Is Spam in the Bahamas really $9.00? Find out in the November issue of SAIL Magazine, featuring an article by Yours Truly! Peter Nielsen over at SAIL asked me a while back for a piece with tips on preparing for a trip to the Bahamas. So, Phillip and I put our heads together and came up with a few key factors to consider when prepping for the Bahamas and what provisions and supplies we would recommend stocking the boat with. For us, it all started with the Explorer charts. Those are a must! I hope you all grab a copy of the November issue soon and let me know what you think of the article. Many thanks to the hard-working crew over at SAIL Magazine for putting this one together. We love it!
And, stay tuned next time as we will be announcing our cruising plans this winter in a fun new video next week. You’ll never guess where we’re going!! : D
If there is one thing the steady north winds in the Bahamas are good for, it’s flying the chute, headed south to Little Harbour! Ahoy followers! In blog time, we are just wrapping our stay at beautiful Hope Town, Bahamas (where we got lucky enough to snag a ball inside the harbor our first night there!) and sail this badass boat south to Little Harbour. Under spinnaker! I mention in the video below another video we put out last year showing exactly how we rig and hoist the spinnaker on our boat for any of you just launching yours (don’t worry, it took us years before we were brave enough). Here’s the LINK to that trainer video. Little Harbour turned out to be a fascinating little hurricane hole at the south end of the Bahamas. We had some friends from Pensacola who were there at the same time on their Katana catamaran, so we got to rendezvous with them at the fantastically-fun and quirky bar, Pete’s Pub, and meet the infamous Pete, himself. Pete is the son of Randolph Johnston, an American teacher and bronze sculptor who first settled with his family in Little Harbour in the 1950’s. Some fascinating history there. Hope you enjoy the video and photos below!
And, we’re off! After a beautiful few days in Hope Town, we bid that quaint little cruiser’s gem adieu and set our sights on Little Harbour. We had some friends, Tom and Christy, who were going to be there at the same time, sailing in on their Katana-built catamaran and we were eager to go meet up with them and have a drink at the famous Pete’s Pub! There’s the Hope Town lighthouse in the distance. Say “Au revoir!”
Anyone recognize this unique boat? It’s Mary and Sharon on s/v Tipsy Gypsy!! We met up with them several times in the Abacos (and both being fellow bloggers, but both partaking in some excellent goombay smashes at the time, we all forgot to take a photo together!). But, true to boat code, I never forget to snap a pic of a fellow cruiser’s fine-looking vessel on the water. Look at Gypsy go! You can follower Mary and Tharon’s adventures here! https://www.maryandtharon.com
It’s SPINNY time! We love flying our spinnaker. Well, I can say that now. Phillip and I will be the first to admit, we waited waaaayyy too long to break this bad boy out. I can’t really say why. We were never in a hurry. We thought it might have been a huge headache, or we would get it all snagged up and rip it. Who knows. We were crazy stupid. But, last summer, when we were planning our adventure to the Bahamas and knew we wanted to enhance our sail plan and sail options, we busted the spinnaker out on Plaintiff’s Rest for the first time (and found out she’s this beautiful red, white, and blue!) and learned how to rig her up and fly her with ease. While it did take some finagling and some mistakes, we learned, they usually don’t lead to a rip in the sail if you are methodical about it and take your time to follow all of the lines and make sure the sail isn’t twisted as it is coming out of the sock. Little things like that. Now that we’ve mastered it, this is probably now our favorite sail on the boat! Video link for you HERE again on exactly how we rig and hoist our spinnaker on the boat if any of you out there are just getting into it.
Ahhhh … happy place!
As I mentioned in the video, we found the inlet to Little Harbour to be a bit narrow and one you have to “play the tides” to get in and out. Not a big deal, but we didn’t know when we would be leaving Little Harbour and we wanted to freedom to be able to come and go without having to wait on the tides. For this reason, we decided to anchor on the outside in the big harbor outside of Little Harbour, and it was absolutely no mistake. Wait until you see the crystal green waters that awaited us there. Some of the most stunning we had seen in all of the Bahamas!
Dinghying in to Little Harbour!
This is Tom and Christy’s catamaran that they sailed to Little Harbour on, s/v Odalisque!
Looking out over the harbour. We didn’t know it at the time, but Tom and Christy told us Little Harbour is a hurricane hole. They have had winds of up to 130 mph there with little to no damage to the boats inside the harbor. Good to know when Phillip and I find ourselves back in those parts and need to tuck in somewhere. We’re happy to play the tide to sneak into a hurricane hole for cover!
Love this gal! Hi Christy!
I can’t recall if this was the triggerfish tacos or not, but every meal we had at Pete’s Pub was out of this world!
The view from Pete’s Pub at night. Just stunning.
And, hey hey, if we didn’t meet Pete himself. A real ladies man, that one! Heart of gold, too, and with such a neat history and story to share. We made a lot of fun memories at the pub!
The sunset view on the Atlantic side behind Pete’s Pub did not disappoint either. Gorgeous colors on the horizon and awesome craggy rocks where the water would splash up and put on quite a show!
After a fun night “on the town,” which in Little Harbour means “at the Pub” (it is the only restaurant bar on the island, but easily one of our favorite in all of the Bahamas), Phillip and I woke to these breathtaking waters right around our boat the next day. I couldn’t take enough photos. You could see every blade of grass on the bottom, every link in our chain, every glimmer of the sun. I could stare at those waters all day long and be in absolute bliss!
One of the very cool things about Little Harbour, that struck Phillip and me, was it’s amazing history. Not only did Randolph Johnston bring his family here to get away from American consumerism and just the hustle and bustle and noise of life in the states in the 1950’s, they also had to live in this cave for some time before they could complete their house. But, they worked hard and persevered and the bronze sculpting foundry that Randolph established there back in the 1950’s is still the foundry they use today. His son, Pete, carries on his tradition and makes some fabulous sculptures that he sells there in the gallery at Little Harbour. I love when history meets art and makes the whole trip just that much more memorable. Pretty cool huh!
Pete, finishing a very cool bronze sculpted shark!
This was a piece in the gallery that Christy really had her eye on, the evolution of the life of a man from baby, to toddler, to healthy male, to feeble old man, to death. It really was a very unique piece. You better get on it before Christy does! If she hasn’t already! (And she drives a hard bargain, trust me! : )
Perfect tagline for not only Pete’s Pub, but just about every little quirky bar in the Bahamas. You never know who is a millionaire, billionaire, boat bum, river rat, and the best part is no one cares because it doesn’t even matter. We just “cheers!” and carry on!
We hope you enjoyed our trip to Little Harbour. Next time, we will take you back out into the Atlantic Ocean on our way down to Eleuthra to our most breathtaking beach in the Bahamas (well, consider we haven’t been to the Exumas yet) but the north shore on Spanish Wells made my heart stop. Thankfully, Phillip was able to get her kickstarted and going again. He always gets me fluttering. ; ) Stay tuned!
Enough with this maintenance in Marsh Harbour! It’s time to get sailing and set our hopes on Hopetown. This was one of our favorite stops in the Abacos. Many cruisers live here full-time on a ball in the harbor which gives the place a very welcoming, community feel. There are lots of quirky little shops, beautiful flower-lined roads and bike paths, great restaurants and the stunning Hopetown Lighthouse, one of the oldest manual Kerosene-lit lighthouses in the world. Phillip and I were incredibly fortunate to score a ball in the harbor our VERY FIRST night there (some people have waited years for one) and enjoyed a stunning three-day stay at Hopetown. Enjoy the snorkeling in Marsh Harbour, our sporty sail over to Hopetown, and a bike tour around picturesque Hopetown in the video and photos below. Stay tuned next time for a trip to Little Harbor, a little-known hurricane hole at the south end of the Abacos where we were welcomed by friends who had just built an amazing little bungalow there. Plenty more to come!
On our way back to Marsh Harbour. We were thrilled to find that a Delta flight opened up recently from Atlantic directly to Marsh Harbour, so that makes leaving the boat in the Bahamas while we fly back and forth to handle issues at home much easier!
I love the view from a plane window. So much to see!
While we were thrilled to return, after leaving out boat in Marsh Harbour for six weeks while we flew back to Pensacola to handle some work things (and another huge thanks (and yet she still deserves dozens more!) to fellow Marsh Harbour live-aboard, Diane, who sent us amazing photos of our boat every couple of days while we were gone), we had plenty of work to do to open up and clean the boat and re-provision and prepare her for another two months of cruising in the Bahamas. We spent the first day cleaning her, filling the batteries and propane, grocery shopping, turning the engine over, etc. And, we were pleased to find our baby was just as excited as we were to have us back and she was full of juice and cranked right up on the first try! Way to go Plaintiff’s Rest!
We were pleased to find, having left our Kanberra gel bins full while we were gone, that the boat smelled super fresh when we opened her up for the first time in six weeks and there was hardly any mold on the ceiling. (In Pensacola, pre-Kanberra, we used to have tons of mold that we had to constantly wipe away with Clorox wipes during the summer). This Kanberra stuff is the real deal people!
Filling the batteries. Ours are Trojan wet cells that we have to fill with distilled water about every 30 days – 6 weeks. I always laugh because Phillip looks like a coal miner when he does it!
We were thrilled the find our fancy wine bags were still in tact!
It had rained a good bit in Marsh Harbor while we were gone, which was actually a good thing because it kept the bilge flushed out and fresh. We emptied her one time down to bone-dry to watch anew for any possible new leaks.
Then after all that work, it was time to go snorkeling in Marsh Harbour! I got some great footage of the fishies and plant life in the video. Hope you all enjoyed it!
Post-snorkel meal at the Jib Sheet. Oh yeeaaaahhhh!
We packed away our Bahamas courtesy flag while we were gone. She was only a little tattered from her first six weeks in the Abacos!
Back to our happy place! Sundowners and read-time in the cockpit of Plaintiff’s Rest!
I made a new friend at the marina, too. This amazing Labradoodle was so cute. She would sit in this chair, looking very much like a human being, and watch as people walked by. She was darling!
Sunrise over Harbourview Marina!
Time to de-dock (that’s a word in Annie land) and get this boat moving over to Hopetown!
It was a great day sailing, with winds of 18-20 kts. On the nose, but we’ve got much better at reefing down our offshore 90% working jib (“Wendy”) so now anything up to 20 kts is still comfortable for us on the boat. That did not used to be the case with our 135 genoa!
Following our waypoints on the Explorer charts to a “T.” I love those charts! They make cruising the Bahamas, even with a six-foot draft effortless. Just follow their lat and lons and play the tides and you are golden!
We couldn’t reach anyone via the radio to see if there was an open ball in the Harbor at Hopetown (we were pretty sure they’re wouldn’t be as folks had told us cruisers covet those balls and hold them often for years), so we dropped the hook on the outside and dinghied into the Harbor to get a lay of the land. It was kind of nice, too, to traverse that narrow inlet for the first time in our tiny little rubber boat, not the big beauty!
And, we totally scored!! After talking to a few boats, asking around about a potential open ball (and having a few of them lightheartedly chuckle at us), we were finally sent to a guy named Dave on a catamaran who unofficially monitors the balls, and he got us in touch with this amazing guy, Truman, who runs the balls at the Harbor, and as luck would have it a couple was leaving that afternoon, so we were going to spend our evening ON THE BALL! Phillip and I knew exactly how lucky we were and we were super excited! But, the ball would not open up for a another few hours, so we headed to shore to grab a bite and explore!
And Hopetown, of course, did not disappoint. Stunning Atlantic shores, crystal blue waters, stretches of white stunning beach. It was everything we hoped it would be (no pun intended … okay maybe just a little one ; ).
We ate here at Brandon’s Bar on the beach, an awesome little salty lunch spot overlooking the Atlantic Ocean!
These pictures don’t really do it justice. But the sunsets and sunrises in the Harbor at Hopetown were breathtaking. It was all you could do to just sit and watch and look around. Something about all the boats floating around you and the colors on the water were just mesmerizing.
Time to go see what this lighthouse is all about!
Beautiful little flower-lined streets guided us along the way. One of my favorite things about the Abacos are all the rich, luscious colors that greet you just walking the streets. All of the pathways and roads are also very narrow, which means no freaking stink-pot, tank-sized SUVs. Thank goodness! Just little golf carts and foot traffic. I have to say there is no part of me that misses the consumerism and traffic of the states. None.
You cannot NOT go to the Bahamas and NOT get conch fritters (three times at least to compare at different places! ; )
There’s the lighthouse! One of the last remaining manual, kerosene-lit lighthouses in the world. This beauty was completed in 1864 and used to guide ships around the treacherous Elbow Reef.
