Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lynyard Cay/Sandy Cay/Little Harbour

We left Hope Town yesterday just before high tide and zigzagged our way around the shoals down the Sea of Abaco. We anchored off of Lynyard Cay. It is the first time we have anchored in over two months. We were so busy getting ready for the trip that we didn’t sail much in the weeks before we left home. After we left on October 31 we have either been under way, tied up at a marina or on a mooring ball. It is nice to be anchored again.  Lynyard Cay is a lovely spot.  Just as we anchored a large turtle seemed to be very curious about us. It was treading water about 50’ away and kept popping it’s head out of the water.  It is lovely but the anchorage is also a bit challenging. There is quite a bit of grass on the bottom and it is tough to get an anchor to hold in grass. We tried to find the sandiest area to drop the anchor. We thought we had a good one. George snorkeled our to check on the anchor and thought it looked good. However, after he came back he hit his foot on a rock and found that he could actually stand up behind the boat!  Not good. He is 6’1” and our keel and rudder are 5’8” below the surface.  The bottom appears to be very uneven and the wind had shifted to push us closer to land.  Just before sunset we reanchored in deeper water.
This morning we dinghied a few miles north to Sandy Cay to go snorkeling. It is a place we tried to visit last year when we first arrived here with our friend, Ray. We couldn’t get to the reefs because the dinghy motor wasn’t  working. We were happy we could give it another try this year. It really was a nice spot to snorkel. Large, tall reefs with a wide variety of coral (although somewhat bleached, like most coral in the Bahamas these days) and quite a few pretty fish. Before we set out to snorkel we tried out our new system for getting back in the dinghy. Since we have a new type of dinghy our old system wouldn’t work very well. Figuring out something new was on our long “to do” list before we left home.  We got as far as developing a plan but hadn’t yet tried it out - mostly because I didn’t relish the idea of going swimming in the Choptank in October. Anyway, the plan was to buy a Fender Step, tie a loop onto the bottom (there is a place for that on the step), attach the Fender Step to a dinghy seat and let it hang over the side. The lower loop would be used as the first step and the Fender Step would be the next.  I tried it out before we left in the dinghy, with George balancing the other side of the dinghy. I was able to hoist myself in. Hooray!
We wore our short wetsuits for snorkeling and we were very happy to have them. Last year we would have to quit after 15 or 20 minutes because we were cold. This year we should be able to snorkel as long as we want. After we went snorkeling I had much more trouble getting back in the dinghy. I don’t know if I was just tired or some of the lines on the step had shifted making it harder to get up. In any case, George lent me a hand and I was able to eventually get in. We think the system will work well with some more tweaking.  
After returning from snorkeling, rinsing off and putting on dry clothes we got back in the dinghy and headed south to see a blue hole in a mangrove creek. Shirley from St. Michaels (they keep their boat at Yacht Maintenance & we met them for the first time in Hope Town) had mentioned that it was worth seeing. The creek is really shallow and George had read that you should go in and exit just before high tide so you don’t get trapped. We found the blue hole (a sinkhole in the water - dark blue area in the photo) and saw several turtles on our way out. We are always amazed by how fast they swim. After seeing the blue hole we dinghied over to Little Harbour for lunch at Pete’s Pub. Little Harbour is indeed a little harbor. There is a spot in the channel with just 4 feet of water so we would have to enter and leave at high tide with Breeze On. There isn’t much in Little Harbour other than Pete’s Pub and Gallery and a few houses. The gallery is quite nice. It contains numerous large and small sculptures made by the Johnston family, a local family of artists. Lunch at Pete’s Pub was delicious. It was worth the wild 40 minute ride through quite a bit of chop back to Breeze On. 

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