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Bruce & Beverly's Blog

Bahamas to the States!
By Beverly Kness
Posted on 3/20/2018 9:00 PM

We had been at the Marsh Harbour Marina in the Bahamas for 12 days and had planned
to leave after Derek flew home.   However, we had high winds, with small craft warnings,
so we stayed put. The windy days, made us very thankful for all the calm days we had
which allowed us to travel as far south in the Abaco as we had wanted to and allowed
us to make our way back to Marsh Harbour a few days before Derek's scheduled flight.

On Friday, we woke up to 72 degrees and a partly cloudy sky. The boat was silent in
the water. We were used to the sound of the waves lapping against the boat and
the boat rocking while tied in the slip.  What was different was the absence of wind!

The forecast, as predicted, called for a day to travel.  The lack of wind was just what
we needed to make our way through the Whale Cay Passage.  Whale Cay, two nautical miles
south of No Name Cay, is famous for its passage out into the ocean.  It is probably the best-known
ocean pass in the Abaco, simply because everyone has to go that way.  It is often dreaded, and
though it has a fearsome reputation, its safe passage depends on the weather!  The Waterway Guide
states this about the Whale Cay Passage.  "In heavy weather, it would be suicidal to attempt to brave
the conditions known locally as a "rage".   A Rage is the "shelf effect" of heavy weather that can close
down Whale Cay Passage."  After reading that, you can understand our concern about Whale Cay!
High seas generate heavy swells that produce dangerously rough conditions as the water piles up on
the shoals. These "rages", powerful, turbulent and lethal seas are a characteristic of all similar ocean
passes in unfavorable weather.  Under no circumstances would a person go through Whale Cay Passage
in those conditions.  We were happy we got through the passage today! We had rollers about five feet
high at 14 second intervals.  After several days of wind, it takes time for the waves to settle down.


Two miles past Whale Cay Passage we stopped at No Name Cay.  No Name Cay, an uninhabited
island, has become famous for its swimming pigs! The porky residents are friendly and
appreciate food!  Pigs, of all sizes, have the run on this island.  They are tame and like to be fed! 
They will even swim out after the food.  We anchored out and took our dinghy to the island.

Below: Bruce has a few bread crusts in the bag and the pigs are swimming out to get them. 

There were pigs of all sizes!  Some looked well fed but some looked really gant. 

The sign below:
Welcome to Piggyville, home of the friendly swimming pigs of Abaco! 

The beach at Piggyville is beautiful! 

After some time of feeding the pigs, we continued on to Green Turtle Cay.  Green Turtle Cay is one of the
barrier islands off Mainland Great Abaco The Bahamas. It can only be reached via ferry from the mainland
or boat.  There is no airport on the island. The population of the island is about 450 and its main settlement
is New Plymouth which was founded in the 18th century.  The village can be walked in less than 15 minutes
end to end. While cars are allowed on the island, golf carts and bicycles are the usual mode of transportation. 
New Plymouth seemed to be a nice town which in a sense took us back to the 50's. 

Three young girls joined the four of us as we biked around the town. 

Below:  three girls were selling baked goods to earn money for their school.  They were
little salesmen.  We asked what was the best and they said everything was good!

We played Pickle Ball on the courts at the marina!  We found a few muscles
that we hadn't thought about recently!  lol

While we did the crossing to the Bahamas it was like our depth finder went into overload and it blinked
error or showed some ridiculous number.  However as we got closer to land, the bottom started to come
up from thousands of feet to hundreds and our depth finder again began to function.  We knew we were
about to experience something that was truly beautiful and scary at the same time.  The water was so
clear as we approached land we could easily see down 10-20 feet or more.  On a calm day it is difficult to
judge the water depth because the water is so clear. We will always remember the beautiful Bahamian waters!


Below:  we could actually see a star fish along side of our boat.

We saw a few Portuguese Man O'War.  They look like a small balloon just floating on the water.
However they are not to be messed with. Their tentacles, which can extend well over
30 feet, are filled with venom which they use to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. 
For humans, a Man O'War sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly.

Below is a picture of a Man O'War in the water. 


Great Sale Cay is by far the most popular anchorage on the Little Bahama Bank.  The uninhabited island
provides a place to go ashore although there is nothing on the island but brush.  We stopped at this
anchorage early on during our stay in the Bahamas and again just before we crossed back to the US.

Below:  sunrise at the anchorage, just before we pulled anchor and made our way to West End.   


Our time in the Bahamas was good.  We saw a lot of beautiful places and over all, the weather was very
nice!  75-80 degrees most days with nights cooling off to 65 or so.   One thing we really appreciated
was that there were NO bugs!  We could have our doors and windows wide open, NO problem! 

Pump out facilities can be difficult to find in the Bahamas!  It is customary for boats to go out into
the open ocean waters, simply start their macerater pump and pump out their holding tanks! 
Still the waters remain clear!   lol  

While in the Bahamas, we met Canadians Richard and Jeannine, on Almost Perfect. Our fleet of
three, Almost Perfect, Ned Pepper and Seaquest traveled together to West End. The photo
below was taken the evening before we all crossed back to the US!  We checked our weather
apps, the weather window was still there so we made our plan to leave in the morning!  

We had a good crossing!   Our navigation aids showed when we entered the US waters! 
It was a great feeling to be back in the USA!  We made our way to a marina in North Palm
Beach to get checked in and find out what we need to do to clear customs. 

North Palm Beach area is a busy place!   Notice the boat up on a sand bar!   

Below: a cruise ship in port.

We are planning to work our way to South Carolina where we plan to store Seaquest for the summer. 
We will continue to post our experiences as we move north along the Florida coast. 






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