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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.