Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hope Town - 2017

Apr 11 thru Apr 13

--Blogpost written by Bob

Two separate times we had a downpour last night but we woke up to, yet again, an absolutely beautiful sunny day (Tuesday, April 11) with a cool 10 to 15-knot breeze out of the east.  We have just a little over a month remaining of our time in the Abacos.  We'll be leaving Hope Town on Wednesday, April 19, (weather permitting) and going back to Marsh Harbor for a couple days.  Then we will be going to Great Guana Cay for about a week and then back to Marsh Harbor for our final visit of the season.  After our final visit to Marsh Harbor for provisioning, we will go through Whale Cay Passage again and onto No Name Cay to see the swimming (or rather, begging) pigs and then onto Green Turtle Cay again.  We have a few interesting places to visit northwest of Green Turtle Cay on our was back to the U.S., namely Allan's-Pensacola Cay and Double Breasted Cay.

I think this image captured from the lighthouse captures the essence
of Hope Town.  The population of the village of
Hope Town was 458 in 2010.
Last night we ate some of the snow crab legs we bought at the local farmer's market here in Hope Town.  They were delicious but our technique was not exactly proper--we used the largest vice-grip pliers I have in my tool box to break the shells.  I can't remember a time when I used vice-grips pliers as eating utensils--maybe I should buy a pair in stainless steel (or even silver) for such occasions.  Tonight, Maggie made crab cakes using the leftover crab meat from last night's dinner.

Unique to some of the Bahamian islands, waterfront businesses install ladders on their docks (usually constructed from 2x6's) for their customers who come by dinghies or other small boats.

Waterfront businesses install ladders on their docks (usually
constructed from 2x6's) for their customers who
come by dinghies and other small boats.


We woke to overcast skies and a very light rain this morning, Wednesday, April 12.  By 8:45 AM the sun was poking out through the clouds already.  

For those interested in the performance of our boat systems, our solar panels have done a great job of keeping the boat's batteries topped up.  The cool evenings have helped too since our power demand for our refrigeration drops during the night.  I only occasionally run the engine for supplemental power generation.  We have 300 watts of (Solbian-brand) flexible solar panels and about 400 amp-hours of (Firefly Oasis-brand) batteries.  Our (SeaFrost-brand) refrigeration draws about 5 amps when the compressor is called upon for duty.  I don't know what the duty cycle has been here in the Bahamas.  The supplemental water cooling seems to be helping as well--I can tell this because the raw water strainer was partially blocked with a gritty debris while we were in Little Harbour last week and the fridge's performance dropped off.  We are able to cool our rather large ice box and make ice cubes occasionally.  However, we also buy a bag of ice cubes ($4 for 10 pounds--this is at least twice as costly as in the U.S.) every third day or so for drinks.  (We are going to try the eutectic-filled stainless steel ice cubes once we get stateside and can procure them.)

We carry two 5-gallon fresh water jugs that we can empty 
into our onboard water tanks to extend our capacity a
little.  Here Maggie is pouring water into the 

deck fill connection for our starboard tank.

Fresh water, however, has been another issue altogether.  We purchased a RAINMAN portable water maker before our trip but I didn't have an opportunity to try it out or buy additional filter cartridges before we left, consequently we haven't used it yet.  (I hope to find fresh water filter cartridges in Marsh Harbour next visit.).  We've been buying fresh water at a cost of between 25 cents and 40 cents (up from 15 cents 25 years ago) a gallon and we have been consuming 10 gallons per day for the two of us.  Our RAINMAN water maker is capable of producing 16 gallons of fresh water in one hour of runtime while consuming one pint of (ethanol-free) gasoline.  It would take 6.5 hours (practically a whole day at a cruiser's pace!) of runtime (and 0.65 gallons of gasoline) to fill our fresh water tanks from empty and this would equate to 10 days of usage at our current consumption rate.  We're making a list of ways we can conserve fresh water.  (If we visit your house and ask if we can take a shower, you will know what that's all about!)

On the subject of water conservation, a fellow cruiser from Annapolis (Greg Long) told me about another cruiser (at least he blamed it on another cruiser) who was expecting guests to come aboard from stateside.  To get his guests familiar with conserving water on the boat he told them to practice at home by taking off the lid to your toothpaste tube, filling it with water, and using the toothpaste lid full of water to clean your toothbrush AND rinse you mouth out after brushing.

We just switched our fresh water supply to our last (third) tank (30 gallons remaining) this morning--this is our sign to get more fresh water soon.

The best conch fritters I've ever tasted were served at Harbor's
Edge in Hope Town!  You could actually 

taste the conch in them.

We had lunch at Harbour's Edge (about 100 yards from our mooring) and scouted our places to get fresh water tomorrow, deciding on Lighthouse Marina at 38 cents per gallon, and picked up a few grocery items on the way back to the boat.

This is simply a nice and peaceful side lawn for one of 
the waterfront homes along Bay Street.

At 2:30 PM we really couldn't start another activity since it was too close to happy hour, which seems to be moving up earlier each day.  Being a cruiser is a tough lifestyle!

I consider my boating skills to be pretty good but this guy's are
exceptional--he spends a lot of time every day traveling
by skiff across the harbor in Hope Town.


I woke to a beautiful sunrise on Thursday morning, August 13.  The sky was mostly overcast, like many days start out here in Hope Town this time of year.  The wind was still out of the northeast blowing at 10 to 15 knots.  This cold front has been stalled over us for the last 3 days or so.  It is absolutely quiet this morning except for the sound of the surf beating against the shore just on the other side of the isthmus.  The sailboat just behind us just started its engine, probably to make hot water for a morning shower.  I can't hear his engine, only the pulsating "swooshing" sound of water coming from his exhaust.

I don't think there is anything more beautiful than
a sunrise or sunset over palm trees.

This morning I could tell by our voltage readout that the raw water strainer for the fridge supplemental cooling was partially blocked.

We spent all morning getting fresh water in our onboard tanks because of the crowd of boats at the marina's fuel dock (probably anticipating closures for the upcoming Easter holiday weekend) and cleaning the raw water filter and priming the small pump for the supplemental water cooling for the fridge.  Not that priming the pump takes much time, but getting access to it does.  (I should really carry a spare pump for this application in case it fails sometime in the future.)

After lunch we got much needed (hot) showers at the Lighthouse Marina--this was the highlight of my day!  That was my first hot shower in over a week!  Cruising really makes you appreciate simple things like a hot shower with unlimited fresh water.

Speaking of simple pleasures...

We'll be here in Hope Town for just short of another week but we have a lot of activities planned.  Stay tuned...

Thanks for following our blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment