Wednesday, 24 January 2018

At Last, Bahamas Sunshine ...

New Plymouth Town, Green Turtle Cay
Crystal Blues finally escaped the freezing conditions and weather bombs of the US East Coast, clearing from Palm Beach and heading east across the Gulf Stream to the shallow banks that make up most of the Bahamas Island group. In 8 hours we were across the stream and moved on to the banks, and 8 hours later we were at Great Sale Cay, anchored in 3 meters of water for a peaceful evening.

The Admiral In The Loyalist Sculpture Garden
We cleared customs and immigration at Grand Cay, and sheltered there for a few days, before heading East and South around the top of the Abacos island chain.

Three days ago we anchored at Green Turtle Cay and settled for a while, enjoying the (finally) calm weather and the friendly village atmosphere in New Plymouth town.

This is a community that dates back to the 1780's, when British loyalists departed the United States after the war of independence and resettled here. The English language is different here, and the folks are proud of their heritage.

The waters are clear, and there is a decent tourism industry based around visiting boats and resorts. The famous Green Turtle Club provides marina, restaurant and bar services, competing with the nearby Bluff House to woo visiting boats and crews.

Perfectly positioned on the sea of Abaco, between the outer reef and Great Abaco Island, this is one of a string of barrier islands that really make you think about staying forever.

Of course this is winter, the low season, and the marinas are generally fairly empty, though there are plenty of cruising boats around, principally from the USA with a few from Canada. Winter weather brings a series of northerly and north easterly blows to this region, each of which seems to last four or five days. This morning, with another 35 knot blow on the way, we departed Green Turtle and moved further south to Great Guana Cay, where we will shelter for the next five days.

Yes, You Can Lock The Dinghy To The Canon On The Public Wharf

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