Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marsh Harbour (mostly)

The Admiral returned from Dallas 3 days after our one-month rental of a slip started at the Marsh Harbour Marina.  The slip rental is $.60 per foot per night plus some extras for electricity, water, and cable TV.  Although we don't plan to stay for the entire month, it gives us a good home base to which we can  return when we want to.
For those who are not boaters, slip rentals in the States go as high as $3.50/foot per night and some are even higher.  Having the slip gives us a home base for the month as well as a safe place to keep the boat for the week we will be spending with Judy's sister and bother-in-law at a beach side house.
Sesame in her slip at Marsh Harbour Marina
Steak Night at the Jib Room
Steak Night
Every Saturday is Steak Night at the Jib Room at the head of the dock.  It's one of the most popular events in Marsh Harbour every week.

"Rake and Scrape"
After dinner, there is always a "Rake and Scrape" with dancing.  Rake and scrape is peculiar to the Bahamas and uses a regular saw and screw driver as a rhythm instrument.  Jason, who is also the dockmaster at the Marina, is the resident musician who performs to taped music.  The night ends with a limbo contest but the Admiral and the Captain retired to the boat long before that happened! The video below is a short sample of rake and scrape by Jason.  (Be sure you have your speakers on.)

Happy Hour Pot-Luck
The Jib Room
During the day, the Jib Room serves lunch Wednesday through Saturday and drinks every day.  Thursdays are Happy Hour during which the boaters and other guests being special hors d'oeuvres and drinks are 2 for 1.  The house drink at the Jib Room is a "Bilge Burner".  (Every bar in the Bahamas has its own name for its own mix of rums and fruit juices.)
Mermaid Reef
Mermaid Reef
Mermaid Reef is a National Park off the beach a short walk from the marina.  It is supposed to be a great place to snorkel, but the weather patterns this winter have made it pretty lumpy and/or cloudy most of the time.

Judy's sister Carol, brother-in-law Larry and Larry's mother Ginny rented a house in Leisure Lee, about 9 miles north of Marsh Harbour by water and 15 by land.  All the houses have names which they use as "call signs" (like a boat name is used) to communicate by marine VHF radio.  Their house was "Nutty Mermaid" (no relationship to Mermaid Reef so far as I know).

The Nutty Mermaid at Leisure Lee
Front Lawn at Nutty Mermaid

It is right on the beach on the Sea of Abaco with its own little island right off the beach. It is in a development called Leisure Lee. The Captain finally got to do a little snorkeling although there was not a lot to see.  It was a great place for walking the beach and shelling, however. 

Dwight, Carol, and Dwight's dinner guest
Carol got a boat ride from a friendly neighbor up the beach and they caught a pretty big lobster.

Around the next point was a lovely little beach with what looked like a giant bonsai tree.  In the other direction along the very long beach were a few small birds keeping watch.

We took everyone for a short motorboat ride over to Man-O-War Cay where we toured the two harbors and dropped the anchor for lunch before returning to Marsh Harbour.

Treasure Cay
Treasure Cay
On yet another cold and windy day (yes, it's all relative: it was in the mid-60s and blowing 30 knots with gusts) we went a few miles north to Treasure Cay (which is not a Cay, but part of Abaco Island) in their rental car.
Treasure Cay Beach: One of the World's 10 Best According to National Geographic

We lunched at the beach bar while we watched some kite surfers off the beach.

Infant Coconut Palm
There are coconut palm trees and coconuts all over the place.  I read that they lose a few tourists every year when they are conked on the head by falling coconuts.  We learned how to tell which ones were good but have not yet figured out how to get the tough outer husk off of them without a big machete. Left alone, the coconut begins to sprout and become another palm tree.

Now that the inlaws have headed back to the states, the forecast finally calls for some decent weather.  We'll try to spend some time re-exploring some of the places the Captain explored while the Admiral was in Dallas and anchor off a few beaches we haven't seen before.

Tentatively, we plan to look for a time to go back across The Whale to Northern Abaco in mid-March and revisit places we have seen and places we have passed by very quickly which are worth another look.  Then we'll start looking for a weather window to head back to Florida and start the trek north to Connecticut.

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