Treasure Cay to Green Turtle Cay

Tuesday morning we picked up our anchor to sail from Great Guana Cay to Treasure Cay Harbour which is on Great Abaco Island.

Leaving Great Guana behind us

This is only a 9 mile run over the shallow waters of the Sea of Abaco and – hurrah – we have wind!!!   Actually we have quite strong wind….   Fantastic we are sailing again…….

Sailing again - at last!

Changing direction towards our destination we are now running downwind so furled away the main and continued under genoa alone.

Running downwind

As we were nearing Treasure Cay we listened to a securité message on the VHF – a tanker was going in to the fuel dock – so we were warned to stay away from the channel.   No worries….. not going to mess with him.   We slowed down until we heard that he was secure and made our way through the narrow channel into the anchorage.

Tanker in the channel

We picked up the mooring ball closest to the marina – no point anchoring here as you have to pay anyway – and enjoyed the views.   The buildings with their own docks remind us a bit of Jolly Harbour in Antigua.   We went ashore to check in and went off exploring to find the bank and the grocery store.   Found both – although the bank was closed – and got a few bits and bobs in the supermarket.  Walking around the complex we were surprised to see that, close up, the hotel buildings were actually in need of some tender loving care……

Treasure Cay Treasure Cay 2

The main reason we had come ashore was to get wifi so that we can skype and finalise the Florida marina. The wifi signal was rubbish – we wondered if they were streaming the music – and the phone calls had to be aborted as they kept breaking up.   Disappointed…..but tomorrow is another day.   We went back to Morphie for our swimsuits and returned to the Tipsy Seagull where we had a bobbing afternoon in the pool – used their showers so lots of hot water – and returned to Morphie later with a chicken takeaway (think greasy KFC bucket) and enjoyed the sunset.

Tipsy Seagull Goodnight from Treasure Cay

Wednesday morning – up early – and went to the bank to top up on drinking vouchers. Returned to the bar for wifi – and as it hadn’t opened yet there was no music – and the signal was strong enough to make the calls.   Finally I got through to the marina – they checked out our email – and replied almost immediately. Not sure why they had ignored our previous emails but, hey who cares, at last we have a confirmed reservation and we can go forward.   Feel quite relieved…..

I then contacted the company who makes the cradle connectors and he was going to liaise with the marina to work out our order.   Then I shot an email to our insurance company to confirm our layout arrangements and that we are going to be ‘Named Storm’ compliant with our connector system.   Whisker pole / boom vang emails flying from Richard too – got a quote for the components which is fine – just want to get a quote and details of where we can get it all fitted as this will decide our entry point to the US. We think it will be Riviera Beach just north of West Palm – and when they can fit us in will give us a schedule to get moving.

Wednesday afternoon – having had a successful morning – we went bobbing in the pool again, in between rain showers. But this time we took our own beer as we had noticed others doing that – it saves queuing at the bar in wet swimmers and it also means we don’t spend all those new drinking vouchers straight away LOL.

Bobbing Pool at Treasure Cay

Thursday morning we were up early and headed out of the narrow channel – today we are going 18 miles to Green Turtle Cay.   There wasn’t any wind – again – so we decided to make water while we motored along.   Then we did get some wind so we increased our speed by getting the sails out……. and then we dropped the sails and motored again as the wind died.

We crossed the banks into Whale Cay Passage – which is out into the Atlantic – and Richard tried his hand at fishing. Sadly nothing was biting today, not even barracudas.   We came back inside the Sea of Abaco through the Whale Cay Channel and started motoring towards Green Turtle Cay.   There was a storm brewing behind us – and was giving us some serious wind although no rain – and the skies were ominously grey.   We thought we were going to get slammed at any minute, especially when the thunder and lightning started, so we pulled into No Name Cay and got anchored quickly with lots of chain out…..

Stormy conditions Stormy conditions 2

We had some lunch and sat out the rain as the storm passed through.   Then the sun came out and we went ashore – No Name Cay is actually known as Piggyville. More swimming pigs…..   But these ones stayed firmly on the beach and in the scrub land when we approached. They are not as friendly as those we had met previously and the large one was a nasty piece of work – so we were a bit cautious about approaching them, and threw the food down for them to fight over rather than feeding them.

Piggyville Piggyville 2 Piggyville 3 Piggyville 4

We enjoyed the beach and cooled off in the sea for a while before returning to Morphie.

No Name Bay Cooling off

At around 2pm we had our anchor up for the final couple of miles to Green Turtle Cay. We dropped our anchor in Settlement Harbour and enjoyed the view of New Plymouth ashore.

View of New Plymouth from the anchorage View of New Plymouth from the anchorage 2

We got ourselves cleaned up and wandered around this charming settlement enjoying the old houses, the Anglican Church, the old jail and we found Miss Emily’s which is where the Goombay Smash – the Bahamian Rum Punch – originated from.

Welcome Green Turtle Cay

New Plymouth waterfront New Plymouth New Plymouth 2 New Plymouth 3 Anglican Church New Plymouth 4 New Plymouth 5 New Plymouth 6

Miss EmilysWandering around we found the Memorial Sculpture Garden which is quite spectacular.   It commemorates the difficult times those loyal to the British crown had after the American civil war – which eventually forced them to flee and settle in the Bahamas.   At the time they were being persecuted for their difference of opinion and, the slaves that had escaped and were living free under the British, were also in fear of being reclaimed by their original owners.   So they moved and settled here too.   The bronze sculptures are quite something to see and the surnames of the original settlers still exist in many other Bahamian settlements that we have visited.

Memorial Sculpture Garden Memorial Sculpture Garden 3 Memorial Sculpture Garden 2 Memorial Sculpture Garden 1

Not sure that its history was appreciated by everybody though as I heard one mother – who was walking by – tell her children that this was a memorial to those people who didn’t want to be American so wasn’t worth visiting.   The kids couldn’t imagine anyone not wanting to be American. Sad or what?!?   I’ll quickly mention, at this point, that we have met many educated and well-informed Americans on our travels and know that they would appreciate the significance of this place just as much as we did.

We eventually followed the signs to Sundowners which is a bar on the water overlooking the anchorage – and had a few beers.


