Sunday, March 19, 2017

Marsh Harbour - 2017

Mar 17 thru Mar 19

--Blogpost written by Bob

Today is St. Patrick's Day, Friday, March 17 and it is cool with overcast skies here in Marsh Harbour.  After listening to the Cruiser's Net, we took the dinghy into the dinghy dock and walked to the Golden Grouper Restaurant for breakfast--it was only the second time eating breakfast out since coming to the Bahamas.  (The Golden Grouper is one of only a few restaurants that serve breakfast here and it is where the locals go.).  Then we made a quick trip to Maxwell's Supermarket for a couple items and back to the boat.

In this portrait Lizzie looks like we feel--like
we don't have a care in the  world.

At noontime, the clouds thinned out and the sun came out.  An hour afterward, the clouds came back.  We've noticed a lot of sailboats arriving (probably those that were in the Exumas to the south all winter) and a lot of them leaving (probably heading back to the U.S. and Canada).  By the way, it typically takes two (sometime three) months for Canadian sailors to get here.

Curly tail lizards have certainly done a good job of controlling insects
here in Marsh Harbour.  This one is about 4 inches
long and appears to be well fed.

The highlight of our day was the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Maybe 50 cruisers participated--and it was only cruisers.  They walked a whole 2 blocks--from the Conch Inn to Snappa's, with refreshments waiting for them along the way.

The parade leader exhibited some fancy footwork.

As you can see here, all the parade participants were
cruisers and there was no Irish music.  It 

was actually pretty pathetic.

The parade lasted about 15 minutes from
beginning to end (all of about two blocks).

We got to Snappa's before the parade did and we listened to
this saxaphonist--he was very good!  But he left just
before the parade participants showed up.

We had Irish coffee and shepherd's pie at Snappa's before heading back to the boat by dinghy.  It was overcast most of the day today.


Today is Saturday (March 18) but to us it seems just like any other day of the week.  We don't do anything differently on a Saturday than we might do on a Wednesday, as an example.  If it wasn't for writing this blog I probably wouldn't even know what the day of the week it was.  I think writing this blog keeps my mind engaged and keeps me out of the bars and brothels (just kidding).

The weather today was just like almost any other winter day in paradise--sunny with a high near 80 degrees and a low near 60 degrees at night.

For my project today, I decided to survey the boats in the Marsh Harbour anchorage (not including those in the marina slips) and make a list of their home ports.   A boat's home port is somewhat subjective in origin--it may be the city nearest the owner's full-time residence or the city nearest where the boat is/was kept.

Annapolis, MD is our home port because I've lived there for 30 years
while I've owned the boat, the boat was kept there for most of
its life, and I consider Annapolis my home town, even
though we are now Florida residents and we
temporarily keep our boat in Baltimore
during the summer.

Our list of the boats' home ports (in alphabetical order) is as follows:
Annapolis, MD
Bethlehem, PA
Cape May, NJ
Deale, MD (2) 
Duluth, MN
Erie, PA (2) 
Fallston, MD
Georgetown, MD
Grand Lake, CO
Halifax, NS, Canada
Langkawi, Malaysia
Marseille, France
Montreal, QC, Canada (2)
Newburyport, MA
New Westminster, BC, Canada
Old Saybrook, CT
Orange Park, FL
Port St. Lucie, FL
Quebec, QC, Canada
Reno, NV
Saint John, NB, Canada
Solomons, MD
Toronto, ON, Canada
Unknown (10)
Wasilla, AK
Wilmington, DE

This is one of the more unusual home ports currently
here in Marsh Harbour--Wasilla, Alaska

Using our survey data, the breakdown by country of home ports is as follows:
United States - 19  (50%)
Unknown (some with Canadian flags) - 10  (26%)
Canada - 7  (18%)
France - 1  (3%)
Malaysia - 1  (3%)
Total number of boats - 38  (100%)

It is Interesting to note that 6 boats in the anchorage (16% of the total or 32% of the U.S. boats) are from our home state of Maryland.

In the interest of accuracy, this survey took about one hour and boats were arriving and leaving the anchorage during our survey--one or more boats may have been missed/added because of the continuously transient situation (but on the plus side, the survey was done before Happy Hour started).


This morning (Sunday, March 19) started out with a very calm anchorage and virtually no wind--this is very unusual here in the Abacos during the winter.  The temperature dropped down to cool 60 degrees during the night and we had a heavy dew on the boat in the morning.  Later, another cold front came through during the day with higher winds (15 to 20 knots) out of the west--then the wind gradually clocked around to the north and reduced in strength by the evening hours.

Here in Marsh Harbour, most boats are anchored with a single anchor using an all-chain rode (and a rope bridle) while some use two anchors each on a rope rode with a significant amount of chain on the anchor's end.   We have a rope bridle (shown below) and a chain stopper.  If we don't expect high winds (like in a protected area along the ICW) we may simply use the chain stopper because it is simpler.

The bottom here has reasonably good holding and the harbor is fairly well protected from the wind (except from the northeast).  The weather protection is just one of the many attractions of Marsh Harbour.

The sunset was hidden by clouds tonight but there
were still beautiful colors to be seen.

Tomorrow afternoon we will be headed to Man-O-War Cay.  Stay tuned for more of our continuing adventure in the Abacos...

Thanks for following our blog!

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