We signed the book! S/v Plaintiff’s Rest was here! 101 lighthouse steps we never fear!
Isn’t the view from the top amazing? The striking colors of the water is always what catches my eyes and breath when we view the Bahamas from up high.
Got myself a little Hopetown Lighthouse trinket (and proceeds for buying this beauty go toward lighthouse preservation and restoration). Cute huh?
Then it was time to explore more of that awesome little island. We rented bikes (24 hours for $24, very reasonable) and spent the next day and a half biking around Hopetown.
It was even cooler to see the lighthouse from our ball in the Harbor after we had walked all the way to the top and saw the view from up there.
We left this little thank-you note and our “ball fees” ($20/night) on Dave’s catamaran, along with a bottle of white and one of my books as big thanks for his help in enabling us to score a ball our very first time there. We certainly enjoyed our time and can easily say Hopetown is one of our favorite stops in the Abacos. But, gees, it’s hard to even pick favorites. There are so many. Hope you all enjoyed the video and photos. Next time, we will take you to Little Harbour at the south end of the Abacos and Pete’s Pub! Stay tuned!
Pffhhhhh … I have to let out a long huff even as I read that. It was so hard to leave our boat behind. I feel like I’m still apologizing to her, but I also feel like (or hope at least) that she understands. Somehow we have to pay for all this Bahamas fun, and more importantly, pay for all the work and maintenance she requires. B.O.A.T. right? You all know what that stands for. So, we had to leave our baby behind for a bit (January 21st – March 10th) during our Bahamas trip and fly back home to Pensacola so Phillip could handle some things at the office. While my job, thankfully, goes wherever we go (HaveWorkWillTravel! : ), his does not, although he is able to do a good bit of work remotely via emails and phone calls. Although it may not appear from our photos and posts, we do spend about 30-40% of our time while cruising working remotely. We are incredibly thankful for our phones and laptops and the internet which allows us to do that.
While we were planning our trip to the Bahamas, Phillip and I knew that we were going to have to leave the boat there for some stretch of time to fly home for a bit, so we chose Marsh Harbour because it is a pretty protected harbor with a marina where we could keep the boat tied up secure for a month or more and it also has an airport for flying to/from the states. While Marsh Harbour was a solid choice and proved a good decision, we did not know at the time (back in November when we were making plans) there was another good option in the Abacos: Treasure Cay. It’s amazing the things you learn when you actually go somewhere and start talking to the locals. While at Treasure Cay, we learned from some other cruisers who were staying there that they offer a November-through-February special, offering cruisers a monthly rate at the marina for only $500. Five. Hundred. I know. Don’t ask me what we paid at Marsh Harbour. But, we didn’t know about the Treasure Cay option, and we had to make a decision ahead of time. But next time … Treasure Cay is a fabulous (safe, protected) place to make “home base” while cruising the Abacos. Several cruisers we met booked a month or two there while they sailed around and gunk-holed all the wonderful islands in the Abacos, knowing they always had a safe place reserved for them at Treasure Cay so they could duck in and hide when the northern fronts came fast and fierce. The next time we do the Abacos, if that deal is still running at Treasure Cay, we will likely do that.
But, we were very pleased with the staff and amenities at Harbourview Marina. The dock master, Ron, and owner, Troy, were exceptional. They are very hands-on and they make sure every cruiser feels welcomed and has everything they need for a comfortable stay at the marina. Ron helped us dock up to the fuel dock and move to our permanent slip in some pretty heavy winds and he was very calm and competent and made sure our boat never suffered a scratch. He also checked on us every day as he walked the docks to make sure we had power, water, wifi and knew how to find groceries, restaurants, a cab, etc. We learned when we returned to Marsh Harbour in March that Ron had also boarded our boat many times while we were gone to adjust the lines to make sure our boat was always floating safely right in the middle of the slip and that none of the lines suffered any chafe. That’s service. Troy was also a pleasure to work with and the minute we told him we were planning on leaving the boat for a month at the marina, he immediately asked how to get access inside in case he needed to check the batteries or bilge or move her in an emergency. You could tell these were “boat people” who truly cared about boats the way we do. Troy, Ron, and the entire staff at Harbourview, we can’t thank you enough!
Here is a pretty cool video, with some great drone footage, showcasing the marina at Harbourview:
We got a very good slip, too, at the marina that was seated back away from the T-dock (where the winds cause the boats to romp around a bit) and was wedged in between some monster yachts, which also helped to block her from wind.
Phillip and I were also happy to find we were surrounded by several long-time Marsh Harbour liveaboards who would be living aboard their boats while we were gone, walking the docks every day, and who said they would keep an eye out for our baby while we were gone. To Dave on Southern Heat, if you’re reading this (you and Rocket Man!), thank you! Dave is actually a fellow writer and wrote a rather harrowing account of his own passage across the Gulf Stream in his book Summer Heat. But, I must share a story with you all that showcases how generous and compassionate cruisers really are.
Our last day aboard the boat (January 21, 2018) we were doing all of our final checks, cleaning things, packing, etc. My last chore was to empty the fridge, and I hate to see food go to waste. So I shoved all of our very enticing fridge food (think half-empty jars of salsa, mayo, and other condiments, some cheese, butter, milk, sodas, etc., I think there was even some salad stuff, carrots, cucumbers, etc.) into a trash bag (making it even more enticing) and began knocking on nearby boats to see who wanted to be the winner of my food charity for the day. While I tried, first, the several boat owners we had already met (so I wouldn’t seem like such a crazy person), for whatever reason, that morning they were all off and away, their boats locked and empty. So, I started knocking on new boats! And, the first boat-owner to heed my call was the infamous Bob aboard he and his wife’s beautiful trawler, Islandia.
