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 first.day 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