We met Chris and Amanda who have sailed over here on a small trailer sailor which they towed from their home in Missouri and launched in Florida. One of the reasons why they are on this extended trip is to renew their wedding vows in Hope Town for their 10th wedding anniversary – nice!  We had a great time with them before returning to Morphie just before dark.

Chris and Amanda

Friday morning we went to explore the anchorage in White Sound – which is where two resorts are located. We had a few sodas in the Bluff House and managed to pick up a good wifi signal – and I had received a quote for the connector system, so I rang them up and placed the order. They should arrive at the boatyard in about a week so will be waiting for us when we get there.   Job done!

Bluff House

Richard, however, was disappointed that he hadn’t received another email about the whisker pole so skyped them…. Apparently they can supply the 140 component parts immediately but can’t fix a date for us to have it fitted as they are three months behind schedule. Plus the cost is $95 an hour and it could take up to 40 hours to do the work. What?!? That’s ridiculous…..the pole doesn’t cost as much as that…..and we thought it would be a (long) day’s work tops. Richard asked the guy to put it all to us in an email including schedules / costings etc – and we’ll take it from there…..     Not sure we fancy drilling into our mast to fit the track ourselves especially with all those wires in there.   We might be able to find an alternative supplier in the US – and maybe we can schedule it for after our return in November???   Very disappointed.    The upside to this, though, is that we no longer have to enter the US at West Palm and can go straight to Fort Pierce instead – which leaves us with a better passage across the Gulf Stream when allowing for the push north of the current…..

Whilst we were in Bluff House a large thunderstorm went through – and we were concerned about Morphie – but the wind didn’t really pick up much. Bluff House is a nice resort which has modern rooms overlooking their own private beach on the other side of the island – with a beach bar – but today wasn’t that sort of day!

Sitting out the rain at Bluff House

We sat out the rain and, when it had cleared, we made our way across the sound to check out the Green Turtle Club, another resort.

Green Turtle Club

This place had more of a rustic feel to it – and Richard preferred the bar and there was a nice dining room – but wasn’t impressed by the service particularly. Oh well…who cares?     The rain eased again so we headed back for the long dinghy ride to Morphie – and the heavens opened again and we got soaked!   The new propeller is amazing – we go much faster than we used to LOL.

We relaxed on board for a few hours while the weather moved through and, about 4pm, we headed out to explore again.   We went off in dink to have a look at Black Sound – another protected anchorage and one we will move into if the weather deteriorates – and enjoyed the sights.

Black Sound anchorage

Then we went ashore to Pineapples where we admired the views out to the anchorage, the pool was quite inviting, and had a few beers and an appetizer.

At Pineapples Pool at Pineapples View out to the anchorage from Pineapples

Moving across to New Plymouth we headed back to Sundowners and bumped into Chris and Amanda again – had another nice time and got back to Morphie just before it got dark.

Us at Sunsetters

This morning – Saturday – and it is raining again.   Hoping that the rain will help the humidity too – as it is still incredibly hot and sticky. So I’m blogging while Richard is having a lie in – and this afternoon we are heading over to New Plymouth as there is a Beer Festival on, allegedly, although no sign of activity yet. Should be fun!

Bye for now


Man-O-War Cay to Great Guana Cay

Wednesday afternoon we picked up anchor and moved further along the coast of Man-O-War Cay.   We admired the luxury houses on the shoreline and loved the colour of the sea – sadly not sailing though as there was no wind.

Luxury houses on Man O War Cay Beautiful colours of the shallow waterLuxury houses on Man O War Cay 2

We arrived at Corn Bay and dropped our anchor into a sand and grass bottom. We then went snorkelling and swam all the way across to the rocky shoreline. This place was teeming with fish – and some large specimens too.   We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Snorkelling Snorkelling 2 Snorkelling 3 Snorkelling 4Snorkelling 5 Snorkelling 6 Snorkelling 7 Snorkelling 8

We were in the water for quite a white but we did keep a check on Morphie all alone out there in the anchorage.

Morphie out there on her own

Back on board, we relaxed and enjoyed the spectacular sunset before having an early night.

Goodnight Man O War Cay

Thursday morning we picked up and motored across – still no wind – to the bottom of Great Guana Cay.

Approaching the bottom of Great Guana Cay

We arrived at Crawl Bight and went to anchor in a patch of sand that we had found…..   But as the chain started to play out I spotted what looked like metal on the bottom – so we picked the anchor up quickly and moved away.    Finally we had our anchor down and admired the views of the huge luxury house opposite.

House on end of Great Guana Cay

We then decided to go snorkelling – but first we wanted to check out the sandy patch. The first thing we saw when we got in the water was that we were anchored in front of a power cable – another one not on the charts!!!   Phew glad we missed that…… When we got to the sandy bit we were shocked to find that the bottom was strewn with old car chassis……and various other metal bits and bobs.   And it looked like the cars had killed the grass around them too which was why we could spot the sand….

Car Chassis Car Chassis 2

Moving on we went to swim across to the rocky ledge – hoping for a repeat of the previous day’s experience.     We were then hassled by a seriously unhappy barracuda.   He was about four foot long and kept darting at us.   When they do that they move so fast you can’t actually see them – quite a scary experience.   Usually they come and have a look and then get bored – but this one was persistent. He followed us around continuously and we decided not to push our luck and returned to Morphie – and he followed us closely all the way.

Rogue barracuda

Richard decided to teach him a lesson so we bundled into dink and went fishing….. On our fifth pass around Morphie I told Richard to give it a break – we were just wasting petrol.   One more turn he says and as we make it the line runs out….   Gotcha!!!    He was a lot madder by now and jumped and jumped like a loony. Richard was laughing – and welcomed him to our world!!!!   We got him in dink, managed to get the hook out although he did get a bit bloodied, took his photo, and returned him to the water – that’ll teach him to ruin our snorkelling LOL….


On board having cleaned ourselves up we had a couple of beers and speculated that maybe the house owner doesn’t like people anchoring off and that he had perhaps dumped the cars there to deter boaters…. We’ll never know.   After another great sunset we had an early night.

