Monday, April 23, 2012

We made through the whale: Hopetown and Marsh Harbor

If you time it just right, you only know the whale by the way points on your chart plotter. You do pass tiny Whale Cay but it's what you can't see that will destroy you and your boat. Seas were pretty calm as we went through and seas were positively flat as we reached low tide and the channel to Hopetown. That was tricky but we managed to tie up before noon and explore this tiny town for 48 hours.

The best thing about Hopetown was sitting in the shadow of the Elbow Cay Lighthouse. Rick took advantage of a private tour on our second night there. This is one of only three kerosene lamps left in the world. The lighthouse keeper manually lights the kerosene lamp and tends it very two hours, so he took a handful of folks up with him. Rick says it was a lifetime experience.

Hopetown has more character than Green Turtle: lots of gingerbread, sea tales, and beautiful views all around. We stayed at the Hopetown Marina, under construction, and barely functional. They did lend us a run about to cross the harbor to get to town. After a short walk, we settled for local coffee and a loaf of Bahamian bread. It was a good thing we committed to two nights here as were ready to move on.

Marsh Harbor is on everyone's must visit list in the Bahamas, but we can't see why. This is a real town, not a quaint town, with a large grocery store. We too will patronize "Maxwell's" tomorrow before our departure. The best part of the trip here was the $25 steak dinner with music and dancing at the Jib room. There we were surprised to connect with friends aboard Nie Fariente, and we have spent two days together catching up and sharing info. We are docked next to friends aboard Nemo, out of Chicago, but they are on the mainland until after we leave.That is disappointing.

We are staying on the north side of the harbor, opposite town, but in a better protected sight for the blow we are experiencing. When I say we are off the boat, we are sitting in the Jib room here just to avoid the rocking at the dock. Winds have blown steady 25-30 with 40-50 knot gusts for two solid days, but we think they'll settle some tomorrow, and will shift to knock the waves down in the whale for our rerun passage on Wednesday. If weather holds, we will cross to Ft. Pierce on Saturday. We are ready to be on US soil. No expectations so no regrets! When it is time to go, it is time to go. That June 1 date looms on our calendar.