Cruising the East Coast and the Abacos in our Camano Troll
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Bachelor Cruise II: Hopetown
Hopetown is a fairly upscale town on Elbow Cay, a rather long cay just south of Man-O-War. Its Elbow Reef Lighthouse is visible for miles around.
Sesame was fortunate to grab one of the less expensive moorings (there is no room to anchor in the inner harbor) just inside the entrance and under the lighthouse.
I took a hike up the hill and up the stairs to the top of the lighthouse to look down on the harbor and Sesame at the left-most mooring.
She DOES look rather "cute" from such a distance.
The town (as seen from the mooring) is another Loyalist town, but has lots of color and ginger-breading on its wooden cottages.
There was some interesting activity in the harbor for such a staid community.
The houses are dripping with charm. Many of them are rentals or "second homes", a staple of the economy here.
There are at least a couple of cemeteries in town. They have magnificent views of the ocean. The little stone on the right says,
Effie I. Malone
Died March 5th 1888
Aged 1 year and 6 months
The Angel Called Her
This is a another cemetery immediately above the beautiful beach where I spent an afternoon in the water and reading in my own "cabana" (the nearest neighbors were the residents of the cemetery). Strangely, in a country with so much beautiful flora, the cemetery plots are usually decorated with old faded plastic flowers.
The beach stretches for miles along the ocean side of the cay.
Everywhere you look is more empty beach.
Vernon's Grocery is one of the two small groceries in town. Vernon is also a baker, a Justice of the Peace, a "Marriage Officer", the Town Historian, and many other things, I am sure. His last name is Malone, like so many of the natives. He is referred to as "Mr. Vernon", since Mr. Malone would would just be confusing. Like the little girl above, he traces his ancestry to the Malones, American Loyalists who landed here in 1785. The store consists of three short aisles with mostly packaged and hard frozen goods along with some relatively fresh fruit and vegetables depending on when the supply boat last came in. His bakery (kitchen only) is attached at the side of the store with a separate entrance. The little tags on the shelves are witty sayings, many of which I used to have in my own offices.
Although the town has a number of good restaurants, I found a good hot dog with all the trimmings and an excellent inexpensive ($6.50) conchburger at a little roadside stand across the road from Vernon's.
The Wyannie Malone (remember the last name?) Museum has some interesting displays and is housed on one of the old houses.
One night, (yes, that's a full moon over the cross) Shere Khan, a cappella singers from Princeton University, sang at the Methodist Church. It was a lovely concert by some fun and very talented kids. To set the mood, the sun put on a rather nice display as it set over the harbor below us just before we went in to the concert.
Next stop: Little Harbour and Pete's Pub, Art Gallery, and workshop and forge.
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We started this blog in August 2006 when we were getting ready for our first winter heading south in our new powerboat, named "Sesame". The newest entries are first and the oldest are last. General information is in this column.
Most of the photographs are high definition. You can click on any one of them to see the photograph full size. If you want to steal one, click on it. When you get the full-size one, right click and "Save as" whatever you want. I would only ask that you give proper credit if you use them for anything other that your personal delight and delectation.
The Admiral and the Captain
Enjoying a Meal Ashore in Abaco
Powerboating on the East Coast
We are Judy and Allen Ames from Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Our boats have all been called "Sesame" (Ameses spelled inside out?). The dinghy, of course, is named "Open".
After 60+ years of sailing, the last 25 aboard a Nonsuch 26 and a Nonsuch 30, we went to the "dark side" and bought a slightly used 28 foot trawler, called variously, a Camano Troll, a Camano 28, or a Camano 31 (see below). This blog starts with our first motor boat trip down the East Coast from Connecticut to Key West and back during the winter of 2006-2007. (We had done a similar trip on our Nonsuch 30 a couple of years before. That trip is pretty well documented in our WebShots albums -- http://community.webshots.com/user/allen_ames) It then picks up with our third trip which took us across the Gulf Stream to Abaco on New Year's Eve 2007.
Like most blogs, the most recent entry is on top and you have to scroll down to get previous entries. You can also click on a specific date at the bottom of this column.
We welcome comments or questions. Just hit the word "Comments" at the end of any entry or email us at: Sesame130@comcast.net. You can send the blog to anyone else by clicking on the envelope with an arrow at the end of each entry.
Sesame, Camano Troll #130
Doing 13 knots
The Camano Troll is a "semi-displacement" trawler, 28 feet long on deck and 31 feet overall if you measure the swim platform and anchor roller. She has a 200 horse Volvo turbo-diesel which can push her up to about 13 knots when we're in a hurry and don't care that we're getting less than a mile per gallon. Normally, we cruise at 7-8 knots which is far more relaxing and gets us close to four nautical miles per gallon. We love the 360-degree view from the main cabin and inside steering station and it's even nicer on the flybridge in good weather.
We have most of the amenities: Hot and cold running water, refrigeration and freezer, 3 burner propane stove with oven, shower and enclosed head, and plenty of room for two people. We have replaced the large dining table (which made it possible to convert the dinette into a double bunk) with a smaller one, but have a 5' x 7' pop-up tent and blow-up queen size mattress that fits perfectly on the flybridge for occasional guests (our penthouse!). The bridge also has plenty of room for a couple of lounge chairs.
We have three AGM batteries on the "house" side of our 12-volt system. To keep the small chest freezer, refrigerator, and various toys going, we usually run the engine for a couple of hours a day when we are at anchor or moored in order to keep the batteries charged We also have a 110 volt belt-driven generator which runs off the main engine to power the microwave, airconditioner (and reverse-cycle heater), etc. Smaller 110 appliances, a TV, computers, and rechargers run off a small inverter. A 7.5 amp solar panel helps keep the house batteries up in sunny weather giving a little more TV and freezer time before we have to start up the engine. Of course, all of the 110 system works when the boat is plugged into dock power too.
We communicate by Verizon cell phone and get our internet through a Verizon air card or WiFi wherever and whenever service is available. (Verizon is not our favorite vendor, but it has the best coverage all the way down the East Coast.) We have external marine antennas for both the air card and WiFi. Where we don't have cell service (Bahamas, some of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Maine) but can get WiFi, we use Skype.
The boat was built in British Columbia but the factory has recently been sold and they say they will begin building in Washington state. See the links below for more pictures and specs of the boat.
Our title is a leftover from an old English teacher's fondness for alliteration rather than a true description of the contents. Actually, we plan very carefully to avoid having it become a saga, or even an adventure! We refuse to have a real schedule or dated itinerary for fear that we would be tempted to venture out in poor conditions. If we want to meet someone along the way, we give them the choice of when or where, not both. The only exceptions are when we are relatively certain that we can reach a destination easily and safely at least a week before a specific date. Even then, we make it clear that all "plans" are subject to change or cancellation.
Traditionally, there are two kinds of cruisers: those who are happy in slower boats (sailboats and slow trawlers) focus on the voyage, while those with fast boats are all about the destination. We definitely belong to the former group.
Our goal is to do virtually nothing, and do it well!
Or, to invoke the greatest all-time boating cliche, as Kenneth Graham's Rat says in The Wind in the Willows: Believe me, . . . . there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing . . . . about in boats -- or with boats. . . . . In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.