Great Guana Cay sunset

Friday morning we motored again – checking out more luxury houses – into Settlement Harbour, Great Guana Cay, and picked up a mooring ball in this shallow harbour opposite Orchid Bay Marina.

Luxury Great Guana Cay

Orchid Bay Marina

We hadn’t visited there before so we took dink in for a look – and was pleasantly surprised by the bar, restaurant and pool area.   We decided to have some lunch while we were there and Richard said that he had the best plaintains he’d ever eaten!!!

Orchid Bay Marina 2 View out from Orchid Bay restaurant Us out for lunch View out from Orchid Bay restaurant 2

After lunch we decided to go bobbing at Grabbers – so packed a bag with our swimmers and wandered through the settlement, enjoying the views of the harbour as we went.

Morphie on her mooring ball Panorama of Settlement Harbour

We reacquainted ourselves with Wilson and then Richard went to get changed – to realise that he’d left his trunks behind!   Oh dear…. Never mind….. So he left me there admiring the views while he went back to get them.

View from Grabbers 2 Reacquainted with Wilson View from Grabbers

When he got back we bobbed for a few hours…..

On the way back to Morphie we stopped at Kids Cove – a local bar – which was the first time we had seen it open and busy.  And the road was littered with parked golf buggies too – the main mode of transport on this island.   We enjoyed chatting with some people and admiring the unusual bar art before heading home.

Main mode of transport At Kids Cove Bar Art 1 Bar Art 2

Was a busy fun day!!!   We had seen storm clouds and rain on the horizon but thankfully nothing came our way – although we were treated to a lightning show during the evening.

Goodnight Great Guana

Saturday morning and we were up early – we need to get a few things from the grocery store.   We wandered through the settlement, admiring the lovely old wooden houses nestling around the main road, and then came across the store. Was surprised how large it was – and it was well stocked too – so we managed to get everything we needed before returning to unload.

Pretty wooden houses of the settlement Large modern store View from the Grocery Store

Sitting in the cockpit – absolutely sweltering in the heat – and a large motorboat came in.   The girl on the front didn’t have a boat hook – just a fishing gaff. And, of course, she couldn’t pick up the ball.   After a few more attempts they picked it up from the stern and she walked it forward – but managed to drop the rope in the process.   And while all this is going on they have got uncomfortably close to our bow.   Anyway they started to pick it up again from the stern and Richard went over to help them.   He could hand it to the girl on the front and make life easier.   They are happy to get assistance but in the meantime they have propped the ball…..   So the guy has to jump in and he cuts it all away – taking the mooring ball onboard.   They then decide to take another one behind us and Richard passes it up to them and, finally, they are settled and secure.

International Rescue Safe and secure

Richard tells them to contact Dive Guana – the owners of the ball to let them know what has happened – and they said they would. But then they take their seadoo – and the mooring ball – ashore.   They were gone for a few hours and came back without the ball or a bottle of bubbly to say thank you.  So we assume they dumped the ball ashore!

Later on we went to the marina to go bobbing in their pool and ran into a family that we had met previously in Marsh Harbour.

Bobbing at Orchid Bay

Had a great time and returned to Morphie for the evening. Richard wanted to go ashore again – and we were very tempted by the special of $10 ribs at the marina – but decided not to as I’d already defrosted steaks for our dinner…..

Sunday morning and it is party day at Nippers….   The boats started arriving, the ferries were constantly dropping people off and the dock was getting full.

Busy day on Nippers dock

We went ashore and managed to get tied up and wandered across the island…. spotting the new sports bar on the main road which had just been built but not opened yet.

New bar

The bar at Nippers was jumping; the beach was busy; the pool was rammed; the pig roast looked great; the sky was blue; and the sun was out…..

Nippers beach Nippers bar Nippers beach 2 Nippers bar 2 Nippers beach 3 Nippers pool was busy too

We enjoyed people watching and were sat in the shade singing along to the music.   Interesting that they were playing 60s/70s tunes which, I guess, catered to the older generation…. There were a few golden oldies about – including us LOL!  Oh yes and we were constantly being buzzed by a drone armed with a GoPro camera – the noise of its rotors was quite annoying – and I have to admit that we did laugh when it hit a post and ended up in the pool!!!   Ooops…..

Later on we went into the pool ourselves – which was hotter than a bath – and were joined by the family from the day before…..   By now some local very scantily clad girls had joined in the fun and judging by their antics with a few of the old, fat, unattractive male tourists and the obvious taking of credit card information by their male minder, we thought that they could well be prostitutes…..   Oh well……

After the pool we headed to the beach to cool off and went bobbing with the family.  As the day went on, a lot of the day trippers returned to their hotels….and the beach returned to its normal state.

Beach bobbing Nippers beach later on

Had a great time….. Was a real party atmosphere and everyone seemed to be getting along ….   We eventually headed back to Morphie quite well hydrated LOL.

This morning – Monday – we moved along the coast of Great Guana Cay and have anchored off a beautiful beach at Baker’s Bay.   This area is being developed – a marina is already in place – and very large homes are being built along the water line…..   Very nice!!!

Lot of development Houses under construction

Planning a relaxing day after the excesses of the day before and it is really nice to be back on anchor….

Oh yes…update on Florida…..there isn’t one!   Nothing from the boat yard – very frustrating….   We are researching other places to leave Morphie just in case and, if necessary, we’ll have to cross the Gulf Stream onto the east coast of Florida, park Morphie in a marina, hire a car and drive around until we are sorted.   Hope it doesn’t come to that……sigh……

Bye for now


Enjoying life in the Abacos

Friday afternoon we went ashore to Marsh Harbour Marina with fingers crossed that our parcel had arrived – and it was waiting for us.  Yay!   We quickly ordered lunch before the kitchen closed and Richard set to replacing the prop – and it fitted. Phew….   Quick spin up and down the marina and it works too – great….   What a relief!

New prop

Over lunch we got chatting to this older couple – mid 70s we reckoned – the guy was going off on a yacht charter in the morning and his other half was going to stay in an apartment and help out the local school’s library.   Interesting couple and we assumed they had been married for years…… It turns out they met six months ago via the internet!   Never too late eh??!!!???    After they left we enjoyed a few hours bobbing in the pool before saying our farewells to the Jib Room and staff – they have been great to us while we have been here and have helped us out a lot.

