Monday, March 13, 2017

Marsh Harbour - 2017

Mar 10 thru Mar 12

--Blogpost written by Bob

I've always liked Marsh Harbour.  I have fond memories of it from 25 years ago and I like the changes that have occurred since then.  The waterfront is more developed now, not so much in more homes, but in more businesses.  Even though the Tiki Hut is now gone, there are other restaurants (and marinas) that have been established.

The colors that form in the sky just prior to sunrise are so magical
to me.  This photograph was taken just before sunrise
in Marsh Harbour on March 10, 2017.

As I sit here in the cockpit and the sun is coming up, smoke from a fire on land drifts across the harbor.   There are two ships at the commercial dock being unloaded.  The small ferry, Donnie XVII, leaves Marsh Harbour loaded with what looked like construction workers destined for a nearby island, maybe Great Guana Cay or Scotland Cay where new homes are being built.  The morning air is cool and the warming sun is causing the heavy dew that formed on the boat overnight to disappear.


Marsh Harbour is the third largest city in the Bahamas, behind Nassau and Freeport.  However, Marsh Harbor (population = 6,283) is only 23% of the size of Freeport (population = 26,910), the next larger city, and there is still only one traffic light in town.  In the 25 years since I've been here, waterfront facilities (marina's, bars, and restaurants) have about doubled but its small town charm has remained.   Like on all the Bahama islands, cars are driven on the left side of the road.  There is a mixture of cars and trucks (most of them smaller than those in the U.S.) some with steering wheels on the right and others on the left hand sides.


After having a nice lunch at Snappa's, we loaded up our dinghy with our snorkel equipment and headed out to (the protected) Mermaid Reef.  I didn't snorkel today and opted instead to stay with the dinghy as the wind picked up.  From what she could later identify on our tropical fish chart, Maggie saw Sargent Majors, Blue Parrotfish, Yellow Jack, Foureye Butterfish, and a Blue Chromis. 


The morning of March 11 was simply beautiful.  The wind was light and out of the south with barely a cloud in the sky.  We finally caught the Cruiser's Net at 8:15 AM on Channel 68, as we sat in the cockpit having coffee.  The Abaco Cruiser's Net started out with a detailed weather forecast for the area--the weather forecast ended with "it will be a chilly 69 degrees tonight but there is no snow in the forecast."  

At about 9:30 a dark cloud blew over the anchorage bringing some stronger wind (that clocked around to the northeast) and a brief rain shower.  At the time I was in the dinghy visiting with s/v Hafli and quickly came back to the boat to close the hatches and let out some more anchor chain.  It rained continuously for about an hour.  The funny thing about the rain is that it wasn't predicted in the weather report of just a little more than an hour earlier.

This is a view of the Marsh Harbour anchorage as viewed
from the second floor bar at Curly Tails.

Our day ended with Saturday Night Steak Out at the Jib Room.   The after dinner dancing music (now mostly Rap) is quite different than 25 years ago when the Electric Slide was very popular.  We drove the dinghy back from the Jib Room in the dark using our dinghy's LED running lights for the first time.  The white transom light was blindingly bright, we turned it off as soon as we got underway.


I spent some time in the morning, Sunday, March 12, adjusting our dinghy's boarding ladder using the dinghy seat to anchor it--it worked great.  Then, by dinghy, we took our trash to the dumpster, got some fresh groceries at Maxwell's Supermarket and a bag of ice cubes at Mangoes Marina.  That was about it for accomplishments for the day.

A rain shower came through the anchorage, starting at 4:30 PM and lasting about two hours.  We've experienced a rain shower almost every day we've been in the Abacos.  What a difference from 25 years ago, when I only experienced two rain showers the entire winter!

We could see the rain shower coming 15 minutes before
it actually arrived at our anchorage.

For dinner we had delicious lobster tails and tasty cucumber salad as the sun was setting.  Could life be any better?

Someone at the Marsh Harbour Marina (where the Jib Room is
located) blows a conch horn at sunset every night.

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