After a crossing (either a good one, bad one or a so-so one), it is time for a little R&R for a few days in Green Turtle Cay. We continued to hope for better weather so that we could explore this charming island. The island is charming, but we sure didn’t get to explore it in better weather. Although it remained mostly gray, overcast, and humid for three days, that didn’t prevent us from enjoying our time here. Cruising isn’t just about the places and pretty beaches, it’s really about the people and friendships forged along the way. Spending time with Sam and Kayda and their friends on Green Turtle was priceless.
Green Turtle Cay is one of the barrier islands off the mainland Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, and is included as part of the “Abaco Out Islands.” It is 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, and was named for the green turtles that were once plentiful in its waters. I guess that means the turtles are no longer “plentiful” here. Green Turtle Cay is also one of the places you can clear customs here in the Abacos, in addition to Marsh Harbour, Spanish Cay,Treasure Cay, West End, or Walker’s Cay. We prefer stopping here in Green Turtle Cay.
Green Turtle Cay – We are moored in White Sound. The “town” of New Plymouth is at the other end of the island so we either dinghied there by water or rode with Sam and Kayda in the golf cart.
On our first trip we had anchored in Black Sound on the southern end of the island. We were rookies and did not realize that it was too shallow at low tide for a departure. 🙁 The silver lining to that was a few more hours of exploring New Plymouth while we waited for the tide to rise. This time, we picked up a mooring in White Sound from Brendal’s Dive Center.
Because of forecasted strong winds, we decided to take a mooring from Brenda’s Dive Shop instead of anchor in White Sound.
Sam & Kayda were temporarily staying in this adorable cottage near Brendal’s while prepping their boat, Solstice, for her launch.
Kindred Spirit sitting pretty in White Sound, Green Turtle Cay. This was the view from the porch of the cottage.
Although there was not much sunshine during the day, the sun did attempt to give us a sunrise in the early morning over White Sound.
Proof that we have been experiencing some rains here in the Bahamas….. Quite a puddle in this road. And yes, that is a road.
It wasn’t all gloom and dismal days – The rainbow follows the rain and reminds us that better weather will come (I keep telling myself that ….. over and over.)
Al found a surprise visitor in our dinghy one morning – a shrimp! He had barely survived the night by laying in a puddle of rain water. Wonder what made him jump high enough to land in our dinghy????
The town dock at New Plymouth is a nice large one with a trash container (this is an important feature for a boater) and has a very nice welcome sign. Please note that AL is wearing his foul weather gear. We both were. And you know why — the threat of showers continued.
I always loved these pastel colored picnic tables outside of a little snack shop on the bay. They have had a new coat of paint since our last visit. Some day we will find the time to grab a bite to eat and actually sit here and enjoy them.
‘Tis the season, just like back home in New England.
The Christmas spirit is alive and thriving in the Abacos. We joined other cruisers, cottage folks, and locals at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church’s Christmas Bazaar that Saturday evening. This was a nice opportunity to support the local community, socialize, and begin the holiday season here in the Bahamas.
St. Peters Anglican Episcopal Church on the bay.
We ate dinner at the bazaar, but didn’t buy any raffle tickets for the gift baskets. The winning tickets would be drawn at 8 pm and there was just no way we could stay out that late; we’re cruisers and that’s past our bedtime!
A taste of local food – curried chicken and sweet & sour chicken.
On our ride in the golf cart to the church bazaar, we passed house after house with Christmas lights bright and shining. As a New Englander, it still seems odd to see this in such a warm climate, with palm trees, coconut trees and sand instead of evergreens and snow. But I have to say that I really appreciate the spirit that radiates from the decked out homes.
Island homes spreading Christmas cheer to all who pass by. Love it!
The town of New Plymouth also gets decked out for the holidays. Lighted arrangement on every pole and a wonderful festive “tunnel” that we passed through on our way into town.
The colorful Green Turtle WELCOME sign also looks Christmasy with the red announcement of the Festival of Lights.
Sunday, December 6th, was a brighter day and we took advantage of it with a walk to the beaches. Hurrah! Stretching our legs, we began with a walk to Coco Bay.
The road to Coco Bay from White Sound impartially cut through a section of limestone rock.
A little farther the path is covered with a canopy of feathery trees.
Coco Bay! We were thrilled to finally be on a Bahamian beach. Look- there is blue sky peeking through above those clouds!!
Al inspects a homemade hammock. Notice how the low lying tree branch is supported by the forked branch in the sand. All of which is partially supporting the hammock.
Some one has collected a lot of buoys that have washed up upon the beach.
Once in a while I get to be in a picture – enjoying my rest upon a natural “bench.”
We came upon a sign that led to a path that said the ocean beach was just 1500 feet “that way.” Hey – why not?? Off we went to see the Atlantic Ocean. Silly us, we were barefoot so our feet took the first step to toughening up. That, plus a mini-swarm of mosquitos made this a quick walk.
And there it was!! The Atlantic Ocean!
We appreciated this notice to everyone that the “beaches are public.” We need to share these beautiful resources, as long as we all treat them with respect.
The greenery up above the high water mark was varied and lush.
The surf was BIG due to many days of strong winds.
Lots of breakers even far out off shore. Not going out there — It is just for viewing today.
All along the beach, caught in the seaweed and ocean debris were these little round balls. Both of us were rather surprised when we touched them and they squished. We think they are seed cases for something or someone….
Our beach combing was fruitful, not in quantity, but in specialness. Al found a sea bean heart. A sea bean is a type of “drift seed,” seeds that drift on the ocean and are carried great distances, even from the African coast. They are buoyant (an internal air pocket) and very hard-shelled so that they can survive the trip. We think this one may be a “sea heart” although its indentation is not very prominent. Sea hearts are the seed of the monkey ladder vine, which grows in wet lowland tropical forests of the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Al had the best day of beach combing – look what he found at the high water mark!! A purple fan and a sea bean!!! Our first one ever. I’ve been told that finding a sea bean is good luck. He’s my hero.
We ended our time in Green Turtle Cay (but we plan to return in a few weeks!) visiting with Sam and Kayda. We will all connect again in Hope Town at some point.