As we made our way back out to the anchorage Richard was a very happy dinghy captain as we left a wake behind us!   Back on Morphie we had a quiet night and enjoyed our last Marsh Harbour sunset.

We have a wake! Goodnight from Marsh Harbour

Saturday morning we were up early and sorted ourselves out before heading over to Hope Town. Was nice to be back on the move again. By the time we arrived we were at slack low water – and going through the channel would be a little skinny – so we anchored off outside behind the lighthouse and had lunch.

Time for lunch View of the Hope Town Lighthouse

An hour later we made our way in through the channel with about 18 inches beneath our keel…..

Navigating the Hope Town chanel

Picked up our mooring – there isn’t room in here to anchor – and settled in and admired the views.

Hope Town 1 Hope Town 2

Later on we went ashore to Cap’n Jacks for a bite to eat and caught up on the internet whilst enjoying the view of the anchorage.

Hope Town anchorage

Afterwards we went over to the yacht club which was pretty busy with loads of families and kids running around.  It certainly seemed odd to see people eating in their swimming costumes next to people who were clearly dressed for dinner….  We had a couple of beers – but nothing going on – so decided to call it a night. Back in the dinghy – admiring Morphie in front of the lighthouse – we heard live music so decided to check it out.

At the Yacht Club

Morphie in Hope Town

We realised it was coming from the Harbours Edge – so we tied up to their dock and went in.   The place was packed, the music was good, and we enjoyed watching the dancing…..   It ended up a late night after all.

Live music and dancing Goodnight Hope Town

Sunday morning and we did a few boat jobs before heading ashore – today’s destination was the beach at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge.   Last time we visited it was raining and it was amazing to see the difference with the sun out – particularly at low tide with the reef exposed.   Beautiful place… We got a bucket of beers and settled down to some afternoon bobbing – thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Harbour Inn beach Bucket of beer Harbour Inn beach 2

Later on we returned to Morphie and stayed put for the evening.   It was time for curry and an early night!Goodnight Hope Town 2

Monday morning and we did a few boat jobs again before heading ashore – this time we were going into the marina as we have laundry to do and garbage to dispose of.   Got our tokens for the laundry and put the wash on……and then settled down beside the pool. The main pool was quite busy so we took up residence in the small Jacuzzi at the top and Richard waited there patiently for me to deliver beer LOL!

Marina pool Waiting for his beer

We stayed in the pool for a while – nipping back now and then to check the laundry – and finally it was done.   We both folded it up and put the bag back in dink and had a final beer in the pool before returning to Morphie for another Hope Town sunset…..   We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here in Hope Town again.

Goodnight Hope Town 3

Tuesday morning and we dropped our mooring ball and headed off – our destination is Man O War Cay.   This island is only five miles away and we were hoping for a bit of a sail, but sadly, we ended up motoring again as the wind refuses to blow…..

Motoring again - no wind

We dropped our anchor off the west end of Dickies Cay and got a good set in sand.   We took some time out admiring the scenery and then dinked in through the cut into the main harbour.   This is a narrow channel – a bit like Spanish Wells – with the main settlement spread along it.

Man O War Cay Man O War Cay 2 Man O War Cay 3 Man O War Cay 4 Man O War Cahy 5

We found the dinghy dock and went for a walk. The roads are narrow and concrete as the main transport here is golf buggy and, of course, the main road is called the Queens Highway.

Main Road Queens Highway

We wandered around – admiring the beautiful flowers, the ancient buildings, the manicured gardens, the fire station, the Abaco signpost and found ourselves on the other side of the island being blown away by the fantastic Atlantic beach.   Wow!

Historic buildings Flowers everywhere Fire station Anyone for pineapple Flowers everywhere 2 Signpost Flowers everywhere 3 National Tree Atlantic beach Atlantic beach 2

On the way back to dink we passed the museum – which was shut – and admired the boats on display outside.

Famous for boat building Famous for boat building 2

We also liked the look of the local library – which was also shut – and wondered how anyone could cope with a bank that only opened for four hours once a week!

Public library Banking hours

We then stopped in the Sail Shop – this is quite famous for making sunbrella / sailcloth items and I really wanted to buy something.   Unfortunately even the very small wash bag was priced a bit steeply – at $60 – so I came away empty handed.   Never mind……  Richard did come across this sign that he liked though….

Gift shop

On the way back to the marina we checked out the names of the local heroes – and you realise just how steeped in history this place is by the common surnames of those honoured.

Local heroes

Man of War Cay is an island-bound community of Loyalist descendants and their heritage goes back to eighteenth century settlers who constructed ships and made sails.   Some of this industry continues here on the island although now it is mainly fibre glass rather than the traditional wood….   Our final stop was in the marina restaurant where we had a diet coke – we were too late for the kitchen so no appetisers for us.   And yes, a soft drink! Why? Well, Man O War Cay is fiercely religious and is a dry island……

Marina restaurant

Having enjoyed our trip ashore we returned to Morphie very hot and bothered……   So we dug out the floating chairs, tied them off the back and enjoyed some superior bobbing….

Morphie at Man o War Cay Bobbing with style

Showered off we had dinner while the sun set in a spectacular fashion.   What a great anchorage.

Goodnight from Man O War Cay

This morning – Wednesday – we got up early and I even saw the sun rise.

Sun coming up over Man O War cay

Richard has been in the water cleaning off the hull which had picked up a bit of growth in Marsh Harbour and Hope Town while I’ve been blogging.   We are planning a snorkelling afternoon and another night here before we move on tomorrow.  Oh yes – and we still haven’t got a confirmed reservation for our haul out.   I’ve telephoned them, emailed them and telephoned them again. Being dealt with apparently……but not confident!   Although used to island time in the Caribbean I was expecting Florida boat yards to be slightly more on the ball……   So I’m still a bit frustrated – but Richard is confident it will all come good in the end.   But we have had a positive response from the company supplying us with a whisper pole and boom vang so not everything is up in the air.   In the meantime, fingers remain crossed!