I had never met Bob before but he is a cruiser through and through. “A trash bag full of half-eaten food? Sure! We love food!” was his immediate response. He was a lot of fun to chat with and had actually raced years ago on a Niagara up on Lake Ontario so we gave him a fun little tour of our baby, exchanged boat cards, and asked if he wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on our Niagara while we were gone. Bob said he’d be happy to and he graciously accepted our food and helped us get off the dock. Bob’s wife, Diane, was not on the boat that morning but, after returning later that day and finding the food we had left her, she took it upon herself to start sending me pictures and updates on our boat. These are the kinds of people that await you out there: cruisers who will open their hearts, their hands, their fridges, and their boats to you, for the simple reason that you are a cruiser, too, and we all “get it.” There are no distinguishing titles, no type of boat that is seen as better or greater than another (not in earnest anyway, only in jest), no importance placed on what we do for a living (or don’t do) or how much money we make (or don’t make) or the types of clothes we wear (or don’t wear!). We are all just cruisers, owners of boats that cause us lots of angst, cost us lots of money, and afford us the tallest tales and sweetest memories. Boats equalize people in a way I have never found any other common thread to do.
And this amazing stranger, a fellow boat-owner who knew Phillip and I were anxious to leave our boat behind unattended took it upon herself to send me these numerous email updates and keep a watchful eye on our boat the entire time we were gone. Mind you, this is a woman I had never met, and these are the actual emails and photos she took the time to send me while we were back in Pensacola and our beautiful baby was staying all by herself in Marsh Harbour. Not at my request, just of her own accord. I was shocked and thrilled when I received an email, out of the blue, from Diane just a few days after we left. And the photos and updates continued to roll in.
Diane, this tribute is for you!
Hi Annie, took this picture a few minutes ago. All is well. We are expecting quite a blow for the next 4 to 5 days, so we will check your boat every day. Diane and Bob
Hi Annie, you guys did a superb job of tying off your boat. [We subsequently learned this was also mostly due to Ron, who continued to board our boat and adjust lines accordingly.] The wind has shifted 45° and it’s pretty much been blowing a steady 15 to 20 and sometimes 25 kn. And yet your boat is right in the middle of the slip looking great! Bob and Diane
Good morning Annie and Phillip, Thanks in advance for the dinner invite. That will be fun! Today a rainbow landed on your boat! Cheers! Bob-Diane
Later that same day: Yes, that was so cool that the rainbow landed on your boat. We are in the middle of a power outage on the dock, don’t know how long it will last. Any special instructions for your boat once the power gets turned back on?
Hi Annie, so your boat is doing well in strong winds and extreme tides. Most of the sailboats are aground here. Once the super moon passes the tides shouldn’t be so extreme. We are leaving the marina for a week, so I’ll send you another update next Wednesday. Cheers! Diane and Bob
Hi Annie, we are back at the dock. Your boat is still looking pretty darn good! Cheers! Bob and Diane
Hi Annie, That’s crazy about 60 mph winds! Fortunately it’s becoming calmer here. Winds are slated to hover here around 10 to 15 for most of the week. I was out on my paddleboard today, so I thought I would snap a shot from a different perspective. Diane
Subject: “Waving at You!”
Hi Annie, you’re too funny, going out to dinner will more than suffice. We are headed out of the marina for 4 or 5 days, taking advantage of the nice weather coming up. I’ll be sure to send you an update as soon as we return. Fair winds! Diane and Bob
Here is your boat on Wednesday and again today. She continues to look great! We are headed out for a week so I’ll send you an update on the 24th. Cheers! Diane
Hi Annie, These photos were taken a week apart. She’s looking fabulous. We fly home on Feb 27 and return March 7. I’ll send you another photo on Tuesday before we depart. Cheers, Diane
Subject: “Sunset at the Marina”
March 9th (the day before we flew back!)
Hi Annie, we were delayed a day getting back due to the snow. Got in yesterday to very strong northwest winds complete with whitecaps at the dock. But again you [meaning, Ron] have tied the boat so perfectly it never touched the pier. Had a gorgeous sunset last night and now the winds are finally abating. One of our guests may not make it in today so it’s possible we will still be on the dock when you arrive tomorrow. You must be getting excited to return to the Bahamas! Diane
Finally it was time for Phillip and I to fly back to the Bahamas and reunite with our beloved boat and I got to wrap my arms around this amazing woman (whom I had never met) who gave me such peace of mind and comfort the entire time we were away from our beloved boat. (Who did fabulous on her own by the way! She was charged up, dry, not moldy, thanks to our Kanberra, and ready to crank right up and go! Way to go little boat!)
Thank you Diane! You were a God-send. Phillip and I (and our boat!) will forever sing your praises! One cruiser to another, we can’t thank you enough!
“Man, y’all are terrible at this!” I distinctly recall saying while talking to Jeffrey in this podcast interview about how our sail skills have improved the more offshore voyages we’ve done. On the way to Cuba, our friends back home were right: we were terrible. But on our way to the Bahamas, Phillip and I were much better thanks to our new offshore jib and a newly-anointed Captain Annie! Ahoy followers! My first post-Bahamas interview here for you, sharing a few of our fun Bahamas stories and misadventures. Many thanks to Jeffrey Wetting with Shooting the Breeze Sailing Podcast at The Escape Pods for reaching out to me and putting this piece together. Enjoy!
What’s that old saying? There are only three types of wind: too much, too little, or in the wrong direction. While that is fairly true, thankfully, for us, no matter what speed or direction, we can usually bust out one of our many “wind toys” and do something with it, either go sailing, kiting, or silking! We had wind for all three during our stay at Treasure Cay, a beautiful resort-type island in the Abacos with our favorite stretch (three miles!) of stunning white beach on the north shore. Fun video, story, and photos for you all below from our colorful stay at Treasure Cay!
It really is a treasure! Treasure Cay was one of our favorite stops in the Bahamas. It had a very secure, protected marina (they pull a chain across the entrance and lock the harbor at night to make it extra safe) and the staff at the marina were all very attentive and helpful. Plus, that beach on the north shore is just jaw-dropping. We saw many locals who walk it every day, one end to the other, which would be six miles total, and which also comprised their complete workout for the day. Can you imaging your daily exercise routine being so relaxing and beautiful? Life on the islands is really a breath of fresh air compared to life here in the states.
We also had a fantastic time kiting on the north shore. Because it curves around on either side, it offered us kiteable (that’s a word in Annie Land) wind from so many directions. Anything from the north, east, or south was do-able there, which is why we got so much kiting time in. I literally thought I was too exhausted to give it another go by day three. I was suffering from “T-rex” syndrome, where your forearms are so tired from steering the kite that you they’re practically useless … much like that of a T-Rex. And, memes like these always bring me a big T-rex smile. : )
And my personal favorite. This one always makes me feel better! You’re welcome!
