The last of friends and family departed Tue Dec 29, and we are once again on our way.
We did a short jog back up to Man-O-War Cay Tuesday, to acquire some local art – wooden half-hull sailboat models created by local artists Andy and Joe Albury (relationship unclear). Man-O-War and the Albury family (multiple branches, apparently) have a legacy of shipbuilding and woodworking skills. Joe, whose work is on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum, still builds Abaco dinghies (10-12 feet in length). Andy builds furniture and boat models.
Saturday we headed down to Little Harbour, Great Abaco Island, following a frontal passage. It was blowing 20-25 kts out of the north and we skipped along with just a small jib out. Little Harbour is a tight all-weather anchorage with a shoal entrance (3 feet at MLW) – and we were arriving with the high tide, which made entering the harbour easy. Little Harbour is home to the Johnston family, a clan of artists who arrived from the US in the 1950s. Last time we were here, 5 years ago, the place was pretty deserted. It was off-season and Pete Johnston (second generation) was off in Wyoming (or some such locale) hunting elk. It was not a whole lot livelier this time. The small gallery and pub were open and we purchased a couple small bronze castings of sealife. We also explored the adjacent Bight of Old Robinson – which reportedly contains some blue/bubbling-holes. These are deep holes in the ground which connect through subterranean caverns to the open Atlantic waters. “Bubbling” holes are a variety found in shallow water, which “flow” continuously and produce current patterns on the surface when the tide is rising or ebbing. We found two – one of which had an ominous bronze plaque nearby memorializing 3 divers who drowned exploring it. On our way out, this one had started to form a whirlpool – I’d hate to see this thing at max ebb.
Yesterday (Sunday) we headed out Little Harbour Bar and out of the protected Sea of Abaco for the short jog down the open Atlantic coast to Cherokee – a small settlement of 100 families. This was once a proud and active shipbuilding and fishing community. The shipbuilding is no more. With the advent of the bonafide road system, many of the townsfolk now work in Marsh Harbour or elsewhere in Great Abaco. The only obvious fishing going on is bonefishing on the flats – by gung-ho tourists going out in the cold 20+ kt breeze (ok – its 68 – we think that’s cold). The anchorage here at Cherokee Point is pretty exposed and we are going to be waiting out a blow here tomorrow before we press on to Eleuthera Wednesday, which will be a day-long sail (45+ miles). Hoping for some fish on that run – the only catch down from Little Harbour was a jack – which we threw back.
At 1/4/2010 12:15 AM (utc) our position was 26°16.20’N 077°03.10’W
Position reports: http://www.winlink.org/dotnet/maps/PositionReportsDetail.aspx?callsign=AA1RU