Thursday, January 14, 2010

Across "The Whale"

We wanted to stay in Green Turtle for their modest Junkanoo (sort of a combination of Carnivale and Mardis Gras with an African beat?) on New Year's Day.  We anchored in Black Sound for a few days so that we could walk to New Plymouth for the festivities.

The parade starts with a much bigger than life figure which is articulated and moves to the music of the drums and horns behind it.  Many home-made costumes and dancers follow. The green feathered costume was quite spectacular.  The video below has sound and shows the movement of the costume and some of the other dancers. [Hit the arrow to see and hear it.  Make sure your speakers are on.]
video
That night, we watched the fireworks from our boat back in the harbour.  [A puzzlement for an old English teacher: Since we are in a country which uses British spellings, the accurate spelling is "harbour".  But when it isn't part of a proper noun, how should an American spell it in his narrative?]
We had to wait another couple of days before the waves died down in Whale Passage, a passage from the ocean to the Sea of Abaco past Whale Cay.  It was still a bit "lumpy" when we went by, but we were able to take "Don't Rock Passage" on the inside of the cay where it was fairly quiet.
After Don't Rock we headed toward Marsh Harbour, the largest town in the Abaco islands.  It even has a traffic light!

We anchored near the Marsh Harbour Marina and were treated to a beautiful sunset our first night there.

The weather forecast warned us of yet another cold front approaching with strong winds and rain so we ducked into the marina for a few days.  Dockage was 65-cents a foot per night as opposed to the $2.50 or $3.00 and up they get in much of New England and Florida.  We tried to reserve a slip for just the two nights of the worst weather, but ended up having to sign up for five nights to be guaranteed a spot.  A day later, the marina was full.

We went to the Wednesday "Rib Night" (nothing to write home about, but good) and the Saturday "Steak Night" (still as good as we remembered it from two years ago).
The weather never really turned out to be as bad as forecast, but it was nice being on the dock anyway.  There was a great sunshower with a spectacular rainbow.  Unfortunately, the photographer forgot to bring his polarized filter so it doesn't show up as well as it might.
Josh, the young single-hander who we had been with off and on since West End gave a "seminar" on fish cleaning on the dock.  He had speared the fish under a boat on the dock this time, but had gotten all kinds of fin and shell fish with both hook and line and spear from his dinghy too.
We stayed on the dock one extra day to make it easier for The Admiral to catch her plane to Dallas to help daughter Lyz's family move from their temporary apartment to their brand new house. 

The Skipper is now on a two or three-week "bachelor cruise" and plans to re-explore some of Southern Abaco.  With a little luck, he'll be able to anchor out every night and keep a bit of money in the cruising kitty.

More to follow. . . .

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