Hope Town to Treasure Cay, The Bahamas
Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004
We took early showers, got dressed in our “almost finest”, dinghied in to the dock and headed to St. James Methodist church. This is a small, plain church building but, flanking the altar are picture windows that look out over the ocean. It’s beautiful! We attended the 9:30 contemporary service. The church youth put on a couple of musical dramas telling the story of the resurrection. An overflow crowd was in attendance … nearly 200 people in and outside of a sanctuary designed to hold only 100. The associate minister who lead this service was a young man from North Carolina. Not only did he do a great job with the service but he also led many of the hymns with an excellent voice while playing his amplified acoustical guitar.
We left the marina about 11:30 and motor sailed to Guana Cay for Nippers’ (a beach bar) Easter celebration. When we got there, the harbor was full and the anchorage just to the north was rough and also fairly full. Nippers’ celebration consists of hiding eggs within the reef off the beach. Egg hunters have to snorkel the reef to find the eggs which can be redeemed for cash or other prizes. It was said to be extremely crowded and nearly over by the time we got there. So, we decided to rejoin Foreclosure and Doc No More for a lovely reach over to Treasure Cay. There we planned to ride out what promises to be a very windy week with yet another strong cold front.
Treasure Cay is a resort development with a large marina, restaurants, shops, etc. and a lovely beach on Abaco Sound. It has bulkheaded canals with room enough for quite a few boats to anchor within this completely protected area. It was late afternoon ‘til we got anchored so we stayed on the boat. Dinner was grilled pork tenderloin with grilled zucchini and applesauce.
Treasure Cay, The Bahamas
Monday – Thursday, April 12 – 15, 2004
Thursday dawned with 15 kn winds, overcast skies and 80° temperatures. We checked in at the Treasure Cay Marina which charges $8/day to anchor and for use of marina facilities, including pool and showers. Sandy took a long walk. Along the way she met Roger & Elaine (Doc No More) and they walked the housing areas. Seeking a “shortcut” back to the marina, they got lost and had to backtrack. The long walk turned into a very long walk and they were tired!
We enjoyed luxurious showers at the marina and had dinner aboard Foreclosure … ¼ lb. nuked kosher hot dogs wrapped in tacos with cheese. Mmmmmm!
The wind picked up early in the evening. There was a forecast for a front to come through tomorrow afternoon followed by strong NW winds.
Rain began early that morning. Bill went ashore to find coffee but the marina restaurant was not open until 7:30. As the rain got harder he beat a path back to the boat. We both spent most of the day reading. Sandy made pancakes for breakfast at about 11:00 … sounds like a Sunday morning!
The rain continued for most of the morning and the winds picked up. Sensing that this was a good day to do some cooking, Sandy made a batch of quinoa salad and a batch of gazpacho. They’re two good dishes that taste better after a day of sitting.
The sun returned early in the afternoon and the wind blew harder. A couple of Moorings’ charter boats came in to anchor and we found ourselves not wanting them to anchor near us. Is that what cruisers thought of us when we chartered? And we felt so confident back then!
Dinner was a ham and veggie stir fry over rice. The rain returned and continued all night.
Stlii raining lightly this morning, Bill headed for the local pastry shop and encountered the local coffee klatch where he met some local home owners. The day continued very windy and cool. Sandy put on her sweatshirt and walked the beautiful Treasure Cay beach. It was very windy and the sweatshirt felt nice. She had some luck this day, finding some baby sand dollars and shells since the tide was very low. That evening Bev (Foreclosure) organized a cruisers social in the pavilion at the pool. Since the restaurant was closed, the marina didn’t mind us bringing our own drinks and food. Again, we met a number of new cruisers.
Another cool, windy, overcast day dawned. Bill made his trek to the bake shop for coffee and found that the coffee klatch had grown to some 15 local home owners. It was interesting to hear some of the local scoop on new housing development going on in the area.
In the afternoon, Bill spent several hours with Foreclosure on computer stuff, mainly helping them organize their digital photography. At low tide, Sandy took her beach walk.
That evening we had Bev & Bob over for drinks. Afterwards we watched for a space shuttle launch scheduled for 9:00. It went off 15 minutes earlier than we expected so we missed all but a faint light very high in the sky.
Treasure Cay to Man-O-War Cay, The Bahamas
Friday, April 16, 2004
Bill and Bob started the day off with a visit to the bakery and the morning coffee klatch. Returning to the boats, we said our good-byes to Foreclosure and Doc No More and headed to Man O War Cay. It was a pleasant day but the winds were light and we had to motorsail (after all that heavey wind). We were fortunate to get a mooring in the north area of the harbor, ending up between Gypsy Common & Attitude. This is a snug little harbor , meaning that it is both secure and very crowded. So crowded, in fact, that we had to tie the dinghy alongside our boat instead of behind our boat to prevent it from bumping into the boat moored behind us. Happily, it was a very short dinghy ride to shore.
Man O War, like Spanish Wells, is one of the few Bahamian Islands that manages to have a robust, self-sufficient economy. Where Spanish Wells has its fishing industry, the traditional industry on Man O War is boat building. Today, they build mostly strong, no-nonsense utility boats and small fishing boats of fiberglass. The workmanship is excellent and the methods modern. Folks seem to have a very good work ethic. Today, they also benefit from tourism with a nice, small marina and quite a few private vacation homes extending north and south of the main settlement.
The island is quite small and the scale of the settlement suits the island’s size. The roads are mostly concrete tracks that are barely wide enough for two golf carts (the dominant form of transportation) to pass. The properties are very neatly kept and no liquor can be bought or served on the island. Softball is a passion on this small island and the ball diamond reflects that with a beautifully fenced, lighted and manicured field that overlooks the ocean.
We walked the town and poked in the shops. There is a canvas shop that sews a wide variety of bags and apparel right on the premises, a couple of very interesting gift shops that have much to offer in addition to the usual tee-shirts and a dive and fishing shop that has everything you need for watersports. There are even a couple of restaurants. but they have irregular hours that seem to reflect the fact that tourism is not the primary interest of this community. No one served breakfast! Although people were very helpful, they were not particularly outgoing, probably because they don’t really depend on tourism too much.
That evening we had a dinner of baked mahi-mahi aboard Gypsy Common (Robert & Caroline) with Terry & Peggy (Attitude). We played a round of farkel and Bill was the farkel King!
Man O War Cay, The Bahamas
Saturday, April 17, 2004
This morning, Sandy walked and beachcombed with Caroline and Peggy while Bill did e-mail and updated the web site, using the facilities at the marina. Later, Bill took his own exploratory walk through the area north of town and a dinghy ride through the south anchorage. We had a relaxing evening aboard. We ate dinner in the cockpit but it was too cool to linger there. We retired to the cabin and read.