Birthday celebration in Marsh Harbour

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Wed 8 Apr 2015 18:45
In position 26:26.45N, 076:59.44W Tilloo Cay
Haven’t been online for a few days and was catching up with what’s going on in the world but was sternly reminded by the ‘Admiral’ that it was ‘Blog Time’. Oops! Down to business then.....
We’re still bouncing around the Abaco but due to the new solar panels (will he ever shut up about those things!) we are enjoying more sailing instead of motoring. From Little Harbour we sailed all the way to Marsh Harbour taking the shallow Lubbers Quarters route past Tahiti Beach where a lady recently had a chunk taken out of her by a shark with attitude. Apparently, she was snorkeling watching rays being fed in the shallows which attracted the shark and bang - it went for the largest target (that’s not meant to be a derogatory comment). Luckily there was a doctor close-by to administer first aid and the lady was medivac’d out. She is OK so we hear but neither of us would be in the water anywhere near where there is ‘chumming’ going on and that’s that!
We spent a week in Marsh Harbour, arriving just as a powerful squall hit the area. Torrential rain and near zero visibility when you have just stuck the hook down isn’t ideal but we were fine. One poor Japanese cruiser didn’t fancy the very crowded anchorage and instead motored to the end of every marina dock in the harbour calling them on VHF for dock space. There was not one to be had. Soaked to the skin they eventually anchored with the rest of the fleet and saved themselves some money in the process.
The ‘Admiral’s’ big birthday was almost upon us. We decided to stay in Marsh Harbour as there are numerous restaurants to choose from. To kick things off on the day we visited the local bakery and treated ourselves to a couple of celebratory cakes. We always buy our fresh bread there and it’s a test of resolve to ignore the trays of freshly baked sticky buns and cakes – but not that day.
Our first choice of restaurant, ‘Mangoes’, was regrettably closed down for the foreseeable future which was a shame as we’d dined there only last year and had taken our guests there in the past. On enquiring if it would ever be open again the guy in the marina office asked if we wanted the lease. We don’t think the Abacos are quite ready for ‘Skips’ curries! Eventually we chose ‘The Jib Room’ based in Marsh Harbour marina on the north side of the harbour. It was ‘Ribs Night’ but thankfully they also had fish on the menu. Our friends on ‘Bonnie Lass’ kindly accepted our invitation to share the evening and we all had a fantastic time. The buffet food was good - the ribs in particular looked as though they’d been extracted from a dinosaur. ‘Skip’s chicken looked as though it had come from, well ...a chicken. Entertainment was by way of a fire-licking limbo dancer and, due to the no-show of the local Bahamian ‘Rake and Scrape’ band, the restaurant had some prerecorded music which could be ‘danced’ to. The pics tell the story .....
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Coconut & Pineapple Iced Danish & (very moist) Pineapple Cake – does life get any sweeter?                                                             Let Happy Hour commence....
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Smile! – that’s better!                                                                                                                        an ‘Ussy’
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Well fed happy boaters......                                                                                                                    Those knee joints will be hell in a few years time
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Think that’s the YMCA (oh! dear) being belted out – slightly out of synch there Madam?                                       the two  ‘Admirals’ proving they have just as much staying power as the little ones!
So, that was the ‘60’ milestone dealt with. Time to leave Marsh Harbour and find an anchorage to explore that had nicer views and perhaps one that we’ve not visited before. We found that spot on Man O’War Cay to the north end just where the island is almost dissected into two, with just a narrow causeway keeping things together. And it is narrow, with just enough room for a golf cart to traverse in calm conditions.  On the bank side is a nice little beach with a wooden picnic area next to the causeway with table and seating. We managed to sneak into the shallow anchorage where there is room for just a few boats.
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‘’Nice little anchorage”                                                             The causeway  - watch out for speeding golf carts                                                                                                                            
Then it was into Man o’ War harbour itself to dodge some predicted nasty weather which never quite materialized. However, we spent a very pleasant three days on a secure mooring whilst we dinghied back to that nice beach and walked around the harbour front to keep the legs working. Plus, taking the opportunity to deal with the mountain of dirty laundry accumulated since our visit to Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands a month or so ago!
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Wooden fish gates seem to be a local specialty
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Hope nobody has posted anything in those boxes recently – Bahamas has been independent from the UK since 1973                            A calm day ocean-side
Today we are anchored off Tilloo Cay just above the Bank, another spot that’s escaped our presence in past years. Tilloo Bank is a large area of shallow sand and is abundant with sea rays of all sizes (nearly wrote ‘shapes’ then but rays are generally all the same shape). The weather is fairly settled so we’ll stay in the general area and perhaps return for a spot of lunch or dinner at ‘Cracker P’s’ restaurant on Lubber’s Quarters a few miles back the north later in the week – another recommended place we’ve always missed. It’s all go, this retirement lark!