Between the Holidays

With the Christmas events behind us and New Year’s just ahead, we decided to get out of the harbor for a couple of days, along with Cutting Class. Man O War is just 6 nautical miles away so it only took us about an hour. We anchored north of Dickies Cay, outside of the harbor. The water is crystal clear and you can swim right off the boat. We made two trips here in 2013-2014 and always enjoyed it. I described a lot of Man O War then, so I’ll skip repeating it. You can visit the old post here.

Kindred Spirit anchored off Man O War. Cutting Class underway in the Sea of Abaco.

Kindred Spirit anchored off Man O War.
Cutting Class underway in the Sea of Abaco.

We wandered about Man O War for just a short time, checking out a few shops, they have some nice ones here.

Man O War homes and buildings.

Man O War homes and buildings along the waterfront.

I couldn’t resist taking photos again the Albury Sail Shop, where they make handcrafted canvas duffle bags, toiletry bags, hats and more. It’s so colorful with all of the fabrics, although the finished items are a bit too expensive for us.

The same folks are still sewing away on the same ancient machines. I asked one of the ladies about the sewing machines. They were bought used and she has been sewing on it for 60 years. The man in the back knows how to repair them. I'll say, if he can keep them running for this long!

The same folks are still sewing away on the same ancient machines. I asked one of the ladies about the sewing machines. They were bought used and she has been sewing on it for 60 years. The mansewing in the back of the upper right photo knows how to repair them. I’ll say, if he can keep them running for this long!

 

A form of yard decorations - plastic floats, somewhat reminiscent of the old Japanese glass fishing floats, but certainly not as pretty.

A form of yard decorations – plastic floats, some are reminiscent of the old Japanese glass fishing floats, but certainly not as pretty.

We ate lunch at Dock & Dine where Al had one of those very big juicy burgers again. The rest of us had grilled mani mani burgers. Notice the piling at the dinghy dock - getting skinny in the middle, isn't it?

We ate lunch at Dock & Dine where Al had one of those very big juicy burgers again. The rest of us had grilled mani mani burgers.
Notice the piling at the dinghy dock – getting skinny in the middle, isn’t it?

Back at the boats again, the guys did some bottom cleaning, one of their favorite tasks in the clear water here. Al and Dan are both working on our bottom and discovered that the shape of a trawler bottom makes the cleaning more challenging. More of the work is over your head than on the sailboat hull which is more vertical.

Back at the boats again, the guys did some bottom cleaning, one of their favorite tasks in the clear water here. Al and Dan are both working on our bottom and discovered that the shape of a trawler bottom makes the cleaning more challenging. More of the work is over your head than on the sailboat hull which is more vertical.

After the bottom cleaning, we went snorkeling off the little micro-cays nearby.

Pirate flag still planted on this one. It must be a new flag, I just can't imagine it would look this good after two years in the winds and waves. I wonder who replaces it when it is too worn?

This pirate flag still waves on this little rocky reef, but it must be a new flag, I just can’t imagine it would still look this good after two years in the winds and waves. I wonder who replaces it when it is too worn?

The snorkeling was nice, a good variety of fish, but I was terribly disappointed at the lack of conch shells. Last time there was a huge underwater “dumping ground” with piles of conch shells discarded by fisherman. We found a lot of nice ones that were still pink inside and reasonably clean. Nothing this time except old crusted over broken ones. 🙁

The different faces of the sky, sunset, sunrise, a little rainbow.

The different faces of the sky, sunset, sunrise, a little rainbow. It was nice to be in a quiet spot for a change.

One of our favorite pleasures while living on the boat is morning coffee out on the aft cockpit, our "front porch." This morning the mugs reminded me of our home waters (Fishers Island Sound) and our waters here.

One of our favorite pleasures while living on the boat is morning coffee out on the aft cockpit, our “front porch.” This morning the mugs reminded me of our home waters (Fishers Island Sound) and our Bahamas waters here.

After a leisurely morning, we moved over to Marsh Harbor, just another short trip. Going to Marsh Harbor is like traveling to the city. It is the largest town in the Abacos, and the third largest in the Bahamas, after Nassau and Freeport. We were close enough that it was worth stopping just to go to Maxwells, the big grocery store. Maxwells is the largest grocery store in the Bahamas. You can find most of what you want or need, for a price.

