Monday, April 16, 2012

Abacos Bahamas Reflections

A Rainbow we enjoyed in Hopetown
Dreams can come true...
Accomplishing a lifetime planned dream and reflecting at the end of the goal is very rewarding and also sad at the same time. For over 15 years, we have been dreaming of the day we could retire, not go to school anymore, move aboard our 35 foot sailboat and set sail to the Bahamas. Now after just completing 7 weeks in the Abacos, northern Bahamas, we are so happy and excited to DO IT AGAIN!!!!!

When you plan a trip and study the itinerary and places to visit, you get an image in your mind's eye of what it will be like when you arrive. Usually, when you arrive, it is never like envisioned and it is different. That is not to say it is worse, but it is just different than envisioned.

This trip, this adventure, this discovery of the Abacos for our first time.....IT WAS FAR BETTER than envisioned. Yes, this could be one of our first trips, one of our first travels, where the destination far exceeded the dream. There is just something very special about the Bahamas. Their travel tagline is..."It's Better in the Bahamas!"...and we have to agree 100%, yes, it truly is.

Treasure Cay Beach, one of the world's best beaches
The beaches are spectacular, the water is crystal clear, the spring weather is not hot and not cold. There seem to be no bugs, no jellyfish, so no problems...mon. And, the local people are incredibly polite and friendly, making it a joy to be guests in their beautiful country. It is simply paradise, at least it was for us in March and April of 2012. Sure it is windy, but hey, we have a sailboat, we like wind. We traveled nearly 600 miles since we left Miami on Feb 29, 2012 and here in West End, Bahamas, we have burned a total of 22.5 gallons of diesel fuel....that is because we SAILED NEARLY EVERYWHERE....because of the east blowing trade winds. The Island chain runs mainly north and south, so with the east trade winds, it is beam reach north or south. Choose a destination, motor out of the harbor or off anchor, set sail, shut down the engine and sail where you want to go.


350 Watts of Solar Power, we make our electricity from the sun!
With our 350 watts of solar power, we had all the electricity we needed to run lights, freezer, refrigerator, two computers, i-Pad, Kindle and WiFi networks. We hardly ever ran the engine to make electricity, it nearly all came from solar!

As for food, we provisioned all the food, flour, meats, cheeses, and snacks in Miami for two months (thank you Jeff & Sharon) and here we are heading home with a lot of food left over. So, we over provisioned, but that too was a learning experience. Try to imagine buying all the food, paper products, and snacks you need for 2 months. Act as if you will not go to a store for 2 months. It is interesting. We did very well with this and only spent about $195 during the seven weeks on fresh vegetables, milk, fruit and of course ice cream! We have been making our own bread since Thanksgiving, so bread is now very easy to make and we make it all the time now.

Rental home on the harbor in Man-O-War Cay, arrive by kayak


As for PHOTOS....in 7 weeks, we have taken 2,200 photos and 40 short videos and we have tried to share the best of the best each day or with each destination.

We thank everyone for following our first Abaco exploration and we thank you for the comments, emails and private messages as we sailed.






Hayden and Radeen self photo as we realize the accomplishment
of a lifetime dream as we close the Abacos Loop
7 weeks, 600 miles

Tomorrow, we depart West End Bahamas at 0630 hrs, heading west for the Fort Pierce inlet only 85 miles across the Florida Current (i.e. the Gulf Stream) We will then anchor in Ft. Pierce and the next day move up to Vero Beach, FL.

Our Next adventure....rediscover and re-enjoy the springtime trek northward on the ICW, IntraCoastal Waterway returning to Rock Hall, MD for Memorial Day.






Here are a few reflection photos of the DREAM COME TRUE....

A Sea Biscuit Shell from down deep
A treasure to bring home and share

The beautiful blue waters below Tilloo Cay

Love this beach....it is our #1 spot...
Tahiti Beach

50 MPH winds will snap your WiFi antenna
Lucky for us, OII, Out Island Internet sold me a used one to fix it

We had the honor of sharing the lighting of the Hope Town Light House
Sam, the light house keeper is a very special person

Grabbers Beach Bar on Great Guana Cay, dinghy in, drop anchor
Spend the day by the pool and dance away

Pete's Pub, Little Harbor, a treasure we found and left behind
Take only pictures in the Land and Sea Parks

Palm Sunday Services at the Hope Town Methodist Church
overlooking the ocean and beach

Afternoon dinghy races observed from our anchored spot, Hope Town

Nipper's Juice...One, Two, Three...Floor
Stop at two or you could lose your mind!

Sailing the Sea of Abaco, look, another beam reach

Our Island Packet Fleet as we ran into Abaco

The Island Packet Fleet Admirals at Green Turtle in their own ladies lounge

The presentation of our Island Packet Shirt at Spanish Cay Marina
Happy Birthday to Radeen and Alan

Yes, it is WINDY in Abaco...the cold fronts come in every week

Beaches....endless beaches....all for us to explore and enjoy

Great friends and team leader...SP CATSPAW, Carey, Bobbi, Tiller and Heidi

Sunrise over the bow of buddy boat Dragon's Toy, Great Sale Cay

Happy Day, we arrived, raised the Bahamas Flag and planned our explorations

We will never forget this scene as we came up onto soundings, and observed
the blue water on the coastal shelf at West End, Bahamas
Overall...it has exceeded our expectations and we will forever have wonderful memories of our first sail into the waters of the Bahamas. We look forward to many more years of the same, and with deeper south trips next year in the Exumas.

2 comments:

Greg K said...

Congratulations!

A great read. Thanks for sharing and allowing us to ride along. We look forward to more adventure in the future.

Safe trip back to USA.

CapnBlaine said...

So very happy to see this dream come true for you two. Here's wishing you hundreds more.