But, aside from the magnificently-exhausting kiting we did at Treasure Cay, we also had one common theme that seemed to run through every memory. It’s this little pint-sized ball of cruising energy who originally inspired Phillip and I to travel to the Bahamas in the first place when we heard her talk about her beloved Abacos at the Miami Boat Show as far back as 2015. Do you know who I’m talking about?
That’s right. This wonderfully-inspiring woman: Pam Wall. She had a huge impact on us from the start because I could literally see and hear her passion for cruising each time she spoke about places she has been and her gallant boat, Kandarik. It amazed me when I learned Pam’s full story some of the horrendous heartbreaking things she has had to endure yet, despite it, she still brings others joy and inspiration and shares her passion for cruising. And, apparently, I’m not the only who feels this way because we met, independently, three separate cruisers at Treasure Cay who had a connection with, and fond memory of, Pam Wall. Turns out, she, is the real treasure.
Meet John and Gayle!
This trashy couple. Ha! This was a fun moment where we all shared a laugh at what “dirtbags” cruisers are. The minute we dock at a new place, the first thing we bring with us off the boat is our trash. We’re real stand-up folks like that. The minute I sprang on John and Gayle, I caught them in this treacherous act and decided to help! So, how did we meet John and Gayle and make the Pam Wall connection? Ironically, not in the way Pam Wall thought we would. Both while Phillip and I were in the Bahamas-planning stages and when we were actually out cruising in the Bahamas, Pam and I exchanged many emails where we would share with her how much we were enjoying her “Beloved Bahamas!” just as she said we would and she would always, always (if any of you know Pam, you will agree with this) share her many connections and tips on places to go, things to do, good stuff to eat, and people to hug for her. When I told her we were thinking about going to Man-o-War cay, this was the short list of suggestions she sent me:
I know. A lot of people to find and hug, right? That Pammy. She is so cute. The funny thing was, we did not end up stopping at Man-o-War Cay but as we were walking the docks (who doesn’t love to do that?) in Treasure Cay, Phillip actually spotted, on his own, a beautiful boat he wanted to point out to me.
“Man, look at that Hinckley!” he said and pointed. I turned my attention to where he was pointing and it was, sure enough, a magnificent, beautiful boat, but something else stuck out for me. The name, Ciro. That’s a pretty unique boat name and I felt like I had heard it before. My mind started rattling and I thought maybe it had been one Pam mentioned in one of her many Bahamas emails. I searched around in my Gmail and, sure enough, found that one. Notice her mention of a Hinckley named Ciro and a lovely couple on it named John and Gayle. While she had recommended I do that “Gee it’s great to see you again” bit to a different couple, I decided to do it to John. Phillip and I meandered around and waited for them to step off the boat (carrying their trash of course, cruisers after my own heart!) and I walked up to John, whom I’ve never met before, and said “Hey John! It’s so good to see you again! We had such a great time the last time we were together.” Both John and Gayle gave me a priceless stumped look, and Gayle actually started to give John an even funkier look, and that’s when I cracked and told them my good friend Pam Wall told me to hunt them out and do that.
We instantly connected. They are lifelong sailors, part-time live-aboards, and John has extensive knowledge in Hinckley boat building and repair. They were delivering this particularly Hinckley, Ciro, to the Bahamas for the owner and had actually stayed at Pam’s dock in Ft. Lauderdale before making the jump to the Bahamas. We all had so many wonderful Pam stories to share. And, we ended up doing “pizza night” with John and Gayle at the Treasure Cay Marina the following night (absolutely delicious) and had them and another fellow cruiser over the next night for happy hour goodies.
Tim is single-handing the Bahamas on his Endeavor. He had actually saw Phillip and I as we were walking toward Ciro and shouted out: “Hey, I know you guys from YouTube!” Ha! Small world. He’s been a long-time HaveWind follower, so it was fun for him to get to meet us and join the party. It’s always a party on Plaintiff’s Rest!
So, is this where the Pam Wall connections end? Heck no! Meet Steve and Anike!
They had just walked up the beach while we were kiting (it often draws a few curious folks) to ask us about our kite gear and how it all worked and this, of course, lead to a conversation about “What brings you to the Bahamas?” We found Steve and Anike were actually long-time cruisers. They used to cruise with their children aboard in the Caribbean on a Tayana 37 and are now on a beautiful Shannon. When they asked us the same question, “What brings you to the Bahamas?” my answer often starts with Pam Wall, because she is the person who first lit our fire about cruising to the Bahamas and Steve immediately said, “Oh, Pam, isn’t she great? She helped us get our Tayana ready for the Caribbean. She may not remember us. It was back when she was working at West Marine, but please tell her how helpful she was.”
Won’t remember you … Pam doesn’t forget a thing. Seriously, I can’t remember half the places we’ve been and I’ve only been cruising part-time for five years. Pam can still tell you every single stop she and Andy made on their many Atlantic circles back in the 80s-90s. And, she remembered Steve and Anike. It was starting to get comical sending her texts from Treasure Cay saying “Found another cruising couple who knows you!” But it did not stop there. The last one was really a surprise.
I was in the shower room at the marina getting spruced up for a hot date on the town with my Phillip (we ate at the Treasure Sands Club that night …. just fabulous, I gained five treasure pounds that night alone that I am still proud of! ; ). As I was wrapping up in the restroom, Anike came in. We started chatting again about her past travels and other women who have cruised too. And I was telling her a little bit more of Pam’s story when another woman came around the corner to wash her hands and asked: “Are you talking about Pam Wall?”
“Yes!” I squeaked, surprised she knew who I was talking about with such little information, and the woman responded: “Oh yeah, we heard about her through the SailLoot podcast.” (Little shout-out to my buddy, TeddyJ, at SailLoot!) “And I heard your interview on SailLoot, too!”
Turns out it was Kristen from Life in the Key of Sea, another cruising couple I had been following on Facebook for some time. Mutual followers I guess you could call us. I did not know it was Kristen at the time because it was a very brief pass-by in the bathroom and we did not bump into one another again in Treasure Cay, but we did in Eleuthera! And, we got to spend a day dining and hiking with her and Brett. We then found out Brett was one of the sailors who helped TeddyJ deliver his boat (which was Windtraveler’s previous boat, s/v Asante), from St. Thomas to Florida this past summer. Fun podcast Teddy put together talking about that passage here. It is such a small cruising world out there I swear! Here are some fun photos of Kristen and Brett on s/vLife in the Key of Sea!
