Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Abaco

We checked the bar room of the Green Turtle Club and found that the North Cove Yacht Club Burgee (that had been put up by a fellow club member whose family owns property on Green Turtle) is still there with the dollar bill we had signed two years ago.
On Christmas Eve morning, one of the cruisers who had a rather modest sailboat at the dock hosted a breakfast for the entire fleet (about 50 people) at the Club.  We all ordered off the menu. 
Santa Claus found the boat overnight and The Admiral found a very modest present under the little tree.
On Christmas Day, Brendal helped to host a big pot luck dinner behind his dive shop which is next to the Green Turtle Club.  Captain John and Sylvia did all the organizing as they apparently have for many years.  They live on a small sailboat in the harbor for the winter and buzz around in a small Boston Whaler.  Captain John runs a tour boat from Dafuskie Island in South Carolina during their "season."
We took the dinghy over to New Plymouth a couple of times to walk around and do some grocery shopping.  It is the only "town" in Green Turtle and has all kinds of really authentic charm.  We shop at Sid's(now run by his son Scott and his daughter -- Sid's widow often sits on a small couch at the door and greet everyone as they come in and leave), which is the best of the 4 or 5 little grocery stores in town.  (I have no idea how they support all those stores, but they were all there two years ago and probably for many years before.)  The town was founded by Loyalists from New York whose lives were getting rather unpleasant in the years following the Revolutionary War.  There's a great little museum run by a woman who looks old enought to be one of the original settlers and has wonderful stories to tell.

Back at the anchorage in White Sound, we saw some lovely sunsets and sunrises undisturbed by shore lights and air pollution.  It seemed that every other boat was from Nova Scotia and many of them flew their provincial flag with pride along with the Canadian national ensign and the Bahamian courtesy flag.

A young single-hander who we had first seen at West End did very well with his spear and fishing pole!
We took a couple of days to go a few miles north to Manjack (aka: Munjack or Nunjack) Cay, one of our favorite anchorages two years ago.  We started off at the northern anchorage which we hadn't been to before and walked across to the ocean side.

Apparently, some developer put up a pavilion which various people have turned into a kind of "signing tree", putting their names on all kinds of flotsam and jetsam and hanging it up.  They have also made large piles of the tremendous amount of jetsam that has washed up on the beach by way of waves and current -- almost all of which is plastic junk.

We dinghied around the northern point to discover the new house of a guy we had met a couple of years ago.  We had seen his little Compac sailboat in Black Sound and were told that he was "off Island" for a couple of weeks.
Then back to the main anchorage off the house of Bill and Leslie who provide free WiFi to those who anchor off their beach.  They also welcome anyone ashore and ask only that guest either help collect and pile up junk from the shore or even take it back to someplace where it can be dumped.
The Skipper explored the creeks that wind through the mangrove swamps at the end of the cay and saw an example of new mangroves seeding themselves along the way.
On the way back he stopped to see the Wharram-designed catamaran Peace which we had talked to a couple of times down the ICW and was invited aboard for a cup of tea and good conversation with Ann and Neville.  They are tucked away in a corner between Manjack and Crab Cays and stay there for most of the winter.

After a night at Manjack, we headed back to Green Turtle, this time going down to Black Sound to test our new anchor in the bad holding ground.  Our new friends aboard Sheena II (a neat ferro-cement trawler from Canada), Mike and Sue, got a good deal on dockage at Donney's Boat Rental Dock.

Those of us who wake up early enough got the great treat of seeing the almost-full moon setting just a few minutes before sunrise.

Today, New Years Eve, we will walk to the beach and do some shelling before we dinghy over to a BYO cocktail party back at Brendal's in White Sound.  The weather is supposed to be poor for the Junkanoo in New Plymouth tomorrow, but we will be able to get there by either sea or by land from here.


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