Located at the southern end of the Sea of Abaco, this long narrow island is often a staging anchorage for boats leaving the Abacos for points south. It offers protection from easterly winds, with good holding in sand. We anchored at the north end with several other boats. [It’s pronounced “Lynn yerd Cay.”]
A lovely couple on one of the other boats invited us over for coffee, fruit and coffeecake in the morning. We’d met them earlier, in Hopetown, as they had owned a Nicholson 31 for many years, cruising it in Maine. Now they have a bigger boat – a Gozzard. She’s a beauty and one that Goldwin and I always like to go on at the Annapolis boat show because the builder is so creative and inventive with materials, lay-outs, and ingenious ways to add more space, comfort and convenience, without making the boat bigger. Find out more about these beautiful boats at: http://www.gozzard.com/
We also went to the beach, hoping to find a way across the island. We pulled the dinghy up and stuck the anchor in the sand near some trees.
We found a path to the oceanside, but no beach – only coral rock.
Apparently further south, on the sound side, is a little beach with a path to the bigger ocean beach. Reports are that it is a lovely “collection” beach, with all sorts of flotsam, both of the garbage and debris sort and also of the shell and sealife sort. But our dinghy motor choose that particular day to act up and we did not want to risk the possibility of trying to row our very unrowable inflatable that far back to the boat against the wind.
We also had more alternator problems, with another bracket bolt giving out. The boat was retrofitted – and not well – with a larger alternator. The “not well” part has been the source of our alternator problems. We tried to use just the solar panels, but they were not working either. [That problem was easily solved – we had not turned the switch on the main electrical control panel to “on” — that totally “fixed” them.]
But despite these difficulties, our trip was nevertheless, very nice. It’s hard to have a bad trip with this scenery.
After two nights on the hook we left to go back north to Hopetown in what turned out to be a moderate breeze on the nose. They say that sailors don’t need a compass, their course is always directly into the wind.
We arrived at low tide, so we anchored outside the harbor and had a beautiful afternoon there, waiting for enough water so we wouldn’t run aground in the entrance. I went swimming; the water is so beautiful.
And we watched the Hopetown cruising boats race around the marks off the Parrot Cays.
One of the racing boats was the famous Bahamian boat “Rage.” She is a traditional-style, wooden, Bahamian sloop, built on Man-o-War Cay over 30 years ago. She is 28 feet long, with a 38 foot boom.
Ten to 20 people are needed to sail her, depending on the wind. To keep a boat this small upright while carrying that much sail, the crew crawls out on “pries,” planks that can be put out on either side of the boat; the crew becomes the ballast that keeps the boat from heeling over too far.
The “pries” are reminiscent of the wooden log canoes sailed on the Chesapeake Bay, in St. Michaels and Oxford. For more information and to learn the history of the Bahamian family island regattas, go to: http://abacorage.wordpress.com