I actually took this one of the two of them when we were hiking at Harbour Island:
And Kristen took this one of me and Phillip:
I forgot to get a group shot (we were having too much fun) but this is Phillip, Kristen and Brett looking out at our anchorage where they had dropped the hook right next to us at Harbour Island!
So, you ready to go cruising yet? Want to meet all kinds of new friends, old friends, re-found friends in all sorts of beautiful little islands scattered out in the sea? If you’re struggling with how to start, Pam Wall Cruising Consultant, might be a good one! Love you Pammy! You’ve influenced and inspired so many!
Some very fun photos for you all from our beautiful stay at Treasure Cay. Hope you all have been enjoying our Bahamas posts! Do you feel like you’re there with us? We do!
Winds of 25 plus! Crazy moments with party-people all 25 and under! Eddie the nipping Nippers cat. Bucketlusters, kite-surfers, Vladimir Platypus (my winter, wet-suit alter-kite ego) and “Bahamas Boys” looking for some cheebah? Or bitcoin crypto … I believe they’re the same. If anyone knows what those are, feel free to chime in below. We’ve got it all for you guys in this very fun video from the stunning island of Great Guana Cay, along with my favorite photos below. It was so hard to choose any, though, they were all so beautiful. Guana Cay offered us great kiting on the Atlantic shore, never-ending entertainment at Nippers, a chance to star-gaze at the many stars who allegedly own houses on Baker’s Bay (think Cher, Beyonce, Sting, etc.), a beautiful sunset anchorage, and fantastic fine-dining dinners at Sunsetters at Orchid Bay Marina. We loved it! Hope you all enjoy the video!
Photos from our sail through Whale Cay passage. It was, according to one of the fellow captains we talked to who did it that day as well, “not peachy, but passable.” It was a bit lumpy out there (4-6 rollers) but with winds of only 10-12 out of the NW. Doable, not daunting, and, to be honest, a very fun day sailing on the Atlantic! That is the furthest east Plaintiff’s Rest has ever been! It was a big day for her, and she nailed it!
Making our way toward the cut. We followed very strictly along the lat-and-lon points in the Explorer Charts. Boy, are those things life-savers.
Ironically, the cRaZy Bucketlusters who bombarded us at Green Turtle Cay decided to make the Whale Cay passage that day as well (after they terrorized the piggies at No Name Cay, that is). We could see all of the catamarans anchored at No Name at the same time and I can only imagine what the Bucketlusters were doing to those pigs … riding them, spanking them, trying to kiss them. Who knows. Poor pigs! But it was awesome for us to be able to make the passage surrounded by thirty catamarans. It’s like we had our own rather-large tenders out carrying us through. I just stayed in the middle of them, on course, hoping if anyone hit the reefs, it would be the party-people on the outside – ha! And boy did they party through the entire passage. Up on the decks dancing, singing, drinking. Those guys are non-stop.
I was really excited about Guana Cay. Clearly …
I will say, whoever does the marketing for Nippers is genius. There was a sign about every five feet telling you how to get to Nippers, guys running around in golf carts all over the island willing to take you, at any time, to Nippers, and most of the people that live and work on the island are wearing shirts just about every day that say … Nippers. And boy was it a fun beach bar place. Great food. Fantastic setting overlooking the Atlantic with a staircase straight down to the beach and great goombay smashes. Yes, please!
The view from our cockpit. It was a beautiful anchorage.
This was wild. So, Phillip and I were getting into the dinghy with all of our kite gear about to head to shore to make the trek over to kite behind Nippers on morning, and Phillip saw something just randomly floating by in the water. He cocked his head to the side and eyed it suspiciously, then found out it was the black “anchor gate” that goes on our Mantus. (Mantus came out with this supplemental gate that snaps over the chain to make sure, even with Mantus’ pretty savvy chain-lock system, the chain does not come out of the hook.) And here ours was, just floating by in the water at the VERY time we were getting into the dinghy. Phillip went down to check the Mantus and found, sure enough, it had somehow wiggled and vibrated enough (it was very windy those days we spent at Guana Cay) to loosen the pin in the shackle that holds the Mantus hook onto the snubber. Thankfully the water was so clear, Phillip could literally see from the top our Mantus hook sitting on the bottom. And, when he dove down he was also able to find our pin and shackle. Whew! And, all because of timing when the gate was floating by. Our boat always tries her best to let us know something is wrong at the exact right time where we can fix it. Way to go boat. A note to fellow Mantus-users, we decided to throw a zip-tie (seizing wire would also work) in the shackle pin to prevent this from happening again. All lessons are free today!
Anchor fixed. Disaster averted. Time to get back on the kiting!
That Eddie. The “wild” cat that lives at Nippers. Careful not to pet or pick him up. He’ll nip ya!
This is the view at Sunsetters on the other side at Orchid Bay Marina. Just stunning!
Green Turtle Cay was a quaint, picturesque resort … until 34 boats came to the marina, bringing 340 party people. We were bombarded by Bucketlust, and no amount of foul weather would stop their non-stop party. These people were WiLd, sporting different-themed costumes each day (think WWF Spandex, Unicorn tights, fuzzy vests, fanny packs, you name it) while drinking, dancing, and drinking some more from sun up until … well, sun up again during a wicked 3-day northern front. Bucketlust is a private boat charter/group vacation (primarily for the young wealthilites who have a smooth 10k to blow on a vacay), and boy were they entertaining. Tiring, filthy, and loud at times, but still entertaining. We also had a fantastic time feeding (and dodging) the rather aggressive Abacos swimming pigs at No Name Cay, celebrating Junkanoo with the locals at New Plymouth for New Years, even getting in on a little hand-stand throw-down at the Tipsy Turtle. Fun video for you all here, with photos below, from our colorful stay at Green Turtle Cay. Enjoy!
The entrance into White Sound at Green Turtle Cay was one of our most shallow, boasting a tide as low as 6 feet at low tide. For this reason, we weighed anchor before dawn at Manjack Cay to take advantage of the high tide when coming into the White Sound entrance around 8:00 a.m. And, thankfully, our planning and worrying paid off when we found we had a smooth 10 feet under our hull all the way through the channel.
A nice walk or jog fresh off the boat is one of our favorite ways to explore a new island.