Look at those aisles and the fruit! Maxwells even had Dove chocolates, but look at that price...... I won't pay the $4.50 back in the states when I can get two for $6 at CVS during a sale.

Look at those aisles and the fruit! Maxwells even had Dove chocolates, but look at that price…… I hate to pay the $4.50 back in the states when I can get two for $6 at CVS during a sale. $10.95 per bag! We better ration our supply.

Stopped at Standard Hardware so that Al could pick up another can of gray paint for the "basement" under the aft cockpit. Couldn't resist snapping a photo of "Bed Bath and Between". It looked closed so I guess it wasn't a big hit.

Stopped at Standard Hardware so that Al could pick up another can of gray paint for the “basement” under the aft cockpit.
Couldn’t resist snapping a photo of “Bed Bath and Between“. It looked closed so I guess it wasn’t a big hit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sights around Marsh Harbor - School is closed for the holidays so these boys were swimming every day off the dinghy dock. This is the one and only traffic light.

The sights around Marsh Harbor –
School is closed for the holidays so these boys were swimming every day off the dinghy dock.
This is the one and only traffic light.

We took a happy hour dinghy ride around the harbor with Marcia and Dan, checking out the marinas and the charter boats. (Should have had my camera……..) The Marsh Harbor Marina/Yacht Club and Jib Room is across the harbor, so we dinghied over to find our friends, Peter and Laurie, on Navigator and say hello. They invited us onboard to join their happy hour whereupon we met some new folks and old friends from our first trip – Mike and Ann on Traveling Soul. Ann and Mike are leaving soon for places farther south, but she had a gift ready to give to me.

Anne, on Traveling Soul, this personalized cross stitch. The signal flags spell "Kindred Spirit. I cannot wait to frame and hang it. I am still speechless - the generosity and thoughtfulness of fellow cruisers is amazing.

Ann, on Traveling Soul, made this personalized cross stitch. The signal flags spell “Kindred Spirit.” I cannot wait to frame and hang it. I am still speechless – the generosity and thoughtfulness of fellow cruisers is amazing. Thank you, Ann!

Time to head back to Hope Town, so we left Marsh Harbor mid-morning. Eager for a swim and some snorkeling, we decided to stop at Matt Lowes Cay just past Marsh Harbor. As we slowly approached where we were planning to anchor, I looked down over the side of the boat from the flybridge, and saw a fin. A fast moving fin. In just a second I knew it wasn’t a dolphin, and I yelled “Oh my God, oh my God!” It was a shark. A hammerhead shark. Al saw it too. I wish I had recovered from my surprise more quickly because I would have gotten some awesome photos. It circled around long enough for me to get these shots. You can sure see a lot from a flybridge (but feel safe!)

The hammerhead shark swimming by our boat. In the bottom photo you can just make out his "hammer head". Supposedly, hammerhead sharks don't attack humans, but we didn't feel like taking that chance.

The hammerhead shark swimming by our boat. In the bottom photo you can just make out his “hammer head”. Supposedly, hammerhead sharks don’t attack humans, but we didn’t feel like taking that chance.

Swimming off the boat right there no longer seemed like such a great option, even after the adrenaline rush dissipated. Instead, we dinghied inside of Matt Lowes Cay to the little protected cove. It is a private island now where they are developing 17 lots, but as long as we stayed below the high tide mark, it’s ok. It was completely isolated on this side, and very pretty.

The little sandy beach and the rockier ledges.

The little sandy beach and the rockier ledges.

Looks like a postcard- picture perfect.

Looks like a postcard- picture perfect.

There were no sharks in this shallow cove so we enjoyed the water after all.

There were no sharks in this shallow cove so we enjoyed the water after all.

Al takes one last look with the look bucket before we pull up the anchor.

Al takes one last look with the look bucket before we pull up the anchor.

This little rocky spit of an island is called Point Set Rock, lying off the northeast point of Matt Lowes Cay. It's the crossroads of the "Hub of Abaco" because all boats must pass in the vicinity of it.

This little rocky spit of an island is called Point Set Rock, lying off the northeast point of Matt Lowes Cay. It’s the crossroads of the “Hub of Abaco” because all boats must pass in the vicinity of it.

Soon we can see the Elbow Cay Lighthouse. Almost "home."

Soon we can see the Elbow Cay Lighthouse. Almost “home.”

 

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