The Southern Abacos and Eleuthra – Part I….

February 2nd, 2015 (-5 on UTC)

Dear Friends and Family,

We\’re on email only from now till we get to Mexico…so no photos in the blog till then.

We write you today from windy Chubb Cay. We\’ve had steady winds – ESE to SE at 15-22 knots over the last day. We\’re anchored behind the mole outside the harbor, it\’s a bit bumpy, but really fine.

We really enjoyed our time in Hope Town and did some bicycle touring of the island as well as met some interesting folks. It\’s a cruisers hub for sure and I would recommend the stop to anyone coming to the Abacos of the Bahamas. We especially liked our lunch stop at the Seabreeze Marina.

We departed Hope Town for Little Harbour at the very south side of the Abaco Sea. It shortened our next days sail and turned out to be a great stop. We\’re shallow draft enough that we could enter the inner harbor where we secured a mooring. In the season, this place probably really gets crowded. They told us that after Valentine\’s Day till June, it will be non stop busy. There is a nice beach bar (reminiscent of the Soggy Dollar in Jost Van Dyke) as well as a large sculpture studio and sales office where the local Johnston family has been for at least 80 years. Some lovely cast bronze pieces and they have their own foundry on site.

We left Little Harbour on the falling a.m. tide and departed the reef for the 65 mile trip to St. George\’s Cay in the Eleuthra Group. The sail was nice, winds 12-20 knots from the NE and we made great time. When we entered the reef system, there was a mark on the chart to see a wreck. I couldn\’t see it till we were only 100 yds. away! It was above the water by only 3 feet and about 15 feet long. I\’m sure there is a story and a lot of underwater steel there, but it would be easy to miss which of course would be disastrous.

We motored west along the south side of Royal Island; a resort that was financed by football great Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys. It seems that it didn\’t work out and looked well kept, but closed. When we arrived at St. George\’s Cay, we had to wait for the ferry to enter and had to do a few loops for a couple of exiting boats. The entrance was maybe 70 feet wide, so we were given lots of radio \”thank you\’s\”.

No moorings were available for our size boat so we decided to stay at Yacht Haven Marina for one or two nights. They had great power, water and their internet was some of the best we\’ve seen. I was able to top off the diesel, fill a propane tank and check out the marine store. It\’s not an emergency as such, but we\’ve discovered that our generator fuel system is leaking. Essentially, the boat was built around it and it\’s effectively inaccessible. As such, Mike Lonnes suggested we try and find some USCG A-1 fuel hose (good luck with that!) and run the fuel and return lines via a new serviceable route. We would then simply plug off and abandon the old copper tubing system. Another small matter was a speaker on our outside system went out which we were sure would require us to wait till Panama to get fixed.

Low and behold! The first day, the store told us they only had 30 feet of the correct hose. On Saturday morning they cleared 200 feet via customs and we were able to buy the fuel hose. Great timing or good fortune…we\’ll take it. Putting it in will be another matter completely. I may need some expert carpentry assistance as well as a mechanic. We hope to be able to wait till at least we get to Mexico assuming the problem does not become worse. Next, we went to the R&B Boat Yard next door and they actually had marine exterior speakers as well as a few fuel plumbing parts we\’ll need in the future. Who knew?

I\’m going to end this as \”Part I\” due to the fact that when we remote post our blogs, if they\’re too long, they don\’t post properly…
Stand by, the rest will be out within a few hours.
Scott and Nikki