Picture Caption: northeast beach on Elbow Cay
This is our first trip back to this archipelago since Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Abacos in September 2018. We are heartened to see progress toward rebuilding. Bahamians are strong resilient people who love their beautiful islands. Cruising in COVID times means fewer and/or shorter trips ashore. Wearing masks, frequent hand washing and keeping our distance from our friendly fellow man.
We heard Marsh Harbor is focusing on rebuilding the Commercial district away from the harbor. The Mud, an area with a shanty town that was completely washed away, is fenced off and the marsh is reclaiming the land. Many of the shanty town residents perished in the storm, but the number will never be known.
Perhaps the owners of these boats have not yet returned to the island? Population in this area is still very low.
We started out using T-Mobile and the BTC cell towers. It was very difficult to download email never mind load a webpage with 3G service. On Black Friday, Aliv cell service had a sale; we purchased a chip with a fantastic plan! $90 for 250GB a month; double there normal 125GB. Time to back up the computers and other devices. Service is LTE/4g fast now too.
Amazing to see that rebar reinforced concrete buildings were no match for the power of the ocean during a monster hurricane. After 3 days we were ready to move on and explore other islands in the Abacos.
Green Turtle Cay Club and Marina is completely rebuilt and operational. So beautiful and welcoming. This is a port of entry and we saw a few cruising boats come and go here.
We rented a golf cart to drive (on the left side of the road) to the Settlement to get our 5-day COVID-19 nasal antigen test at the clinic.
Tom called his Dad and we ended up taking him with us on our golf cart tour of the island.
After our tour and second confirmation that we do not have COVID, we celebrated with lunch on the deck at GTC Club restaurant. Lone Star is centered in the below picture, hidden behind the nice new docks.
We were itching for a good sail. The 20 knot north-northwest wind normally means do NOT head through Whale Cay cut. We sailed northeast through the cut at slack current with 4-6 foot seas with no problem. The wind was at our backs the rest of the way to Hope Town. Excellent sail, 27 miles in just over 4 hours.
Hope Town is on the north end of Elbow Cay. We anchored outside the harbor in 5 feet of water. We took a long walk on shore and found this boat tossed high up on a hill by Dorian, a long ways from the water. The leaning mast and rigging hung over the road.
Hope Town is recovering and we saw lots of new roofs and renovated homes. There is a lot more work to do in the village. Again the local population has not yet returned.
Vernon’s grocery was open and we purchased our first Bahamian Mac & Cheese of the season. Dense and baked like lasagne, this one had some hot peppers and was very delicious. We purchased some fresh produce as well.
After 3 days we motor-sailed south to Little Harbor. There is a very secure inner harbor here, but we elected to anchor outside as the wind was light. A client/friend of Tom’s came out for a dinghy drift visit in the evening bearing gifts of wine and hats. That means they stayed in their boat tied behind ours, rather than coming aboard. It’s what we do in COVID times. Bruce & Trish graciously shared information about the Abacos and places to see.
The next day we took the dinghy in and inspected moorings for rent and took a walk around the village. We stopped for a fresh lemonade at Pete’s Pub, very pleasantly surprised they were open on a Sunday morning.
Even though there was a windy day approaching we elected to move into the Bight of Old Robinson rather than Little Harbor. We wanted to leave for Eleuthera at first light and would not have a high enough tide to get over the sand bar at the entrance.
As soon as the cold front passed we joined the North winds to surf and sail southward to Eleuthera in search of warmer weather and turquoise seas. Stay tuned for that story next time.