March 30th – April 10th.
We left Great Sale and set off south east past Hawksbill, Fox Town, Moraine, Allans-Pensacola, Spanish, Powell and Manjack cays and arrived at the anchorage off New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay around noon. We plan to go back to visit some of these beautiful islands later in our trip. Along the way we passed dozens of boats of all shapes and sizes.
The bottom at the New Plymouth is grass covered sand. We had some challenges getting our plough anchor to set. It finally held on the third try, though looking at the anchor the next day as we were lifting it, it was sitting on its side rather than the point set in the bottom. Clearly the boat had been held by the weight of the chain only. We launched the dinghy and Sian headed off to town to get some fresh veggies and milk returning after a successful trip.
The next day was flat calm, a perfect day for crossing Whale Cay channel. This cut can be atrocious in a blow from the north through northeast, to the extent that a cruise line, which had built a “private Island” in Baker’s Bay by the cut, had so much trouble getting in and out they abandoned the area.
We crossed the channel with no issues and headed for Treasure Cay. Initially we had planned to either pick up a mooring or anchor in the basin there, but we decided to go into the marina for a few days to help give Paul’s sciatica a chance to clear up as it was still very painful. Those “few days” turned into a very relaxing week at the marina!
Our daily routine (if you could call it that) was breakfast on board, then off to the wonderful award winning beach where Sian walked on the fine coral sand and Paul walked in the water to exercise while reducing the weight on his periformis and sciatic nerve. Back to the boat for lunch and then over to lie by the marina pool for a couple of hours. Back to the boat for nap, finishing with dinner and drinks. If we had to be “stuck” somewhere this was as good a place as anywhere in the Caribbean!
We also scored a bag of lobster tails and grilled them up! There was also a little Saturday market that we walked around, but saw nothing of interest.
After four days we saw some improvement in Paul’s pain but not enough to leaving the marina. So on Thursday Paul walked over to the private Corbett Medical center. He was seen by Doctor Hull and had a quality conversation with him on his condition. Dr. Hull was not supportive of Baralgin and gave Paul two weeks supply of a muscle relaxer and Tramadol pain killer – known as Ultram in the states. Downside was no alcohol, so now Paul has to sit on his boat in the Bahamas for two weeks without a lick of booze!
For the month or two before leaving Jacksonville we had been trying to get Sonas cleaned and waxed, with four different businesses contacted, two coming to estimate the work, but zero follow up. So we decided that we would look to have it done will we were in Abaco if we could. We asked the dockmaster at the marina if he could recommend someone and he introduced us to Ray and his side kick Gary. We negotiated a price and Ray turned up punctually at 7:30 to begin work. They worked diligently for two full days, hand compounding and waxing and then a wash down. Sonas is looking spiffy, though I will probably run a buffer over her when we get home.
On Saturday the 7th, with a marked improvement in Paul’s condition, we finally said goodbye to Treasure Cay Marina and headed off through Whale Cay Channel again to visit some of the islands we had passed earlier. Our first stop was Manjack Cay, where there is a marine park. We spent a couple of days there and walked the mile through the mini-jungle to the beach on the Atlantic side. In the evenings we took Sonas the short run across the Sea of Abaco to the Great Abaco Island side to anchor, as the south winds were blowing straight into Manjack and creating quite a lumpy sea.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we are going to continue to the North West with plans to visit the small anchorage at Crab Cay and then Allans-Pensacola Cay, where I hope the winds are calm enough that I can get some drone footage.