Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Monday, March 23, 2015

Abaco Arrival

Cruising in a big circle to stage on the east side of Great Harbour Cay, bought us a lovely afternoon on one of the most expansive and beautiful beaches in the Bahamas.  Also, we even managed to wander the shelling beach at low tide and found a few treasures to remind us of our visit.

Leaving before dawn, we spent a long day bouncing around as we crossed the New Providence Channel to Great Abaco Island.  The depth meter tapped out after 2500 feet – Steve refused to reset it again.  The only real excitement was working around a few freighters and being passed by a catamaran who was enjoying the wind. The big water can also come with some serious waves, so, unlike the sailor, we were glad the winds did not freshen over much. 

Fortunately, after rounding the point aptly named “Hole in the Wall” with its picturesque lighthouse, the waters finally calmed down a smidge.  Frank, however, must be readjusting since he slept almost the whole way across not even visiting his food bowl until well over seven hours into our trip. 

We first touched land in the Abacos at the new exclusive community of Schooner Bay with a dramatic manmade harbor. The local marketing crew chief, Tracey, gave us a golf cart tour of the show house and community amenities.  Although it is still in the early stages of development, it is clear this will someday be an impressive and private retreat for a lucky few. Hopefully the marina will remain open to passing boaters such as ourselves, so we can also enjoy this hidden gem.

It is a relief to have the last BIG water behind us as we hope to spend the next month or so wandering among the close and protected islands of the Abaco Sea. Tomorrow the boys are looking forward to fishing our way up to the entrance at Little Harbour – reported by the Schooner Bay folks to be prime fishing territory. ….

Sunday, March 22, 2015

On to the Berries

On to the Berries
The trip across the Grand Bahama Bank to Great Harbor Cay is close to 90 miles which is a super long day for our slow trawler.  Since the weather was calm we opted to stop about half way. This offered the opportunity for the “boys” to fish as we crossed the bank.  The best fishing is on the edges or where the depths change dramatically so we headed from Bimini a little north of the direct route to wander about in the Middle and East Isaacs. We anchored and dropped the dink for a quick exploration trip and seeing little the group voted to go on to the Gingerbread Grounds. 

After that brief anchoring, Steve decided we needed to change anchors for better holding and setting.  This “anchor-ectomy” was performed while we were underway. Just to make clear this procedure requires each anchor to be hung from the pulpit, detached from its current rode, then swapped over without dropping anything essential off the boat.  Thankfully Steve is an expert and managed the transfer flawlessly.  There was nothing to run into so the helm was safe with Julia in charge for the duration.

The weather again blessed us with a calm night, anchored in 20 feet of water in the middle of nowhere.  Literally no land was in sight in any direction although we did see the lights from a 1000 foot cruise ship in the distance. 

The next day was spent catching and releasing barracuda – they continued to bite even when all the bait was consumed. With Julia at the helm, Steve was handling the fishing rods barking orders for turning port or starboard to retrace our steps before the fish could get away. Several did, but more than a half dozen barracudas had to be reeled in and released. The big guy was knackered and frustrated. However, near the end of our run, Steve snagged a King Mackerel which rewarded him for his day of hard work. Earlier our friends on Alizann had caught a Mahi Mahi so our menu planning for the next few nights was set.

Long before we reached our destination, we could see the cruise ships on the horizon.  The behemoths anchor off their private islands just north of Great Harbor Cay, dwarfing the tiny cays they visit.  We finally arrived at the dramatic entrance to Great Harbor Cay Marina at dead low tide but managed to find enough water for a smooth entrance. Safely tied to the docks we enjoyed a relaxing evening.

Our day on Great Harbor included a seven mile bike ride into the town and along the famous beaches as well as a snorkel swim in the gorgeous cove. In between, a little laundry and other chores were accomplished just to keep us grounded. 

Tomorrow we plan to motor over to the east side of the cay and anchor in preparation for a crossing to the Abacos on Monday.  Another swim in the crystal water, a little shelling and perhaps a beer at the beach club might fill out our day.  Suffering in paradise…..