Dinghying over to No Name Cay to check out the swimming piggies!
We got a real kick out of these guys. While they definitely weren’t the cuddly, fuzzy, friendly pigs I had imagined (most were caked in dirt with matted eyes, with patches of lost fur), but they were sweet and hungry! They hated selfies with Annie, though. It got to be comical, every time I pulled my camera up in selfie mode, they literally would snort, groan, and turn away. Every time. No pig selfies for Annie. : (
You’ll see in the video how these porkies nipped and clawed at us. You really had to be careful when feeding them. I started throwing huge chunks of bread at them to make them go away while Phillip got trampled near the dinghy!
Finally started cracking those coconuts we got from Manjack Cay! I busted out our “fancy tools” for the job.
Happy 2018!! We spent New Years Eve dining at the Green Turtle Club restaurant there near the marina. It was fabulous! And a very fun, intimate venue for the celebration!
Check out the moon!
Welcome to the Tipsy Turtle Bar! We got a little tipsy in there on several occasions. You gotta love a bar where the only “decor” is sailing pennants and dollar bills.
Getting Eddie the Rock’s fresh conch salad over in New Plymouth. I was fascinated by this long-time conch harvester who could shell each conch in less than 10 seconds. The first time I tried it (although I’m much better after our stay in the Berries), it took me five minutes. But, I did get that little squirmy alien out without macerating the shell, which I’ve heard is better than some. Can’t wait to share my first conch shelling with you guys. Coming soon!
The Junkanoo menu at The Wrecking Tree. Just our speed.
Pineapples is a tucked-away, quirky little bar that our buddy, Don, who lives on the huge m/v Status Quo on Spanish Cay told us about. Honestly, it reminded us exactly of Paradise Inn out on Pensacola Beach back home.
These two are ready for a Junkanoo parade! Junkanoo is an annual celebration in the Bahamas commemorating the three days the slaves used to be given off each year and they would sing and dance in colorful outfits and host an annual parade. It was so cool to be there (inadvertently) at the same time they were all celebrating such a unique, local holiday.
The Bahamas in a blow. Still beautiful.
Time to tuck in for some dinner at the best restaurant in all the Bahamas: s/v Plaintiff’s Rest! I seriously am so lucky to live and travel with such an excellent chef. Phillip rocks the galley.
Beautiful little beach on the north shore.
It was a drizzly, wet, windy couple of days at Green Turtle Cay, but we had been watching that front building and coming for about a week and were more than happy to be tucked in safe in White Sound for protection … and entertainment. Green Turtle Cay Marina, as well as the restaurant there and the wonderful staff, did not disappoint. GTC is a great place to spend a week in the Bahamas.
But, just remember, while we’re dressed like this … the Bucklust yAhOoS are dressed like this:
God love ‘em … We hope you enjoyed our stay at GTC. Next time we’ll take you out into the Atlantic through the notorious Whale Cay Passage over to Great Guana Cay for some wicked kitesurfing behind Nippers on the north shore and great food and walking trails on Guana Cay. Stay tuned!
Like wet silk perhaps? Or running your fingers along the top of a pan of jello? No, it’s softer than that. I’m trying to think of how to describe it. The silky smooth belly of a stingray. While I’m not sure any words can quite capture it, I’m proud that I can say, now, I have experienced it. And, it was all because of the “Stingray Whisperer.” Ahoy followers! We’re back on Bahamas blog time, having just wrapped our “magic moments” at stunning Powell Cay in the Abacos and weighed anchor headed for Manjack (pronounced Nunjack) Cay where we kitesurfed, chased turtles and stingrays, and cracked our first coconut (and I honestly can’t tell you which was more fun). Fantastic video and photos for you below. Enjoy!
Ahhh … sailing! Boy, were we thrilled that day to be sailing again.
Honestly, in the Abacos, each of the islands are so close (2-3 hours, usually, at most), and there often wasn’t enough wind or too much wind to comfortably sail, so we would just motor from one to the next for the first 5-6 cays we visited. While this was great for kite-surfing and glassy snorkeling once we got to each island, Phillip and I LOVE to sail. So, when our plans to weigh anchor mid-morning and head from Powell Cay over to Manjack Cay also afforded us perfect winds of 12-14 kts over the starboard stern to spend the day sailing there, we were thrilled! We took the long way and spent the day happily jibing our way slowly to Manjack Cay.
Jackets? In the Bahamas?! We’ve had folks ask us often what the weather and temps were like in the Bahamas in December and January. Honestly, a little chilly. When we first got into the Little Bahamas Bank and the Sea of Abaco, the sunny days allowed us to snorkel and dip in the water without our wet suits, but if we were going to be underwater for any period of time (snorkeling or diving) you would definitely start to go numb if you didn’t wear a wetsuit. Then, as the fronts started to come in and the days were often cloud-covered and windy, the water got way too chilly without our full wetsuits. That also meant jackets and layers when we were sailing in the chilly wind. Once ashore and protected on the leeward side, bikinis and board shorts were fine. But most of our time in December and January was spent in a hodgepodge of layers ranging from full wetsuits and booties to string bikinis.
Here’s Manjack (not sure why, but it’s pronounced “Nunjack”) Cay. Just east of Powell Cay and a very short hop from Green Turtle Cay. We were definitely watching the weather very closely when we were in the Abacos as the northern fronts build quickly and can sit on you for days, with bitter winds of 25-35 kts. They also clock around so you have to make sure you are protected from winds coming at you from different directions. All of that wind is great for kite-surfing, which was awesome for us, but we always wanted to make sure we found good protection from the wind directions we were expecting. We spent a beautiful two blue-sky, sunny days at Manjack, with the plan to scoot over to Green Turtle Cay (playing the tide because the inlet reportedly got down to 6 feet at low tide, thanks for the intel www.ExplorerCharts.org) to hunker down for a nasty storm that was coming. We decided to stay at the marina in White Sound because it was so well protected and it would allow us to tie up secure, top off the water and give the boat a thorough wash-down. Wait till you see that footage. We got 36 kts of wind on the boat, even tucked there in the sound. It. Was. Windy.
And, what do we like to do when it blows?
Get our kite on baby! But, as I mentioned, the water was chilly (probably around 68-70 degrees) and with cloud cover, you definitely wanted your wetsuit. We dawned our shorties that day and my winter alter ego, Vladimir Platypus, makes a cameo in the video. Enjoy!
