Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Little Harbor, the Abacos, Bahamas

Little Harbor from the dinghy dock

It was a lovely sail up to the Abacos with enough wind to sail most of the way and a little help from the motor the last section. We left Royal Harbor at 6 AM, still pretty dark but we'd been in and out several times recently and there are lighted buoys marking the entrance. We wanted to have good light coming in the cut at Little Harbor and enough time to continue north to the next cut if the conditions were poor.
The front of the Studio shop - Pete still casts bronzes and
some days you can watch. Not one our's unfortunately

One Particular Harbor for sure

Looking out over the harbor from the western shore

Scott put out his fishing lines, two which we troll behind, and it didn't take long to get a strike. The biggest Mahi Mahi he caught yet! They are so beautiful in the water while still alive. It is rather sad to see them fade and die - but we were hungry for fish! As you can see from this photo, it's a beauty and provided a lot of meals for us.
We called Peter and Julie to let them know. They quickly put their lines in and not long later were back on the VHF to announce their catch. Without being able to share our fish, we had too much to keep in the frig so they volunteered to freeze some for us.
The cut was not bad going from the ocean into the sound although the breaking waves on the rocks on either side do make you nervous as you're lifted up and forward by the following waves. Once inside we motored up to our anchorage off the north end of Lanyard Cay. There is a very well protected anchorage and moorings in Little Harbor but the maximum draft is 6 ft (and that's at high tide). The Lanyard Cay anchorage is in deep water pretty close to the beach and protected from most directions. It was a quiet lovely night.
Next morning we went into Little Harbor via dinghy to explore. Scott and I have been wanting to come here for years, but never had the right weather. Today it was pretty calm. We walked around the harbor and down a long dirt road along the west side. New homes are being built along the cliff overlooking the harbor. Many vacation rentals are available and of course, the big attraction - Pete's Pub and Gallery.
Randolph Johnston, a major sculptor, brought his family here to live. They settled in a cave until the house was built and then lived here the rest of their lives. Their son Pete carries on the family tradition and casts bronze pieces which are for sale in the gallery (for big prices). The Pub itself is a popular lunch spot and is available for dinner by reservation. It's all outdoors under various roofs with the sand as the floor and lots of fun.

These weren't the last ones either....

We caught the spirit quickly and downed a number of beers and rum punches. Then had great sandwiches for lunch. The ocean beach is just over the sand dune with some good sized waves breaking. Glad we finally made it here!
We stayed one more night at Lanyard Cay and then left the next morning to motor north to Marsh Harbor. We had hoped to stop in Sandy Cay and do some snorkeling. Scott and I had done it last time we came, but it was too rough.
The bar at Pete's Pub
So we continued through this beautiful group of small cays. The Abacos consist of about 150 islands, around 15 are inhabited. The largest island Great Abaco is on the western side and Marsh Harbor is the largest town, the third biggest in the Bahamas, after Nassau and Freeport. There are many places to anchor all along here but we were headed up to Marsh Harbor for protection from the westerly winds expected and to pick up Julie and Peter's friends, Diane and Graham who were flying in there in a few days.

Curly tailed lizard for sure!

This isn't a lighthouse but a private home - very pretty though

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