Bahamas 2010 - Abacos

Matt Lowes Cay

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It's the end of June and we're across the sea, when Sarah sent a txt for Barbie, Lauren & Lee.

Kent & Heather are home dreaming of Abaco. A simple message - November sailing - Let's Go!

Abaco in the Bahamas - a destination that's new! The next thing to do is to gather a crew.

Kent, Heather, Sarah, Barbie and Lee plus Lauren, Suzanne, Jeff and Mikey.

The crew is complete- the number is nine. We'll sail on a cat - a bit crowded but fine.

There are travel plans to make and tickets to buy. Kent finds that a charter is the best way to fly.

We'll gather from both coasts - the left and the right - and meet in Marsh Harbor after multiple flights.

Kent & Heather arrive early, there are chores to do with a goal to set sail upon arrival of the crew.

A sail across the turquoise Sea of Abaco to spend the night at a Cay named for Matt Lowe.

We don't know who he is, or was and don't care. The cove is deserted, we're the only ones there.

While we struggle with an anchor that clearly is bad, two more boats arrive to spoil our private pad.

The anchor won't set, it rolls to one side so Kent grabbed his snorkel so he could dive.

To set the anchor by hand- a chore repeated a ton. Later expertly handed by Snorkel Team One.

We raised glasses of champagne to toast w/ a POP. Then ate fish stew & conk salad while sitting up top.

Nine were crowded at the table in the cockpit with two making good use of a cooler to sit.

Many wonderful meals and even more drinks were enjoyed at that table, don't you think?

We woke up that first day to begin the fun and took the dinghy ashore for beach time & sun.

Later when we moved on and hoisted the sail, the wind was quite strong- blowing without fail.

Then a rough dinghy ride 'round the tip of Fowl Cay to snorkel the reef- what fish will we see?

There are parrot fish, trigger fish, Jacks and more, plus many bright corals along the sea floor.

At Great Guana Cay we heeded the call, proof Timing is Everything taking the last mooring ball.

To scout for restaurants the advance team went ashore & there they saw Derek Jeter- that's for sure.

They also saw a woman with a life size male doll and what she was doing caused their jaws to fall.

Three restaurants to choose from and none very far - It's Grabbers for a sunset view and beach bar.

Dinner was good but one question caused a fuss. Who enjoyed their meal more- the mosquitoes or us?

A morning spent at the beach- a very relaxing mood, then in teams set off shopping for ice & for food.

Returning from the trash run, Kent had a story to tell of meeting a fisherman with Wahoo to sell.

Jubilation on deck as the chefs began to scheme about how to prepare this fresh fish like a dream.

Let's pan fry it in butter with red pepper and wine and amaze this crew with how well we can dine.

Clean plates all around- kudos to the chef! The prize for the best quote by far goes to Jeff.

Who exclaimed "This fish is the best ever- but wait- It's only my second favorite thing on the plate!"

After dinner and five more bottles of wine, we wandered on deck to watch stars brightly shine.

Wrapped up in blankets against a wind that's a bit cold, we decided for a slumber party - you're never too old!

We sang "Roll over, Roll over the little one said" and one by one the crew went to bed.

It started with eight and ended with one, and the next night an encore just because it was fun!

Tuesday we took the dinghy 'round Tahiti beach to snorkel a spot that is difficult to reach.

Suki & Mike returned Triple Seven anchored near to gather some snacks, some sodas, some beer.

Happy hour on a beautiful beach- it's just right! Later a challenge to start a grill that won't light.

Morning fun in the Blaster- with Lee in tow then Jeff belted out Buffet- our very own show.

We sailed for a while to find a sheltered spot and moored for the night before starting the shots.

A pasta dinner was great (and really quite hearty), then things got a bit wild with the crazy dance party.

Sarah's bruise was so large that it needed a name and Suki took a student named Lauren to train.

In the morning nine adults cautiously drove in the dinghy to explore a swamp of mangroves.

Wave after wave crashed over the bow as we bailed with growing skill and know how.

On the ride back we surfed each wave with a bump, and a cheer rang out when we spotted the dump.

The sky grew dark. Rain is on the way. But we had to wait to depart from Snake Bay.

Hope Town is a harbor you must enter at high tide but torrential rain made for quite a wet ride.

The candy-striped lighthouse is in a beautiful spot. It was different but nice to be tied to a dock.

We were able to plug in the boat to shore power and the crew was happy with land toilets and shower.

We spent a whole day shopping & exploring the town, comparing conk fritters that we ate by the pound.

The discovery of Vernon's famous key lime pie supported the creation of Rule Number Five.

The actual wording was cause for heated debate. "Embrace Local Knowledge" says it all and is great!

The 5th of November the colonists say should always be remembered as Guy Fox day.

He was a rebel in England who took quite a stand and gathered up gunpowder with a devilish plan.

To blow up Parliament with the light of a match but failed the attempt- it was quite a catch.

Today it is celebrated with a mock burning stake and brilliant fireworks to keep you awake.

The evening called for a dinner at Captain Jack's. Then laughter rang out as we found our way back,

To the boat in the dark without even a light and sadly settled in for our very last night.

Lo, a challenge was made regarding the rum. We had to keep drinking until there was none.

The next morning sadly we woke with a frown, since now it was time to leave for Marsh Harbor town.

For those of us leaving, it was a very sad day, feeling jealous that four others were able to stay.

Not to worry, Dr V's reputation is fine. There's no doubt that everyone had a wonderful time!

The sailing, the laughter, the friendships and sun were all ingredients in a recipe for fun.

I think we'd barely been home for a day when the emails and talk started to say,

"Hey when can we all get together again?" The question it seems is not whether- but when!

Kent, as I've asked before not once but twice, Can we have a "do-over"? That would be nice.

The unexcused absence makes it hard, it's true. But it's clear the easy part would be getting the crew.

Sadly it's time for me to conclude this long tale. It was a pleasure to spend time with you people & sail,

Around the outer islands and sea of Abaco. If you're up for more fun, just call and let's go!!

Barbie Duff
November 22, 2010
Bahamas Sailing October/November 2010

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Text copyright © 2010 Barbie D.