Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hope Town - 2017

Apr 7 Thru Apr 9

--Blogpost written by Bob

The wind got much stronger as it clocked around to the NNW this morning, Thursday, April 7.  It is much cooler this morning--72 degrees.  According to the Cruiser's Net, the water temperature in the Sea of Abaco now ranges from 68 to 74 degrees depending on the tide.

Today is trash day in Hope Town harbor--this doesn't mean that's its the day for trash pick up, like in a house.  Between 8:30 and 9:30 AM (one hour for three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) our onboard trash will be accepted if we deliver it to the public dock.  Actually there is a volunteer (one of the cruisers) who comes around to all the boats in the harbor with his Boston Whaler and collects trash bags and then delivers them to the trash collection point by 9:30 AM.

We are still waiting for someone to come around and collect the fee for our mooring buoy ($20 per night).  There are several different owners of mooring buoys in the harbor and the buoys are differentiated by color.  Our (green) mooring buoy is owned by Lucky Strike (Truman Major's business name).  I remember when I was here 25 years ago, I rented a mooring buoy from Lucky Strike.

We had a nice lunch at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge
and used their pool afterward.

We went into the coffee shop this morning primarily to get online so that I could post the last blogpost since we have been having difficulty with our hotspot on our BTC cell phone.  We had difficulty at the coffee shop too but I think it was a temporary Google problem.  When we came back to the boat, Truman Major, the owner of our mooring came by to collect mooring fees.  He is a neatly, but casually, dressed black gentleman in a Boston Whaler with a British accent.  I told him that I remembered renting a mooring from him 25 years ago and I remarked that business must have been good over the years.  He replied, "Yes, but sometimes it's more than I can handle."  He has twenty moorings here in the harbor and they are full except during hurricane season.  If you do the math, he brings in $400 per day every day for nine months of the year.  That's $108,000 in income for the nine-month season--not a bad business.  Why did I become an engineer and work in an office all my life?

We spent several hours in and around the salt water pool at Hope Town Harbour Lodge--it was luxurious and relaxing.  We had lunch poolside.  For a few hours, I completely forgot that we were cruisers living on a shoestring and not tourists.  I was able to get online and publish my previous blogpost "Marsh Harbour to Hope Town" from poolside.

I published our previous blogpost from Hope Town Harbor Lodge
with the salt water pool and the ocean beach nearby.


Today, Saturday, April 8, is another perfectly picturesque day in paradise.  The cool wind is blowing out of the north at 5 to 10 knots and there is an almost negligible 2-inch high ripple on the surface of the harbor here in Hope Town.  We've talked about staying here another week--this is now Maggie's favorite place in the Abacos.

Some of the homes and villas just inside the harbor's entrance.

We dinghied into town for the Saturday-morning farmer's market--it was very small, maybe 5 vendors with very limited offerings--there are no farms that I know of on Elbow Cay.  We bought some homemade whole wheat bread, a tiny sour orange pie (something new for us to try), and a couple organic cucumbers.  We were tempted by stone crab legs but we still have two lobster tails we need to cook soon.  After going back to the boat and making note of the limited amount of fresh meat we have on hand in the fridge, we made a second trip into town and bought a 5-pound bag of stone crab legs--they are already cooked and frozen.

We toured the lighthouse just before lunchtime today.  The lighthouse was constructed by the British in the 1860's--it took a long time to build because the residents (many of whom made their living off shipwrecks) kept vandalizing the site.  There are 101 steps to the top.

Elbow Cay Reef Lighthouse as viewed from the harbor.

This is a view of the harbor and the Hope Town settlement
with the Atlantic Ocean in the background.  This
was taken from the top of the lighthouse.

This is a view of the inlet to the harbor
from the top of the lighthouse.

On the way back from the lighthouse we took a dinghy ride out the harbor entrance for a slightly different perspective of Elbow Cay.

These are villas near the harbor's entrance--I think
they are called Flamingo Villas.

Some of the homes on the west side of Elbow Cay just north
of the entrance to the harbor.  The road (Back Street) that
the guide books tell you to keep lined up as you enter
the channel is in the center of this image.

This home is situated on its own small island just off Elbow Cay
near the harbor entrance into Hope Town.

We spent another afternoon at the salt water pool at Hope Town Harbour Lodge.  We also walked down to the beach and swam in the calm ocean--it was only slightly cooler than the pool but almost as clear.  We came back to the boat, read a little, took a nap, and then cooked lobster tails for dinner (here they call them crawfish tails).  We had purchased these frozen in Marsh Harbour--most local seafood is flash frozen after cleaning.

The sun just went below the horizon and a conch horn
is being blown on
 a nearby boat.

This is a view looking in the opposite direction of the setting sun.


Everything is quiet on Sunday morning, April 9, here in Hope Town.  The sky is almost full of puffy clouds but there is space between them in places where I can see bright blue sky.  A cool 10-knot breeze blows from the northeast.  I can hear the rhythmic pounding of the surf on the other side of the relatively narrow isthmus where the settlement of Hope Town sits.

Cloud cover obscured the sunrise this morning.

Hope Town was first settled by a loyalist woman from South Carolina named Wyannie Malone, a widow.  She came here with her three sons in 1785.  (As a point of reference the time period for the revolutionary war is generally considered to be from April 19, 1775 to September 3, 1783--so, Hope town was founded 2 years after the revolutionary war.)  There is a small monument where it is believed she first set foot on land here and a small museum in town. Green Turtle Cay and Man-O-War Cay were settled by British loyalists as well but each island has its own unique character.  There were as many as 1000 British loyalists who sought refuge in the Abacos after the revolutionary war.


We'll be here in Hope Town for at least another week.  Stay tuned for more of our adventures in the Abacos...

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