Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bahamas, Abacos

Hi from Clare,                                                                                    Friday 8th June 2012,


Well we had some fun this week. We experienced high humidity and torrential rain, we ran from a tornado, endured many lightning storms and held tight as a 50 knot squall came through the anchorage bringing more torrential rain. In between this we managed some snorkelling, shopping and shared time with the cruising community making new friends and rekindling old friendships.

Water Spout

We are currently anchored in Marsh Harbour. It is very shallow and Andrew went snorkelling at hide tide to discover a mud line six inches up the keel. We have now found a hole which is 3 metres deep at low tide. We have two anchors out to keep us centred in the hole as a few metres either way will have us touching the bottom again.


In Marsh Harbour we have befriended a fellow Sydneysider Mark on ‘Sea Life’.

He came across to our boat for a coffee when we first arrived and gave us the benefit of his local knowledge. He has been cruising for three years and having completed his circumnavigation in the Caribbean last year, now plans to travel between the Med and the Caribbean each year. This season like us he is heading for the US. He is single handing and very interesting to talk to as he is sailing a Beneteau the same size as our boat. We had drinks together last night on the jetty at one of the local restaurants. The live band was good and the conversation lively but not as lively as the biting bugs who eventually won out.

We also met up with Mike and Marguerite on ‘Ithaca’ who we have known casually for a number of years. We have spent time with them in various anchorages in the Med and they came across the Atlantic this year. They are heading home to the Chesapeake after 14 years of cruising. We have been over to their boat for drinks and we have reciprocated. Mike has given us photocopies of Chesapeake Bay and marked all the good anchorages for us. Mike and Marguerite live in Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and have invited us to visit them there.

Another rainy day


We have purchased the Cruising Guide for the Abaco which shows snorkelling/diving spots and all relevant depth readings. With our deep keel, we are pretty limited where we can go and with the highly changeable weather we are reluctant to anchor the boat and go diving for an hour. We did do some good snorkelling on Mermaid reef and spent three nights away from the all round protection of Marsh Harbour. We anchored in Sugarloaf Cay away from the prevailing southerly but before morning we were bobbing around in an unpredicted northerly. We motored about a mile over to Man-O-War Cay and intended going ashore there when we saw a small tornado forming and heading our way. We turned around and ran back to where we had come from. Good thing we did as the tornado went close to Man-O-War Cay swirling the sea water up into a cloud of mist. I don’t know the associated wind speed but it was scary enough for our first experience with a tornado.


We have been speaking on our radio net with other yachts heading our way. There is ‘Matador’ who we went to the Barbados Rum factory with in January and ‘Yindee Plus’ who we met in the Cape Verdes. Both these yachts are heading up to the US. They are currently in the Abaco a few islands south of us. Late Wednesday they witnessed a spectacular storm over Marsh Harbour. They said the sky was ink black and the lightning bolts were running off in all directions. Meanwhile in Marsh Harbour Andrew and I had just gone over to ‘Ithaca’ for a chat and beer with Mike and Marguerite. One minute we were relaxing in their cockpit and in the next we were scurrying below as the black clouds rolled in. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos but the storm hit with a 50 knot wind. The lightning was frightening and the thunder deafening. Mike and Andrew donned their wet weather gear and stayed in the cockpit ready for action. Eye Candy was hanging on her second anchor and our 14 millimetre warp was shrunk down to 12 millimetres as it stretched like a rubber band. Our only damage was a lost zipper off the infill between the dodger and bimini as it flapped wildly. Thank goodness we had two anchors deployed keeping us steady in the 3 metre hole, otherwise we would have definitely been driven onto the mud bank.

Earlier this morning the sun came out and one of the cruisers came on the radio and said “What is that glowing orb in the sky” there was no response, I’m sure no one knew the answer.


Who knows, but one day we will be in America.

Love Candy xx