Monday, March 6, 2017

Green Turtle Cay - 2017

Mar 4 thru Mar 6

--Blogpost written by Bob

This blogpost is a continuation of our experiences on Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos.  A cold front has stalled over us for the present time and we can't safely move on yet.

It was still very windy on Saturday (March 4).  We had to use our self-tailing jib sheet winch to pull our boat against the wind just to get off and on the boat.  We walked into New Plymouth in the morning and had breakfast at Plymouth Rock Liquors and Cafe--it's where the locals go for breakfast.  Have you ever had breakfast in a liquor store?

Did you ever have breakfast in a liquor store?
We did--Plymouth Rock Liquors & Cafe.

Plymouth Rock Liquors & Cafe on Parliament Street
is where many of the locals eat breakfast.

The central sculpture in the Sculpture Garden features
the theme of British Loyalists who settled
here in Green Turtle Cay.

There are at least a dozen bronze sculptures of the original
settlers of Green Turtle Cay in the Sculpture Garden.

Everyone we've met here on Green Turtle Cay has been very friendly.  About half of the island's population is white and the other half is black.  Everyone seems to know each other and they get along quite happily it seems.  There are five churches on this tiny island and religion probably plays a big role in people's lives here--this is an assumption on my part because all the shops and restaurants are closed on Sundays and the churches are so well maintained.

On Saturday afternoon we rented a golf cart and drove around the island.  The roads on the northern end of the island are pretty rugged with potholes almost as big as the tires on the golf cart.  We found several points of beach access on the eastern side of the island and the beaches were absolutely beautiful with large waves breaking over a long distance from the beach because of the high winds.

A photograph just can't portray the beauty of the ocean
beach on the east side of Green Turtle Cay.

The ocean represented almost every color between
blue and green that I could imagine.

We ended the day (again) at Pineapple's Bar & Grill for happy hour.  During happy hour the drinks ($6 for two) are so cheap you "can't afford not to drink" them--that's my story anyway.  At Pineapple's, we met Brendal Stevens, the owner of Brendal's Dive Center at the Green Turtle Club.  We had heard a lot of good things about his snorkeling and diving trips out on the ocean-side reefs.


It's Sunday morning and the sun is shining through an opening in the large moisture-laden clouds that remain overhead.  The cold front is still stalled over us.   It is still very windy--one gust was up to 42 knots according to someone on the VHF radio.  No boats are moving.  We did catch a weather forecast from the Bluff House on channel 68 this morning at 8:15.  It looks like the winds will diminish on Wednesday and Thursday so that we can move on to Marsh Harbor--it's about 27 nautical miles away.

My seventieth birthday is just two days away (March 7) and I have mixed feelings about turning 70.  I know it's just a number but it is a scary number nonetheless.

We took showers this morning and got caught up on our blogposts.  During the afternoon, Maggie prepared a salmon-noodle casserole for dinner.  Over happy hour in the cockpit we talked about one of the cruising lessons we've learned here in Green Turtle Cay:
NEVER take a slip when a mooring is sufficient (we felt that we got stuck in the marina).
(It also stands to reason: NEVER take a mooring when anchoring is sufficient.)

Black Sound Marina

Black Sound Marina has about two dozen slips, most of the slips are occupied by boats that seldom move.  At this time there are only three boats in the marina that are occupied, our boat being one of them.  There are three open slips at this time. 

This is Black Sound Marina, this pic taken from
the house on the property.

The marina has laundry facilities, one restroom, and one shower, all locked by the same key.  The marina has WIFI but it doesn't work on the dock.  Electrical power is available at $15 per day.  Fresh water is available at the dock but it is metered--it costs 25 cents per gallon.

Each slip in this marina has a water meter to measure
the amount of fresh water we use--it costs 25
cents per gallon.  (We are in slip #12.)

The dock master is part-time (and does all the maintenance work) but he is usually available within 15 minutes when needed.  There is a house on the marina property that is rarely rented.  The docks are fixed (as opposed to floating) and it is difficult to get on and off your boat at almost all times except at high tide.

From what I understand the marina is owned by two doctors in Texas who are not really interested in the property as a business.  The location is great and this could be the best marina in Black Sound if the docks were changed to floating docks and the number of slips were increased (and moorings established).  However, the high property cost would probably prohibit running this marina as a profitable business. 


On Monday, March 6, the cold front was still present, though the wind subsided slightly and clocked around to the southeast.  The temperature during the last couple days has been in the 70's.  I never expected that we would be held captive in Green Turtle Cay for a week by high winds.

We walked into New Plymouth to pick up a few groceries at Curry's Grocery and then to 2 Shorty's Take-away for lunch.  As we walked I took some more photographs of this beautiful place.

It is refreshing to see all the colorful homes and no two are even close
to being alike.  There are a couple home sites in the settlement
with just a concrete pad and a cistern, the homes must
have been destroyed by fire or a hurricane.

This is the bay just north of New Plymouth with the
Sea of Abaco in the background.

A dilapidated boat ramp lies along the eastern side of the bay.
I think the small green plants are mangroves just starting
to grow.  At low tide this area is dry.

Later in the afternoon we did some reading and relaxing on the boat.

We expect to be in on Green Turtle Cay another couple days, waiting for the wind to subside.  

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