Bye for now


Frustrating time in Marsh Harbour, Abaco

Monday morning we were up early and went into the Jib Room to take advantage of their fast internet.   First job – find a place to leave Morphie in August. We had identified a few marinas / boatyards in Florida and whittled them down to the few that allow owners to work on their boats. We don’t mind hiring people to do specialist work or unskilled labour if time runs out on us, but not being allowed to do basic things ourselves like clean the stainless, wax the hull, replace the zincs, and clean the prop etc would certainly add up when marina labour costs $80++ an hour.

Finally we settled on one yard so we just have the issue of the hurricane cradle to overcome. Our insurance company insists on yachts being stored in one-piece hurricane cradles – which actually do not exist in Florida!!!   But, after some wrangling, they have accepted a specialist connector / rod system as compliant. Again not something readily available in Florida – so looks like we are going to have to purchase it ourselves and get it transported to the yard.….. At least it is made in the USA.

Cradle system

Richard is getting increasingly fed up about all this and being quite grumpy – but we can’t afford not to be insured in this hurricane area, so we are just going to have to put up with it.  Riverside Marina in Fort Pierce was happy to accommodate us – and put together the cradle system – so we have made reservations….  You can see from the photo that they are close to the water’s edge – but on a river which is sheltered by outer islands which should reduce the risk from a storm surge….

Riverside Marina

We are now waiting for confirmation from them so that we can order the connectors. Phew – one thing off our list. Fingers crossed….

Next thing was the outboard propeller – our prop is completely wrecked – check out the bushings in the photo!

Broken propeller

We can go along at a snail’s pace but not sure for how long. So this is quite urgent now.   We couldn’t find a Tohatsu dealer who would send via FedEx – so ended up purchasing a Solas one instead. This part matches ours – allegedly – so we ordered it.   The part was cheap enough but the FedEx wasn’t – wow wasn’t expecting to pay $100 for a 4lb parcel….   Anyway – it’s on its way – so we return to Morphie, pay our marina bill, and head out to the anchorage.

Morphie back at anchor

Got a nice set, did a few boat jobs, and headed over to Snappas late afternoon for happy hour.   Met up with some nice people – enjoyed a few beers with them, along with a spectacular sunset – and back on board for an early night….

Happy Hour friends

Goodnight from Marsh Harbour

Tuesday morning and we were up early – and tried to phone the FedEx guy.  We need to get this parcel cleared through customs – and as a propulsion part – we shouldn’t have to pay duty, just the VAT (which is set here at 7.5% and now applies to everything from 1 Jan 2015) with no exceptions, even for yachts in transit.   But how do we pay it?   Well, the guy won’t answer his phone…..and no voicemail either. We tried loads of times.

In the end we gave up and went ashore – at a slower pace than on Monday so looks like we’ll be rowing everywhere soon. We wandered downtown Marsh Harbour towards Maxwells the large supermarket. We admired a few pimped up cars along the way – it seems like the locals really like fancy wheels.

Pimp my ride Pimp my ride 2

And then we were offered a lift for the final stretch which we were grateful for in the heat of the day.   Provisioned up we returned to dink – via the BTC office to buy some more internet time – and set off back to Morphie, assisted by the local boy who moves the dinks around to make space for the next one. Bit of entrepreneurial spirit and he didn’t ask for money – which makes a nice change – so we gave him $1 for his time and he seemed happy enough.

Town dinghy dock

In the evening we had Jeanette and Neil on board from Echo Echo – our turn for sundowners. We had another great evening with them…..

Jeanette & Neil

Wednesday morning and back on the phone to FedEx again. And again no answer….so we looked up the FedEx Abaco office on line and set off to find it. Well…we found the road eventually….but no FedEx office. We wandered around and asked a few people – guess what, it had relocated to near the airport.   And it wasn’t walking distance. Grrrr….

Must be down here somewhere Must be down here somewhere 2

So we gave up and decided to go back to Morphie and carry on phoning.  On the way we found a marine store and Richard is now the proud owner of a Hawaiin sling so he is keen to go lion fish hunting.   We also got some replacement lures so I’m looking forward to filleting some more mahi mahi for the freezer soon!

While we were out the rain started….. Relaxing in the cockpit and the rain started to come through heavily – then the thunder and lightning started – and it rolled around us for quite a while.   But this is a protected place – nothing to worry about – so we just went below and lazed around reading books.   And that was it for the day – apart from eating dinner and sharing a bottle of wine….

Here comes the rain Raining again

Thursday morning and we finally got through to FedEx – and were told to open an account so that the duty could be applied automatically. And we were to phone them back with the account number so that they could link the parcel to it…. If only it was that simple…. Sigh….. We couldn’t open a US account as we don’t have a US address…. so we opened a UK one instead and hoped that it would still work.   We then phoned back to give them the account details and, guess what, they didn’t answer the phone again!!!

Frustrated we went through our lists of things to do and decided to go in to Marsh Harbour Marina to use their internet and have some food.  Had a great lunch – lamb gyro for me and Richard tried the Fish Reuben sandwich which Blaine had recommended.   He thoroughly enjoyed it.   We got on with the rest of our internet tasks whilst enjoying a few cold beers.   We still haven’t received the confirmed reservation for our haul out yet so I skyped the marina – and was told we should get an email by Tuesday next week….   Normally I wouldn’t worry but really want to get this connection system ordered and can’t do that until we have written confirmation so we can guarantee where we’ll be…..   Sooo frustrating……

Guess what, FedEx wouldn’t answer, again!!!   I asked the marina people about it – well, the answer is that they finish work at 12 noon. Great….grrrr….   I spoke to Linda – the owner of the marina – and she said don’t worry – if the tracking says it has arrived in the Bahamas on Thursday it should be delivered to Marsh Harbour on Friday (or Monday at a push).   I asked about the duty – and whether that would hold it at customs if it remained unpaid – and she said that they would usually deliver anyway and ask for money at that stage. She kindly agreed to take delivery, pay whatever was charged, and we could pick it up later on.   So fingers crossed we decided to leave it at that – and spent the rest of the afternoon bobbing and cooling down in the pool.   We really enjoyed it….

