Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Treasure Cay, Abacos...with a little taste of Green Turtle

Friday, February 5 - Monday, February 15, 2010
What a fantastic sail! We left Hope Town this morning for the 17nm trip to Treasure Cay. The weather gurus were trying to scare everyone with forecasts of 25kt winds, but the reality was closer to 9-12kts. A lone voice on the VHF said it all: "If I don't see AT LEAST 15kts, I'm demanding my money back!" We crept along at 3kts for a couple of hours until the wind picked up to 15-20kts; with the wind in our backs, we found ourselves flying along at 6-7kts. Gorgeous!

There's something about coming into an anchorage and spotting familiar faces, or in our case, familiar boat names. We made it to Treasure Cay in a little over 4 hours and were surprised at how empty the anchorage was. With a storm on the way, we expected to see 15-20 boats; imagine our surprise when we only found 8 other boats, 3 of which are permanently moored there. As luck would have it, there was plenty of room for us to anchor right along side Jim & Linda on Winsome and Dennis & Susie on Tate Wata. Within a few minutes of anchoring, Tate Wata invited us to join them and Winsome for happy hour. Rick & Linda on Sojourner showed up an hour later, and we knew we were in for a great stay.

After an overnight storm that brought squalls and caused the wind to howl through the rigging, it finally calmed down enough Saturday afternoon for us to take the ferry to Green Turtle. We were scheduled to attend the 7th Annual Island Roots Heritage Festival Wine Tasting, a fund-raiser for the May event that celebrates Green Turtle's Loyalist heritage and African roots. We spent the afternoon with friends, Nicki & Babette, and finally got to meet Ba's boyfriend. That night we all went to the wine tasting, where we enjoyed great food and generous pours. They had a good turnout and the Prime Minister of the Bahamas even showed up, taking pictures with the guests. (We'll post pics once we get copies from Nicki.) We spent the night at the girls' cottage, and Sunday morning arrived way too soon for all of us. We grabbed some much-needed cheeseburgers at the Green Turtle Club, and then headed home in time for a nap and the big Super Bowl party at the Tipsy Turtle in Treasure Cay.

We ended up staying in Treasure Cay for a week, thanks to two strong cold fronts that passed through the area on Tuesday and the following Friday. Each one brought 30-40kt winds to the anchorage, and we were thankful to be in a protected harbor. After being one of only 5 boats in the anchorage, we were joined by 10-15 boats ahead of first front. We knew most of our new neighbors, who included John & Ginger on Be Leaving, Jan & Cam on Te Amor, Jerry on Free Spirit, Rob & Bev on R&B Haven, and Bill & Tike on Skylark. Unfortunately the blow also brought in a few charter boats that apparently had little sailing experience. One Sunsail boat came too close to us and motored over our anchor chain; we felt a huge jolt in the boat and ran topside to find our anchor snubber broken ($55 at West Marine, thank you). The next day, another Sunsail boat nearly ran into the stern of our neighbor boat while pulling up anchor; there could've been some major damage if the skipper hadn't run forward and jumped over the bow sprit in time to push off of our neighbor's stern. In all fairness, Rene and I have chartered boats before, and accidents can happen. Still, were we ever THIS bad as charters?? It makes you want to run for another anchorage when you see a bunch of Sunsails and Moorings boats coming into the harbor!

Wednesday night a budding entrepreneur tried his hand at "Movie Night in Treasure Cay", setting up a trailer and projector in the parking lot across from the marina. For $5 a head, we got to see the movie "Avatar", without the 3-D glasses. (Interesting concept, but best picture nominee? Really??) Wouldn't you know it, the cold front brought 60-degree temperatures and not-so-gentle breezes; we really can't complain when you consider the snow blanketing much of the US, but it's still damn cold when you're sitting in the wind chill for 3 hours! We all sat bundled up in the parking lot with three layers of clothing and fuzzy blankets, and ran like crazy back to the boat as soon as the credits started rolling.

Friday morning we headed to Treasure Cay's gorgeous crescent beach with John and Ginger, hoping to catch some of the nice weather ahead of the next front. Their friend, Ron, flew in that day from his home in St. Augustine. He owns a lot with a 3-slip pier near the anchorage, and keeps his sailboat and motor boat here. Ron had some errands to run in Marsh Harbor and invited us to tag along; what a day! We were introduced to our first "Wally's", the punch from the restaurant of the same name; next was a stop at the stall of George the conch man, famous for his fresh conch salad; Ron then took us all to a little roadside bar between Marsh and Treasure, followed by dinner at Touch of Class. We ended the night at the marina bar, until the horizontal rain reminded us that we'd left the windows open on the boat. We jumped in the dinghy as fast as we could, but some major cleanup was necessary on board. Oh, well...we had a terrific day! The next morning we learned that John and Ginger's anchor had dragged overnight, causing them to take 2-hour watches for the rest of the storm. We made it through without any problems, but everyone in the anchorage was wiped out from a lack of sleep. John and Ginger invited us to dinner Saturday night, and we joined them on Ron's fast boat for a run to Nipper's pig roast on Sunday. Nipper's is always a fun time, and the good weather brought a bunch of our cruiser friends to the party. There's already talk of the upcoming "Barefoot Man" concert at Nipper's on March 5th; this will definitely be the place to be!

Monday morning it's finally time to leave Treasure Cay. We've had a fantastic visit with John and Ginger, and enjoyed meeting Ron. As much as we hate to leave, we want to scout out some other spots in the Abacos so we can be better tour guides when Stacy's mom visits us in March. We've heard good things about Lubbers Quarters and Little Harbor, so we're off to Marsh Harbor this morning for a stopover before heading south.

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