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Last update April 04 2015
It's Sunday, the first of the month and our anchorage is still Miami Beach.
We love Miami South Beach on a Sunday. By noon we get ready to go ashore.
We see a lot of strange birds, drag queens and beautiful expensive cars... The music ranges from trance, through ambient to cuban. In drinks, there is even more variety.
But it is a day of extremes. From poor wretches who score their meals from the trashcans to wealthy people driven around in Bentleys or parading with cosmetically treated women, men with six-packs (original as far as I can see), there is something for everyone this Sunday.
The weather seems good for a crossing to the Bahamas and In the afternoon of March 4th we leave via the Government channel to the Strait of Florida. Just before we leave the Miami waters we set our sails. The mainsail reefed, as we sail into the Straits of Florida. The waves are quite short, the wind is still not out of the right corner (SE) but that would change according to the weather forecast. The full moon is there early. The wind gets harder at dusk, JoHo pounding the waves as we pick up the gulf stream.
Close hauled we make a speed of around eight knots up towards the Bahamas, sowe have some current with us. Late in the evening we hear the distant roaring sound of an engine, but there is nothing to see. Suddenly there is a black shadow beside JoHo. By moonlight we see that it is the US Coast Guard, but after 5 minutes they left witout a word.
The wind is getting worse after we pick up the Gulf Stream. Or is it that JoHo makes over 9 knots towards the Bahamas...
It's still dark as we approach the Bahama Bank, so we set for Memory Rock, West End not an option in the dark. Once at the bank, the waves are immediately a lot friendlier, our speed remains high, over 7 knots.
We sail until late in the afternoon and just off the coast of West End Point of Little Abaco Island, we throw out our anchor. Enjoying the rising moon and the setting sun.
After a good night we decide to sail on the next day. The rest was well deserved after our crossing, but the anchorage poor. Our goal for today, March 6th is the uninhabited Allans-Pensacola Cay.
Once two separate islands, now one island. In only 3.5 hours sailing we anchor again, in a 2 meter grassy bottom and a nice beach. But John says, "First let's have lunch, then explore the island," hungry man...
There ought to be the remains of a US missile tracking station on the island, but we could not find it.
Hope Town, Bahamas
The wind is still good, so we decide to leave the next day. Our cruise brings us to Manjack Cay. This island is inhabited and the residents are former sailors. With the motto: "everyone is welcome", lovely. There are hiking trails on the island that are well maintained and somewhat later in the afternoon we walk through one of these paths to Ocean Beach on the east side of the island.
The island is so beautiful that we decide to stay another day. We start the day with the round island trail. Via Coconut Beach we walk to the bay on the north side and back through the ocean side to JoHo. The landscape varies from jungle forest to mangroves paths and desolate, white "bounty" beaches.
Upon return of our hike we are introduced to some of the residents (and big-island owners) of the island, Leslie and Bill. And also to our neighbors on the anchorage Jason SY Argo and Stephen and Megan SY Judy Ann's Revenge who happen to be ashore.
After a day up and down to Green Turtle Cay (checking in) we are back for a full moon party. The campfire fire burning, Jason on his guitar and violin and Megan and Stephen singing melancholic songs from Mississippi. So beautiful. At about eleven o'clock the moon rises and we go back to our boats. It was a top night.
The following days we spend island hopping. On every island we have something to do and people to meet.
On Great Guana Cay, we go along with Will and his dog Raven SY MeNorah and Lee and daughter Danielle SY Pangea to the most famous concert of the Bahamas. The Barefoot man at Nippers bar. This man and his band come to play here every year for the last twenty years or so. Everyone goes wild, and that on a Friday the 13th in a bar full of Americans...
In Marsh Harbour, we have St Patricks Day with its shortest parade in the world. Everything and everyone is in green. Even the drinks are green, taste sweet and have lots of rum in them... Only we are not in green, we are in orange. Worst thing is that we know immediately what's wrong with that color. But if someone says to John that this is fortunately not Belfast, he notes that orange is still one of the colors of the Irish flag... acting the Dutch fool comes quite natural to him it seems. And the people laugh about it, so that's ok. The parade takes only 5 minutes, but we have hours of fun.
So we are in the Bahamas, but even here we find the Dutch.
On the 22nd we are invited by Bart and Marjolein on Lubbers Cay. This beautiful small island is located opposite Elbow Cay where we are anchored with our JoHo. With our dinghy we motor to the private dock of Bart and Marjolein and we're welcomed by the family in Dilly Bay. Cozy while enjoying a drink and later a homemade pizza, made by daughter Annemiek and her school friend, we chat about anything and everything. Time flies.
The next day, Bart comes to us with his motorboat with 2x250pk engines (wow!) to pick us up for a quick farewell drink ashore. Super, all surrounding sailboats look at us as we're transported there and back. We loved it and are the talk of the anchorage for days after our James Bond-like action with that big fast boat.
And then there's Nicky with her family, friends of Rene and Stacy Sy Pipe Muh Bligh. She comes from the Netherlands, has been living in Canada for years and comes regularly to the Bahamas where her husband has family. Rene has arranged this appointment. The first encounter with Nicky and Larry in the Curly Tail Bar in Marsh Harbour on March 25th was very nice. It clicked immediately and we plan a bbq on board JoHo for the next day. Unfortunately the wind too high next day, but no worry, Nicky comes for a happy hour drink on board and then we just move everything to the rental house on land to bbq there. There we meet daughters Victoria and Selena (Pien). We have a great evening, late at night we leave for our JoHo.
The last days of the month we spend in Treasure Cay with its beautiful stretches of beach and of course Marsh Harbour to stock up.
On March 30th we are invited aboard cat Alleycat, along with Holli and John of cat Shiloh. It seems that we fall from one into another party. We know each other from the Caribbean. The last time we saw each other was 2 years ago. We recall that time and that time goes fast and man we have fun. This is so nice, you meet people, then you will not see each other for a while and if you then meet again you will need more then a few hours to catch up.
We think Marsh Harbour itself is not much, but we did have a lot of fun with the people who were there.
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE, SURINAME or ARUBA have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
JoHo is at anchor in Manjack Cay, Bahamas at 23°49,3' N - 77°22,0' W.
Our floating home and office is always ready for us to work for ourselves as writers and editors compiling cruising guides on our way.
Remember to live life to the max, it can be over before you know it. That's our motto.
John and Jolanda