Marsh Harbour marina pool Bobbing time

This morning, Friday, and I’ve been calling FedEx since 8.00 am…..and have finally got through after 10 attempts.   They confirm the parcel is here and they will connect my FedEx account to the customs bill when it comes in so the parcel can be released – and we hope to have it by noon today. Of course, we are still on island time……. But another bobbing afternoon beckons if it is late and we can finally get out of here tomorrow.  We’re both a little stir crazy!!!   Fingers crossed that the Solas propeller does actually fit …..

Not all fun in the sun you know!!!   Bye for now


Pirate fun in the Abacos

Tuesday afternoon Blaine and Maria arrived….. So we settled them on board and caught up over a fish taco lunch – the last of Richard’s mahi mahi catch.  Was great to see Blaine again – and to meet Maria….. Anyone who brings chocolate when they visit is welcome on board LOL.   I think we’ll be having some fun with this Pirate – he has spent a lot of time in this area so we are looking forward to hitting some of the high spots.

Frustratingly we found out that expedited USPS service takes at least four weeks into the Abacos, if it arrives at all.   The only reliable method is FedEx and, guess what, the company we had sourced the new propeller from will not send it using them.  They hadn’t physically shipped yet so we were able to cancel the order and are now back to square one….   Grrrrrr…….   Luckily Jason – the dock master / bartender extraordinaire – had a spare 2HP Evinrude which he rented to us so we had more reliability whilst there was four of us to dink around.

Tuesday evening after a couple of drinks in the Jib Room we headed out to Snappas for dinner – was a great start to our time together.

Wednesday morning we continued to try and source another propeller – to no avail. So enough of wasting our holiday time – we’ll leave it for now.    We headed out from Marsh Harbour for the short passage to Hope Town – with Richard and Blaine singing ‘Hope Town, Hope Town’ along the way.   No wind – was a cloudy dull day – so no sailing either sadly. But you can see that the weather didn’t affect us – Richard was helming with ‘no hands’ and Blaine was teaching Maria how to coil ropes…..

Look  no hands Teaching moment

We shortly arrived into the picturesque harbour of Hope Town dominated by the lovely old lighthouse.

Morphie in Hope Town 2

We dropped dink and went ashore between showers.  First stop was the Hope Town Harbour Lodge – which is a great place overlooking the harbour on one side and an Atlantic Ocean beach on the other.  We stopped for a couple of beers – and met the funny and extroverted barman Gary – and settled in for a longer period than planned as we sat out torrential rain.

Beach in the rain at Hope Town Harbour Lodge Gary at Harbour Lodge Pool at Harbour Lodge

Blaine and Maria

While we were there we met the owners of Sanctuary – which is the Island Packet Blaine is delivering back to the US after his holidays with us.  They had a problem with their generator and were very keen to get Blaine to look – he resisted – although we did lend them some coolant to help out which effectively fixed the problem.

After the rain had cleared we dinked around to Cap’n Jacks and the Hope Town Inn and Marina to find out whether they had anything going on in the evening as Blaine and Maria love to dance…..    We were told yes at both venues so we headed back to Morphie.   But on the way we ran out of petrol – this little engine has a petrol reservoir on the top and doesn’t feed from a tank, so we’d underestimated how much to put in….. It was hysterical as Blaine and Richard rowed along to our singing accompaniment of ‘Row, Row, Row the Boat’ and some drumming for a synchronised rhythm.   We were somewhat loud with our hysterical laughter and other boats in the anchorage were shouting encouragement by the time we reached Morphie…..   Soooooo funny……

After dinner on board we headed back to the Hope Town Inn but ended up being very disappointed.   They were due to have live music and a 6-11 pm happy hour – well the music was cancelled because of the rain so they cancelled the extended happy hour too…..

At Hope Town Inn and Marina Pool at Hope Town Inn and MarinaRum Bar at Hope Town Inn and Marina Rainbow at Hope Town Inn and Marina

So after a single drink – accompanied by a beautiful rainbow throwing colours onto the water – we headed across the bay to Cap’n Jacks for dancing.   We really enjoyed the first part of the DJ’s set….. and the dancing…..  but later on the locals turned up, the music genre changed to rap, so we headed home to Morphie for a couple of pontoonies…….

Cap'n Jacks At Cap'n Jacks

Thursday morning we went ashore and explored the lighthouse.  The lighthouse was built by a Birmingham firm and the light is still powered by petrol.   The walk to the top wasn’t at all onerous when considering the spectacular views to be had at the windows – the only tricky bit was getting through the small opening onto the viewing platform.

Hope Town Lighthouse Us at the Hope Town Lighthouse Lighthouse 1Climbing the lighthouse Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse 3 Lighthouse 4 Lighthouse 5 Lighthouse 6 Lighthouse 7 Lighthouse 8 Lighthouse 9 Lighthouse 10 Lighthouse access to the viewing platform Panorama from Lighthouse

Fascinating place….   It was certainly worth the effort!

After leaving the lighthouse we wandered around town admiring the beautiful houses; the lovely small alleys and the great views out to the channel entrance.   Flowers abound here amongst the pastel coloured buildings…..

Hope Town 1 Hope Town 2 Flowers 1 Hope Town 3 Hope Town 4 Flowers 2 Hope Town 5 Hope Town 6

Looking at the view out to Hope Town channel

One sobering reminder of days gone by was Cholera Hill – which is actually a mass graveyard for about 100 villagers who succumbed to an outbreak back in the 1850s.

Cholera Hill

Rain was threatening again so we headed off to the Sugar Shack to have ice cream – was very tasty – and we sat it out.   Once it had passed we made our way back to Morphie – this time we had enough petrol!

Sugar Shack

We then left Hope Town and motored to Guana Cay in the rain ….. and had a whiteout along the way……

White out under way

We picked up a mooring ball and wandered into town, across the hill, which leads to  Nippers beach bar..

Great Guana CayMorphie at Great Guana Cay On the way to Nippers Beach at Nippers At Nippers Beach at Nippers 2 At Nippers 2

After Nippers we wandered down to Grabbas where we went bobbing in the pool, after Blaine had reacquainted himself with Wilson……   Suitably rehydrated and watching the sky change colour we headed back to Morphie for dinner on board and said a final goodnight to the sun whilst drinking pontoonies in the cockpit…..   Ended up another late night!

