Weather woes in Hope Town Harbour - Elbow Cay, Abaco

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Wed 30 Mar 2016 20:05
In position 26:32.25N, 076:57.55W  Elbow Cay, Abaco
What does one do on a rainy day, surrounded by thunder and lightening, safe in Hope Town Harbour but attempt to catch up with the blog. This will prove to be a frustrating writing experience. Our Acer laptop seems to have contracted a very annoying trait in the keyboard software caused by a probably more serious fault in the operating system which either an IT expert or seriously large heavy hammer will fix. Maybe a bolt of lightening will do the trick instead.
We are now in the Abaco spending the last few weeks, including the ‘Admiral’s’ Birthday, in familiar haunts deciding which eating establishment will be given the awesome responsibility to provide the very best conch fritters on the day. God help us all if they are soggy or don’t contain enough conch! It may have been Marsh Harbour but we escaped yesterday. We took the last mooring ball available in nearby Hope Town on Elbow Cay on which we currently cling to. The thunder clouds loomed ever larger over the Marsh Harbour area which always seems to attract the worst weather. Last night was no exception according to reports on this morning’s radio net. However, the silver lining is that our main water tanks are now being filled by the current deluge which will save the watermaker working too hard in the coming days. It cannot be denied that there is a simple pleasure derived from the sound of water cascading into our keel tanks on days such as this knowing that the evening deck shower can be enjoyed without the worry of running the supplies too low.
Having returned from the UK via Atlanta, which was an experience not to be repeated, we re-stocked in George Town ready to head northwards toward Florida. As the ‘day fridge’ wasn’t working and after a lot of consideration we invested a few hundred dollars on having a local fridge engineer lay his hands on the system to try and fix the problem. Along with electronics and I.T. issues refrigeration is one of the black arts of modern day cruising and can be one of the most frustrating maladies to cure. The best that can be said is that he got the system running again – for one week - before it yet again became incontinent and defrosted itself over the contents and onto the galley floor. We pretty much know what the issue is but resolving it for good is much harder. We now use the larger fridge box on the other side of the boat for keeping foodstuffs in while the day fridge is relegated to keeping the drink cans cool when it deems itself fit to work. For anyone wondering why we don’t simply buy a new fridge from a white goods store back in Florida – well, ‘marine’ fridges are about one quarter the size and cost about five times the price! So we’ll limp along with what we have for the time being and maybe send ‘Skip’ on a refrigeration course.
Heading northwards from George Town along the Exuma chain gave us a chance to trail the fishing lures. We unfortunately lost a small Mahi Mahi from the line but half an hour later were rewarded with our first Wahoo for some time. That lasted us for four meals and was sooooo tasty.
                                                                        6lb Wahoo caught on a red/black squid lure
After a laundry and bad weather delay in Black Point we enjoyed a magical sail on the banks to Hawksbill Cay where we stayed a few days before a short hop to Highbourne Cay.  In fact we weren’t quite at Highbourne but a small cay close by called Oyster Cay which we hadn’t visited before. From there we made some long hops, some thirty five miles across the banks to Spanish Wells and then an uneventful night passage to the Abaco some fifty miles to the north. Since which time the weather has taken a most un-spring like turn for the worse encouraging us to spend a week on a mooring in Man-O-War Cay, during which the forecast proved worse than the weather itself. But this current lot is pretty dreadful to say the least. So we’ll leave the reader (if we have any left!) with the best of our recent pics over the last few weeks since returning from the UK ..........
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UK in February – what did we expect!                                                                                            Sunset over the Solent – our home waters
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Quite a busy airport then!                                                                                                        ‘Skip’s view from the window seat on the Atlanta to George Town flight. Nice engine!
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Very patriotic Bahamas flag painted on waterfront tree at Black Point                              Regatta Point at Black Point
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                                         Hawksbill beach shore party arrives                                                                    Precariously perched for a few moments
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Hawksbill trail towards the ocean side of the cay                                                                                                Hawksbill – where the bank side meets the ocean     
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The Russell family ruins on Hawksbill Cay dating back to the Loyalists fleeing from the Americas       and  some of the more complete ruins on the site
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When you arrive on a pristine beach some people just have to ......                                                                            ....spoil it!
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                         A rare event this season!                                                                                                      Starfish rally beneath the boat. Hope they avoided the anchor when we arrived  
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                     Walking the paths of Man-O-War Cay                                                                        ... contemplating another project ?
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                                                                                                                Man-O-War delights – one of our favourite locations to spend some time......
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                                                                                            But we could do with a little more of this at the moment!