Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Perfect Week

The Abacos
March 10 ‒ April 5

Way back on Monday, March 10, we motored up from Royal Island, just north of Eleuthera, to the northern group of Out Islands in The Bahamas called the Abacos. It was a very comfortable open-ocean run, even fun. We had huge gentle swells from the NE that we floated up and down. Unlike anything we’d experienced before, it felt as though we were on a kiddie roller coaster. When another sailboat passed going south, as we both rolled with those swells we lost sight of them except their cabin roof and mast. Because the swells were so large and smooth, it was an easy crossing.

When we came into Marsh Harbour on March 11 to sit out the next frontal system, we reserved space in Mangoes Marina for four days. The next day, we changed it to a month. Over the next couple weeks, one front after the other blew through the area.

Sandwiched between stormy, blustery days, Sean and Maggie’s vacation with us (March 30 to April 5) could not have been timed more perfectly. The weather was fantastic, sunny but not too hot, breezy but not too wild, allowing us to sail, anchor, or moor wherever we liked.

They came in part because of their thirtieth birthdays this spring (can’t believe our baby will be 3-0 this Sunday!), and we were so happy to help them celebrate. We fit as much into a week as we could, stopping at all of our favorite places. In the Abacos, different islands have different histories and personalities, and that’s part of the appeal. We visited cute and quaint tourist villages, remote Bahamian towns, glorious beaches, sand flats, a blue hole, and both fun and fancy restaurants.

We'll let pictures tell the story of most of the places on our itinerary…
Southern Great Abaco Island to Pete’s Pub & Gallery and Cherokee Sound…
At Pete's Pub in Little Harbour,
both Sean and Maggie got the ring on the hook
Cherokee Sound at low tide
Hope Town, Elbow Cay, home of the cutest cottages and the iconic red-and-white-striped lighthouse…
Sailing to Hope Town

Hope Town lighthouse

The view of Hope Town harbour from the lighthouse --
Pelican is in the middle bottom
Winer Malone in his Hope Town workshop
building an Abaco dinghy
Firefly Sunset Grill, Elbow Cay, a lunch stop for burgers (amazingly, it was the best meal of the week even counting all the delicious seafood we ate)…
Firefly restaurant on Elbow Cay
Tahiti Beach, Elbow Cay, where low tide exposes a huge sandbar for wading and shelling…
Sean and Maggie walking on Tahiti Beach
Dinghying around
Man-O-War Cay, a lunch stop at the former wooden boat-building center and all-around charming town…
Harbour at Man-O-War Cay

Walking around Man-O-War Cay

Sean with a model Abaco dinghy and its creator, Andy Albury,
Man-O-War Cay
Great Guana Cay, for dinner at Nipper’s overlooking the Atlantic…
Front row seat at Nippers

Photo taken by Mackenzie, the dockmaster at Orchid Bay Marina,
Great Guana Cay
Baker’s Bay, Great Guana Cay, a day stop for snorkeling…
and Treasure Cay, our base for exploring the northern half of Great Abaco Island, swimming in a blue hole, and walking on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (per National Geographic).
Blue hole near Treasure Cay, Great Abaco
Swinging from a rope into the blue hole
Our voyage this winter has included plenty of highlights—gorgeous beaches, vivid blue-green water, new places to see. But no matter where we’ve gone, there’s nothing better than spending time with family, talking and laughing together, experiencing life together.
Having fun together
Sean and Maggie were excellent company to have aboard, and it was fun to get to know Maggie better. They had a great time and said it was their most relaxing vacation ever. When you’re only thirty, you can do a lot in a week and still have energy left over.

For us, having them here filled our souls with new energy. We thank God for Sean and Maggie and the memories we made together. It was simply the most perfect week of our trip.
The sun looks down on nothing half so good as 
a household laughing together over a meal.
C. S. Lewis


  1. Looks like so much fun! Love the C.S. Lewis quote--just might put that in our dining area. Hope to see you soon...I'll be in MN the end of May/first of June.
    Sue R.

    1. Isn't that a great quote? I'm really looking forward to seeing you on May 31!

  2. I just LOVE reading your blogs! Scott and I just experienced a Caribbean cruise for the first time the end of March -- down to St. Thomas and St. John and St. Maarten, so we got a little tiny taste of the beauty you've been seeing for months! I could not believe how beautiful and aqua colored the water is there! But what is a "blue hole"? Landlocked or part of the ocean? Miss you at MLMs. Sue M

    1. Thanks, Sue! I'm glad you and Scott got to enjoy the brilliant waters too. A blue hole can be in the water or on land. It's a vertical cylinder of water that goes down through the limestone hundreds of feet; it may or may not connect to the ocean. This blue hole was fresh water. The one we visited earlier in the Berry Islands was super salty. I've read that these tunnels were formed by runoff and erosion when the sea levels were much lower. National Geographic did an article on another blue hole farther south on Great Abaco where ancient fossils were perfectly preserved. Blue holes are beautiful and mysterious!