View from GrabbasReunited with WilsonSunset at Grabbas Sunset at Great Guana

Friday morning we went snorkelling along that beach at Nippers – there really wasn’t much to see although Blaine did spot a turtle and we found a bill fish…..   What sort you ask?   A $50 bill fish equals one very happy husband!

Snorkelling at Nippers Bill fish

Back on board we motor sailed in very light airs to Treasure Cay and managed to avoid the squalls that were moving around us.

Finally under sail.... Squalls all around

The channel into Treasure Cay is quite shallow and it was great to have local knowledge from Blaine.

Channel into Treasure Cay

Channel into Treasure Cay 2

This is a beach resort with a marina – and a very pretty secure anchorage.   We admired the views and went ashore – first stop was Cocos Beach Bar where we had lunch.   Spectacular long beach here with very very soft sand……

Treasure Cay Treasure Cay 2 Treasure Cay marina Treasure Cay 3 Beach at Treasure Cay Beach at Cocos

After lunch we went bobbing in the pool at the Tipsy Seagull before returning to Morphie for dinner.

Pool at Tipsy Seagull


Then we went out again to the Tipsy Seagull – for karoake – one of Blaine’s favourite pastimes. We had fun – Blaine sang a few – Jimmy Buffet, David Lee Roth and David Alan Coe – getting the crowd going – and Richard opted for The Who and his version of Pinball Wizard.   They both rocked!

Blaine doing Karaoke Getting ready to sing At Tipsy Seagull

There was laughter and dancing…..and we all had a great time……although Blaine was a bit surprised to be propositioned by a local prostitute before we returned back to Morphie for more pontoonies and bed.   Was a very late night……

Saturday we awoke to no wind again…..and cloudy grey skies…..   We motor sailed our way back to Marsh Harbour and pulled into the marina.  And if you wonder what pirates do on their holidays check out the photos below…..

Pirate at rest

Busman's holiday

Sadly this was our last night together.   We had a few drinks in the Jib Room in the afternoon before getting ready for dinner.   Saturday night at the Jib Room is the famous steak night – and wow, it was amazing!!!!   Huge steak, cooked perfectly, accompanied by jacket potato, salad, veg, bread etc etc….   Very reasonable at $29 a head too….

After dinner we were entertained by Jason who was doing his DJ stint as well as rake and scrape – Richard had to have a go at playing the saw while Blaine led the line dancers….

Richard playing the saw Last night together Line dancing

Later on we grabbed a cab and went over to the Abaco Beach Resort – another great place – and Eddie the Edge Sawyer was performing rake and scrape.   He was fantastic – danced like Michael Jackson – and was a real entertainer.   He whisked Maria off her feet while Blaine played his saw and Richard was dancing around too……   Eddie also taught some little kids what to do……Blaine playing the saw Eddie and Maria Start em young

Was a really popular evening there and very buzzy – thoroughly enjoyed it.   What a fantastic final night to our pirate adventures!

This morning – Sunday – and Maria left us at 7.45 for her flight back to Florida.   After she had left Blaine took himself off to the laundry and the supermarket to provision up Sanctuary for his passage – he has two other crew to feed.  Eventually he came back to Morphie for final packing and said his goodbyes.  We took ourselves off to the pool and did the laundry at the same time…..   We then reorganised the boat – reclaiming the stern cabin as our garage – and returned the spare outboard to Jason.   We are now sitting outside the Jib Room (which is closed) taking advantage of the internet and the cool canopy above.   Tonight we are planning a very quiet and early night after the solid partying of the last five days!  Oh yes – and guess what – today is the we have seen blue skies and sun for ages.  Typical…..

Tomorrow we are leaving the marina to anchor off but will stay here in Marsh Harbour for a few more days while we sort out our haul out arrangements for August – our original plans have gone a bit wonky as the boatyard could not meet our ‘named storm’ insurance requirements, even though they said they could, so we need to do some research into alternatives. Where we decide to go will impact on how long we can stay here in the Bahamas and where we should jump off from to cross the Gulf Stream to the USA – so hopefully positive news in the next blog!

Bye for now


Spanish Wells to the Abacos

Thursday morning we were up early and admired the views from the anchorage – pretty stunning being amongst the mangroves and the shallow sand flats – although we quickly realised that this narrow channel is quite a major route with constant boat movements so we did move around a bit.

View of the anchorage Busy route View from the anchorage 2


With our outboard only capable of going VERY slowly we timed our crossing carefully to get across the channel to Spanish Wells.   The waterfront here is taken up by different jetties and docks, ship yards and the large commercial fishing boats…..   Lots of boat-related businesses too so we are hopeful of getting dink fixed.

Boatyard Warderick Wells main channel Warderick Wells waterfront Fishing fleet

Wandering the waterfront we found an outboard shop and made arrangements for Friday morning. We then saw the ferry coming through into the anchorage and watched all the boats hurry to get out of his way!

Here comes the ferry

The main transport on the island here appears to be golf buggies but we came across a car that looked like something Noddy would drive. And it was driven by a white guy that looked like a Quaker with his hat and beard framing his face – and wondered whether this was a hint of the original Eleutherian settlers.

Strange car

Wandering around the back streets of Spanish Wells we admired the ancient properties mingling with the newer constructions, the variety of colours and some very manicured gardens…. Quite a prosperous settlement too…. We walked a very long way in the heat of the day and eventually we came across a beautiful pink sand beach on the other side of the island – planning a visit here before we leave for sure.  Along the way we also got a nice picture of Morphie all alone out there in the anchorage.

Back streets of Warderick Wells Back streets of Warderick Wells 2 Back streets of Warderick Wells 3 Back streets of Warderick Wells 4 Back streets of Warderick Wells 5 Back streets of Warderick Wells 6

Morphie on her own in the anchorage

Next job on the list was to book tickets to go to Harbour Island – a ‘must see’ luxury destination with a pink sand beach and up-market yacht club….   We have decided not to take Morphie there as the reef system – named the Devil’s Backbone – requires local knowledge and we would have to engage a pilot to assist us. So we have decided to let the ferry take the strain.    We went to the office but were told that the schedule was currently in disarray because one of the ferries has a broken engine – this meant that the maximum (and not guaranteed) time we would have on Harbour Island would be three hours – and we didn’t think the $104 cost of the tickets was worth it.   Disappointed but, hey, we know where there is another pink sand beach to visit!

