We arrived in Hope Town on Saturday about 1:30 p.m. Yeah!!!
After Motu Iti was launched at the Abaco Yacht Services yard in Green Turtle Cay on Wednesday, we checked all her systems, made various minor repairs, stowed and re-stowed our stuff, and put on sails. Here, the headsail is up, but the mainsail’s on deck – not a sailboat yet:
Soon the boat had sails, the dinghy was lashed to the foredeck, and we were ready to go. Which meant going around Whale Cay – a short passage from the Sea of Abaco, into the Atlantic Ocean around Whale Cay, and back into the Sea of Abaco. When the wind blows long and hard from the ENE, as it had been, this little passage can be uncomfortable or even dangerous. Another boat left the boatyard Thursday, tried it, and came back. We decided to give it another couple of days to settle and aimed for a Saturday morning departure, with winds predicted at 10-12, building to 18-20 by the end of the day.
Saturday brought a beautiful sunrise and the third day of low winds. (Which meant the no-see-ums had been unbearable.)
We left just after low tide – the entrance to Black Sound and AYS runs about 4.9’ at low water and we need 5 feet. No problem.
We motored into the Ocean, right into the wind, so no sail up. We found three foot rollers with about a foot and half chop on top. Uncomfortable, but safe.
We put up the headsail and cut the engine.
So beautiful; so relaxing. We sailed the last few hours, headed towards the Hope Town Lighthouse and making great time.
Soon we were at the harbor entrance.
And in the shadow of the Elbow Cay Lighthouse.
Goldwin hauled up the mooring lines as I brought Motu Iti up to our mooring buoy.
Tiny crabs – the lines had likely been underwater since last May – hopped off the mooring lines and skittered across the foredeck.
We launched the dinghy, lowered and attached its motor, and were ready for the Hope Town Sailing Club’s first Stand-Up of the season. (Called a Stand-Up because you stand and eat appetizers.)
Every year the boat seems smaller and every year there are more boat repairs, expenses and concerns. But looking out at our pretty little boat gently bobbing in Hope Town’s beautiful harbor, re-connecting with good friends, and enjoying great munchies, we were truly happy to be back in our winter home again.