us of a New England town, or maybe even a town on the south coat of England. We had a super time at Green Turtle, meeting up with a group of Nova Scotia boaters, including friends Betty and Harley, that we had cruised with many years ago. After a week in Green Turtle the weather looked good to get back to the US, so we started staging ourselves for the crossing. Our first stop was Powell Cay, and the next day to Great Sail Cay.
The following morning (Saturday) we left early in the early morning, sailing all night and arriving at Port Canaveral Sunday morning about 8:00 am. (23 hour trip). Previously we had decided to keep our boat in Port Canaveral for the summer. Other summers we have kept the boat in St.Marys Georgia, so we will see how we like keeping our boat further south.
Our boat is now out of the water and stored for the summer in Harbourtown Marina in
Quaint cottages and streets with only room for golf carts or walking.
Merritt Island Florida. It seems like a very good boatyard, and we hope it is a safe storage location. There is a lock at the entrance to Canaveral, that controls the water depth and surge, so hopefully that would help if a storm surge occurred from a Hurricane.
Sharon and I are now anxious to get home for the summer. We look forward to seeing our family and spending time with our grandchildren. While we love our winters on the boat, there is “no place like home” . We look forward to summer in Guelph, and being home in Ontario.
So until the fall, have a great summer, and we hope to see many of you soon.
Doug and Sharon
SV About Time
There are more photos below