The Abacos-Lynyard Cay

We departed Spanish Wells Thursday morning the 28th following Captain Jock (Bandit) through the reef at Ridley Head. A worthwhile expenditure of $40 for his pilot services in leading us through the narrow cut. We parted company outside the reef and engaged our course for Little Harbor, some 50 nm away. With winds and seas on our starboard quarter, we had a relatively smooth ride, although seas were still sloppy from winds blowing over 25 kts the past several days. The stabilizers were working at full capacity, and much to my disappointment, the cooling pump continued to be a problem. It stopped pumping on several occasions with a slight elevation in hydraulic temperatures, but thankfully, nothing serious enough to merit shut down of the system! Conditions were sloppy enough with the stabilizers functioning! The cut at Little Harbour was very sloppy, but Otto our German pilot, kept a steady hand on the wheel to keep us on track through the slop. Much easier to allow the autopilot to correct the yaw than it is to try to anticipate it and hand steer, faster too. Still, the “Standby” button to disengage the pilot is never far from reach!

We made our way behind Lynyard Cay and stayed two nights as the winds blew. We had a storm Friday night as a front made its way across the banks with some high clocking winds, a torrential downpour and a vivid lightning display. Only about the third instance of rain since we left Miami in February! Nice to have the boat well-rinsed after the sloppy crossing! We visited the delightful beach a number of times, and found some shell treasures and numerous sea biscuits still intact.

We moved the 18 nm north to Hopetown on Saturday morning, and took a mooring in the pleasant harbor there. One of the most picturesque spots in the Abacos, Hopetown typifies the neat-as-a-pin tidy Loyalist settlements that dot the Abacos, with the distinctive English and Scotch brogue. It is amazing how a change in location of only 50 miles brings about such a difference in culture! Some of that is disappearing as the Bahamas joins the rest of the shrinking world, but still noticeable!

We’ll stay here another night, and make our way up the Abaco chain, probably taking a similar path to our travels in 2009, but we hope to explore some new spots we bypassed on the previous trip.

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