Sunday, March 26, 2017

Man-O-War Cay - 2017

Mar 24 Thru Mar 26

--Blogpost written by Bob

Last night was rough sleeping because of the boat motion caused by the high wind.  This morning, Friday, March 24, the sky is still partially overcast and the wind is still strong.  The wind makes a howling noise as is passes by the mast and rigging.  The flag halyard makes a whipping sound because there is a little too much slack in it.  This cold front is expected to stay with us through Saturday, keeping us tied to our mooring ball until Sunday morning.

We doubled our lines to the big pink mooring ball last
night--it allowed us to sleep much better.

Our Bahamas courtesy flag is becoming tattered from all the
high winds.  Of course, our flag halyard is a bit
too loose, making a whipping noise.


One of the nagging problems I've recently noticed is the increased rust in areas that never rusted before.  I think it is because of the increased salt content in the sea water.  At first I suspected that the screws (mostly which are now made in China) were not Type 316L stainless steel but there are rust spots in other areas too.

Note the rust in various spots around the stainless steel
wear plate for our anchor chain.  I think it
is because of the increased salt
content of the sea water.


Today was laundry day and while sitting on a bench by the laundry room at Man-O-War Marina, Leonard came up and introduced himself.  He is a very skinny multi-colored tabby.

Leonard was not shy about making himself comfortable
on my lap and on my foul weather jacket.


It's been awhile since I've written about any foodstuffs.  On the way down the ICW, cole slaw was a very common side dish we encountered when we ate out, but made differently in different areas we passed through, particularly in South Carolina.  Maggie recently made her own version of cole slaw which is simply scrumptious.  (Another good thing about this side dish is that the ingredients have a long shelf life on board.)

Maggie's cole slaw contains one quarter head of grated cabbage,
one large grated carrot, one stem of finely chopped celery,
one quarter of finely chopped green pepper, 4 table
-spoons of mayonnaise, 1/2-tablespoon of prepared
mustard, and one teaspoon of rice wine vinegar.


Maggie made homemade wholewheat coconut bread this afternoon onboard.  It smelled terrific as it baked in our oven.

This is Maggie's coconut whole wheat bread--it
tasted as good as it looks!

For dinner tonight, I grilled Grouper that we purchased at the little grocery store on Man-O-War Cay--it was caught locally and flash frozen.  I allowed it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then cut the 1-1/2-pound filet into four pieces and marinated them in fresh-squeezed lemon juice for four hours.  The filet will make two meals for us--so, I cooked only two of the four pieces tonight.

I grilled the grouper filets on a TEFLON grilling sheet which was
placed on top of the grate on our onboard grill--this prevents
the fish from falling apart and into the grill.  I glazed the
filets with one of my favorite cooking sauces:

As you can see in this photograph, the moorings are packed
into this little harbor with just enough room to swing.
There are several different owners for the moorings
--the pink ones are owned by David Albury
whose business name is Hilltop.


I was awoken this morning by light rain drops blowing through the forward hatch and landing on my head.  It was 8:30 AM (Saturday, March 25) and I should have been up and around before then but it was so nice and comfortable in bed.  The sky was partially overcast and the wind had subsided slightly.  I caught the tail end of the Cruiser's Net as I started the coffee water.  Our cats clearly sent me the message (through their meows and lingering around their food dishes) that they were hungry.  I think they love the sound of a can of their food being opened, that sharp "pop" sound of the opening can top.  (My trip to the Bahamas 25 years ago didn't include cats.  I had a springer spaniel, named Rainy, at the time but she stayed home in Annapolis until we returned 5-1/2 months later.)

Our big activity of the day was going to the annual Man-O-War Luau.  Besides a great lunch there were grass skirt contests, limbo contests, and charity auctions.  It seemed like most of the attendees live on Man-O-War Cay but there were a lot of cruisers like us there as well.

About 100 people attended the annual luau at Man-O-War Cay.

Pork shoulders were roasted in a pit
constructed from concrete blocks.

Maggie loves beads and necklaces.  She
couldn't resist a colorful lei at the luau.

I'm quite sure that this was this young girl's first luau.

We met a guy named Floyd on a 1985 C&C 39 (a center cockpit) who took the ferry over from Marsh Harbour for the luau.  He is a participant on Stu's C&C forum.

It's always nice to find our boat on the big pink mooring
buoy where we left it earlier in the day!


Heavy clouds still linger from the passing cold front but the wind has dropped considerably this morning (Sunday, March 26) but is forecasted to pick up to 15 to 20 knots later today and subside to 5 to 10 knots for most of next week.  The sun just peeked through the clouds, resuming its job of warming the air around us.  Like most mornings our VHF radio is tuned to channel 68 for the Cruiser's Net.  

Incidentally, there was no Cruiser's Net here in the Abacos 25 years ago when I last visited by boat but now it seems essential to know what's happening in the immediate vicinity--VHF radio only has a range of 25 miles.  (We couldn't receive the Cruiser's Net when we were recently on Green Turtle Cay.).  The Cruiser's Net is manned by just a few volunteers and broadcast from one of the many boats moored in Hopetown Harbour on Elbow Cay, a nice central location for the Abacos.  There are many different participants on the Cruiser's Net with a weather report, observations of the various cuts into the ocean, as well as commercial and community announcements.  There is an "open mic" section near the end of the broadcast where cruisers can ask questions and get answers. 

This should be our last full day on Man-O-War Cay for a while since we are planning on moving further south sometime tomorrow.  We'll be leaving, not because we are bored but, because we have a lot more destinations to see and only about seven weeks remaining to see them.  (We expect to leave the Bahamas and head back to the U.S. in mid-May.)

We decided to fill our fresh water ($0.275 per gallon) and diesel fuel tanks this morning, move our boat to an anchorage in Fanny Bay along the west side of the north end of this island where would would get enough protection from the northeast wind. 

We anchored in Fanny Bay on the north end of Man-O-War 
Cay.  The little bit of land off our bow provided just
enough protection from the wind.

This was our view looking north from our
anchorage in Fanny Bay.

Since high tide tomorrow is at 11:05 AM and we need high tide to get into Little Harbor (about 22 nautical miles away), we'll leave relatively early (7:30 AM or so) from our anchorage.  Shortly after we anchored in Fanny Bay on the north end of Man-O-War Cay, a beautiful cutter-rigged ketch came sailing by.

The ketch came sailing into the cove where we were
anchored.  This is the same boat we saw in
Marsh Harbour--she is from Malaysia.

This skipper of this boat really knew what he was doing--
you could tell by the way he maneuvered the
big boat under sail in close quarters.

We spent all afternoon and evening in the beautiful anchorage in Fanny Bay.  We spent some time snorkeling and relaxing. 

This was the sunset from our anchorage in Fanny Bay.

Tomorrow we head to Little Harbour, 22 miles south of Man-O-War Cay.  Stay tuned for more of our adventures...

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