We returned to Morphie for a few hours in the afternoon and just in time because the ferry returned from Harbour Island just after we got back…. And the barge bringing in a car nearly got run over in the channel. That ferry has no room to manoeuvre at all…

Ferry returning Everything moves by boat

We had a few lazy hours on board before returning to the town to visit Buddas for Happy Hour and an early supper – had a nice time and they even gave us a lift on a golf buggy back to the waterfront. We returned to Morphie just in time to see the sun go down….

Goodnight Warderick Wells

Friday morning and it was raining – hard – so we waited until there was a break before heading to the outboard repair shop.  We were surprised that they were going to lift dink out to take a look and we stood back and watched them work.   Quickly the guys identified that the propeller’s spline had sheared and we needed a new one – it was not fixable.

Dink getting a lift Dink getting a lift 2 Dink getting a lift 3 Dink getting a lift 4

They didn’t have one that would fit so they put it all back together and lowered dink back into the water.   For all this time and effort there was no charge – we were very grateful for their help so we gave them a tip instead. At least we know that we are not damaging the engine by continuing to go very slowly without revving – we just need to source a new propeller.   Not going to be easy as Tohatsu is not a brand that is seen around this area – although apparently Mercury use the same sizes so that is our best option. Nothing to be found here though… so will have to wait for our next destination.

We headed off to the supermarket and got some provisions and then returned to Morphie – had a quick turnaround – picked up a cooler and went bobbing on that beautiful pink sand beach.   Very shallow so this was sitting down bobbing for a change LOL.  While at the beach we were buzzed by a lone aviator….

Warderick Wells beach Warderick Wells beach 2 View from the beach Being buzzed

We checked the weather on our return and found that great sailing conditions were to be had the following day so we decided that we would move on and make the most of it, having had a few tough passages in recent weeks.   So we planned our route, made some rolls, and had an early night.

Saturday morning we were leaving as the sun came up and we said our farewells to Spanish Wells – we had really enjoyed our time here….

Goodbye Warderick Wells

We motored out through the narrow channel and onto the banks before passing between Egg and Little Egg Islands into the deep waters….. And the sailing was fantastic although we could have done with a little bit more wind.   There were also some north swells but not too big and reasonably spaced, so didn’t make for an uncomfortable ride.   We chatted, we sailed, we tweaked sails, ate our food and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves….

Perfect sailing

We fished too – and Richard lost another lure to a sea monster…. Will have to buy some more soon!   Sadly nothing to replenish our freezer with this time….. Oh yes, we also identified Dumbo the elephant, a duck-billed platypus and a Westie dog begging in the cloud formations…..

Doggie cloud

We doused our sails and navigated our way through the Little Harbour Cut into the Abacos. Different feel inside these banks – which are actually called The Sea of Abaco – as there is a lot of sea grass so although the water is shallow it doesn’t look quite the same as the azure blue when it is a sandy bottom.   We decided to anchor overnight at Lynyard Cay having completed a 63 mile passage – and watched the sunset before having an early night.

Anchor down Goodnight from the Abacos

Sunday morning and there was no wind at all – so we motored the 20 miles to our next destination Marsh Harbour.   It was pretty swelly on the banks in places as we came close to the cuts that lead out to the Atlantic – but pretty uneventful. We really admired some of the little private hideaway beaches tucked in here and there amongst the cays.

Private beach hideaways Private beach hideaways 2

We arrived into Marsh Harbour at lunchtime and we took a few hours off having got a good anchor set.   We dinked into Marsh Harbour Marina, did the laundry and had a couple of beers in the Jib Room and caught up on the internet before heading across the bay to Snappas for Happy Hour and a late lunch / early dinner whilst enjoying the sights out across the bay.

Happy Hour View out from Snappas Boats everywhere

Later on we moved to a local waterfront bar and had a pontoonie whilst enjoying the sunset.   I was strongly encouraged to dance by a group of young ladies who were having a bit of a party so we had another pontoonie before returning to Morphie. What a great day!

Goodnight Marsh Harbour Waterfront local bar My new girlfriends

Monday morning and we moved into the marina.   Got hooked up to power and water and we started to clean the boat.   Blaine is doing a delivery from here back to the US next week so we have invited him and his girlfriend to join us for a few days before he heads off…..   And Morphie has to look her best for guests you know!   Boat cleaned inside and out…..and she came up sparkling. We still need to clean the hull though…..but that will have to wait for another day.

Marsh Harbour marina Morphie sparkling clean Marsh Harbour marina 2

Richard took the propeller off and we headed out in a taxi to the Prop Shop.   They couldn’t help – so we went to the Mercury dealer, the Yamaha dealer, the Outboard Shop etc etc etc…… But nobody had anything like it at all – so looks like we are going to have to ship in from the US.   On the way back to the marina we took advantage of being in a cab and stopped at the liquor store for more beer supplies…..   We even talked to The Moorings who have a base here at the Conch Inn Marina as we know that they use exactly the same engine on their dinghies so they should have spares – and yes, they did have spare propellers, but refused to sell us one as it takes so long to get them. Miserable bunch!

We took the rest of the afternoon off and spent it bobbing in the marina’s small pool – and got chatting to a family from Florida.   Downton Abbey is always one of the first questions – followed by the royals…. One of the daughters was tiny and it turns out that we met Tinkerbell.   She actually had just graduated with a degree in psychology – working at Disney in Orlando was a way of making some cash while she decided which direction to take her career.   So Tinkerbell is not only pretty and dainty but is also smart!

This morning – Tuesday – and we are heading into town for final provisioning but expecting slim pickings as the weekly ship doesn’t arrive until later today. We have now ordered a new propeller to be delivered here and are investigating renting an outboard to tide us over for a week….. Not sure whether that will pan out or not.  Blaine and Maria fly in today so looking forward to exploring this area with them for the next five days.

Bye for now