Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Man-O-War to Little Harbour - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

We filled up with diesel fuel and fresh water (including our two spare water jugs) at Man-O-War Marina yesterday, knowing that Little Harbour has no facilities for cruisers.  We spent last night at anchor in Fanny Bay at the north end of Man-O-War Cay.  We left our anchorage at 7:30 AM on Monday, March 27.  The winds were still quite strong and we left so early that we couldn't really read the depths of the water by the color--so, we navigated mostly by instruments.  The route to Little Harbor is a circuitous 22 miles, possibly only 15 miles as the seagull flies.  We had planned our trip around an 11:05 AM high tide at Little Harbor.  As we were leaving the anchorage, we noticed that the water depth was considerably higher than when we anchored last night.  As we got underway, I rechecked my tidal charts and realized that I used the month of May--not the month of March as I should have.  Whoops!

As we got close to the North Bar Channel, we motored through large (10 to 12 foot) ocean swells of beautiful turquoise water.  The sustained 15-knot winds from the northeast over the past several days created the energy to maintain these large swells.  The large swells just lifted Rainy Days up and the gently lowered her into the troughs.

After realizing my "high-tide timing" error, I estimated our arrival time (roughly 11 AM) and determined that it would be mid-tide and dropping when we arrived at Little Harbour.  We considered anchorages along Lanyard Cay to wait out the tide situation but decided, instead, to try make it over the sand bar at the entrance to Little Harbour.  We just made it with about 6 inches to spare!  Once over the sand bar we picked up a mooring buoy in 13 feet of water.

This photo shows us safely moored in Little Harbor.  It is protected
from winds in any direction and is between 10 and 14 feet
deep once passed the sand bar at the entrance.

The mooring markers for Pete's Pub look like an old truck tire
filled with floatation foam and a wooden top
with Pete's Pub carved into it.

Our moored position in Little Harbour is shown in this
image from our chart plotter.

Shortly after we arrived (10:30 AM) we got in the dinghy and headed to the beach off to the right side of Pete's Pub.  We paid our mooring fees ($65 for 3 days).  Since the restaurant was not open yet, we followed a path to the ocean beach.  We walked on the beach for about 45 minutes taking pictures as we proceeded.

The beautiful turquoise waves from the ocean roll in breaking on
the rocks and sandy beach areas between them.

This was a glob of various colored line that was washed up on
the beach on the ocean side of Little Harbor.

After walking on the beach we came back and had lunch at Pete's Pub--it is an open-sided beach bar nestled within a bunch of trees (palm trees, sea grapes, and casuarinas).  The floor was beach sand and the ceiling under the cedar shingle roof was covered with used t-shirts from all over the eastern U.S. and Canada.

This is the bar at Pete's Pub.  The floor is beach sand and the roof
rafters are covered with used t-shirts from all
over the eastern seaboard.

After having lunch at Pete's Pub and touring the gallery, we came back
to the harbor's beach to find our dinghy hard aground at low
tide.  It took some dragging on the sand (and leaving a lot
of our dinghy's red bottom paint behind) and sculling
with the oars to get it back into deep enough
water to run the outboard engine.


The wind (always an important subject here in the Abacos) on Tuesday morning, March 28, was only 7.5 knots out of the east.   The temperature was in the high 60's overnight (we usually sleep under a sheet and a quilt) but the sun usually warms it up (into the low 80's) pretty quickly as the day progresses.  In my opinion, this is perfect winter weather!

As some background information, Little Harbour was founded by Randolph Johnston, (an eccentric and) one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century.   He left his professorship at Smith College with his wife, Margot, and his three sons, Bill, Pete, and Denny on their schooner, Langosta.  They sailed from Northampton, MA to Little Harbour where they lived in caves and thatched huts while they built a bronze foundry to make bronze castings of his sculptures.  The current restaurant/pub on the beach, Pete's Pub, is owned by Randolph's son, Pete, who is also an artist.  The bronze sculptures are still produced on site and are available for sale in the gallery--they typically cost upward of $500 each for the smallest ones.  (The big spenders that we are, we bought two t-shirts for $35 each, only after thinking about it for a day.  But every time I wear my t-shirt that I bought here I will think about this place and it's beauty.)

A small lizard hangs out in the mouth of a bronze
swordfish sculpture outside of the gallery.

This morning, three of the catamarans that were here when we arrived left their moorings for other destinations.  Another one just arrived and picked up the mooring upwind of us.  While most people would think "there is not much to do here" the beauty of the area and the nearby ocean surf is infinitely entertaining (at least for us old farts).  I can see why this beautiful area inspires artists.

The entire mooring field at Little Harbour, looking from Pete's Pub.

There are currently seven sailboats in the harbor on private moorings--they are probably local residents.  Pete's Pub has about a dozen moorings.  There are several dozen homes and cottages surrounding Little Harbour.  I like the little yellow home on the hill just to the north of our mooring.

I like this little yellow house on the hill just to the north of our
mooring--it could catch a breeze from any direction.
The entrance to Little Harbour is on
the left side of this image.

This is a view looking out to the harbor through the palm trees
in front of the gallery.  This could be a postcard.

This is a guy that I believe does the gardening
around Pete's Pub.  He was waiting for his
lunch.  The colorful t-shirts were
hanging from the ceiling
above the bar.

This is just another view of the ocean beach and the beautiful
turquoise waves breaking ahead of the
rocks on the shore.

In the afternoon we took the dinghy and scouted out some local reefs just outside Little Harbour.  We found two reefs that look promising for fishing if/when the wind clocks around to the south.  There were some big swells coming in the ocean inlet this afternoon.

Tonight's sunset was spectacular!


Tomorrow was supposed to be our last full day in Little Harbour but we decided to stay a little longer than we planned.  We have plenty of water, food, spare time, and clean laundry--so, why not?

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