The string of islands in the Northern Bahamas are called Abaco. They run Northwest to Southeast with the Atlantic Ocean to the East and Florida to West on the Little Bahama Bank. Both the Spanish and the French attempted colonies in Abaco but both decided that other areas of the New World were more interesting. The British colonized Eleuthera and New Providence Island (Nassau) but no permanent settlements were attempted in the Abacos. The cays ("keys") and reefs of the Abacos made a natural home to pirates preying on ships bringing treasures from the New World back to the Old. In the 1770s English loyalists fled the patriots who were declaring their independence from England. Some chose to settle in Abaco. Records show that nearly 2000 loyalists arrived on Grand Bahama with their slaves and belongings expecting to farm. They were sorely disappointed to fine such thin soil and most left. Eventually their numbers diminished to about 400 but they left their mark.
|Bahamas or Williamsburg???|
|Approaching New Plymouth|
|Goal in New Plymouth|
New Plymouth Town on Green Turtle Cay was the first we came to, a haven for sport fisherman - population of about 450. There are two mooring fields, White Sound and Black Sound. White Sound has the large sport fishing boats and the Yacht Club, Black Sound is home to New Plymouth Town, and our mooring ball. New Plymouth is the sister city to Key West, settled by descendents of some of the same families. We particularly enjoyed the two bars, Pineapples and Sundowners, loved their happy hours and regulars.
|Just like Walter said, Gumbo Limbo grows next to the Poisonwood Tree|
|Great Rocks on the Atlantic below Nippers|
|Steps at Nippers lead down to this beach and the Atlantic Ocean|
|Man O War harbor's entrance, pretty tight |
|And so are the harbor moorings|
|Not only is the boat a work of art but check out the little ways its on!!|
It still uses a kerosene and a Fresnel Lens to send its light out and warn sailors of the dangerous reefs. We wanted to spend a little more time here but were getting uneasy with the weather reports about the passage south to Eleuthera.
|Lighthouse keeper lighting the Fresnel Lens|
|Queen's Highway, Hopetown|
|That Breadfruit tree|
|Which Bounty voyage?|
So on Friday we headed south to Little Harbor and on Saturday we sailed out into the Atlantic for our 60 mile passage south. Saturday evening we arrived safely in the northern part of the Eleuthera chain. We first dropped anchor in the all weather anchorage on Royal Island and had a lazy swim before watching the sunset.
The Atlantic crossing and its deep blue water. Later the storm
on the horizon passed us by.
Monday we sail over to Spanish Wells and start enjoying the next phase of the trip as we wait for Mary to join us on Wednesday.
By the way we're on skype now - so all you who have computers with cameras can talk AND see. dale.royross
|Always stop for sunset|