It was a full day of surfing which left us happily exhausted and hungry. You know you’re living the good life when you watch (from the cockpit of your boat) the sun not only set …
But also rise!
Day Two! Time to go exploring!
The island at Manjack Cay is really stunning, with lots of little trails and walkways. You could easily spend the day walking the island and lounging on the stunning shores. Pack a picnic and a book and you’ll spend the day in heaven!
The north shore on the Atlantic side (and this was true for most of the islands in the Abacos) was the most breathtaking, with a half-mile stretch of Bahamas brown beaches, butting up to jewel-toned green waters that roll and lap the shore. The sound of the water churning is therapeutic.
This little log, poised perfectly before the rolling ocean, provided the perfect backdrop. Phillip called it immediately: “PHOTO OP!” he said, as I squealed and shed my cover-up for an impromptu photo shoot!
Man … island life is rough.
During our walk back to the dinghy, we found this post with a log-splitter-type blade sticking out of it and a hammer where it appeared locals (or perhaps vagabonds like us) cracked many of the coconuts that were lying around. It was the first time I had ever cracked a coconut and saw the husky, stringy interior. Man, are those husks hard! I didn’t know the actual coconuts were little hard balls in the center. Boy, are they pretty too. A glossy jet black exterior, with white as snow coconut meat inside. We also got to drink the coconut milk (still warm from the sun) right as we cracked them. Even that small experience, brought immense pleasure and was definitely a highlight for us. Not to mention the amazing toasted coconut oatmeal I made for us the next day. YUM. Life sure is tasty.
So, the stingrays. How did we just happen upon a pod of five pretty-domesticated stingrays that will swim right up to you and let you pet them? Because we’re the most interesting people in the world and we travel with a miniature giraffe! We don’t always pet stingrays, but when we do we do it with a GoPro in hand. Ha! I’m kiiiidddiinngg. This actually worked out as many very cool things that we are lucky enough to experience and do: because Phillip was following his Paddington the Bear hyper-active sixth “travel sense.” I’m telling you that man just starts wandering, looking at maps, talking to locals and literally following his nose at times to truly immerse us in an environment that’s new to us and it often takes us to places where the locals hang out, ends up bringing us into the fold of some very knowledgeable locals who take us under their wing and show us around. All I can say is he’s just the absolute best person to travel with. Most days I have no idea what my day is going to look like, where we’re going to go, what we’re going to eat or do or see and I LOVE IT. I absolutely love it.
This day we were initially dinghying around to a specific lat and lon spot a fellow cruiser (who had done the Bahamas the previous season) told us about where he had seen a ton of sea turtles and had swam with them. While we didn’t find any turtles there, during our rather long dinghy ride home, Phillip saw in one of the coves this center console power boat up on the shore near a dock with several people standing in the water. It piqued his curiosity, and he threw the tiller over and steered us in that direction. As we got closer, you could tell the people were all looking at something down in the water and I immediately got excited. “Turtles!” I shouted, just because that’s what we’d been on the hunt for all day and I had turtles on the brain. But I was thrilled to find when we got there, that they were stingrays. Five of them! And they were all swimming around this man on his knees in the center. He was like the Stingray Whisperer. I eased up to the group and he was nice enough to let me in on the action and kneel down near him so the stingrays would swim up to me too and let me feel the underside of their bellies.
It was like a soft satin blanket, fresh out of the dryer, only wet. It’s very hard to explain, but I think it just might be the softest thing I have ever felt. And ever will. And, where the folks on the boat had paid (probably a pretty penny) to be taken out here to this spot where this captain knew how to conjure the stingrays, here Phillip and I were, cruising bums, getting the same mesmerizing experience for free. I had no clue when I woke that morning that I would be petting stingrays that afternoon, but that’s the absolute beauty of cruising and a life of travel. I find it immensely exhilarating not knowing where my day will lead.
But, I know who I will be following! Love you babe!
It’s the little things. That’s what makes this cruising life so magic. Sure, we’ve sailed in big seas, when our boat is pitching and yawing but holding her own impressively, and that’s a heart-pounding, exciting moment. And, yes, we’ve found ourselves struggling mightily to undertake a rather difficult but critical repair while underway. And, that, too is a stressful, nerve-wracking moment. Navigating vicious reefs while coming into a new harbor is what we call a “pucker” moment. Many elements of life aboard while traveling to new places can raise your blood pressure and test your mental acuity and reaction-time, but not all of them. Some days may feel like one big headache when you’re hot, tired, and sweaty, walking miles around a dusty, little town and can’t seem to find the right part you need to make a repair, or the beat-up washer at the laundry facility went kaput right after your clothes got wet and soapy, or the fridge goes out again, or the bilge needs cleaning again, or whatever. There are plenty of those frustrating, infuriating moments too.
But, my favorite—because there are hundreds of them—are all of the little magic moments. When you’re sitting in the cockpit alone, reading, and a turtle pops his head up and looks at you. “Turtle! Turtle! A turtle!” you hear your own voice cry, giddy as a five-year old. But he ducks back down just as fast and your partner doesn’t see him, which is almost better because that turtle moment was meant just for you. I saw a turtle! And another, when you’re diving down again and again, scrubbing the hull of your boat and a fish shimmies up to you, stops as if he’s tilting his head and asking a question (probably “Why are you wiping all of that yummy food off instead of eating it?”) and—absent an answer—he shimmies away and you have the distinct feeling you just had a conversation with someone with gills. Did I just talk to a fish? Or how about when you’re holding the helm alone at sunset and you swear (on your life!) you saw a green flash glint over a wave on the horizon just as the sun went down. No one was there to witness it but you, so no one can say it didn’t happen. I saw the green flash! Moment like these steal your breath for just a second, and when you let it back out again, in a content huff, you realize you are in the exact place that you want to be, doing the exact thing you want to be doing—headaches, heart-pounds, contented huffs and all.
Powell Cay was one of those moments. In fact, each island in the Abacos was one of those moments. One of the very cool things about the Abacos is not only that each island is just a short 1-2 hour hop from the other, but each island also has something unique to offer. Phillip and I had to start calling them by their “magic moments” so we could remember them. Pensacola Cay became the “Signing Tree Cay.” Manjack Cay became the “Stingray Cay.” And, ironically, Hog Cay became “Snorkel Cay,” while No Name Cay became Hog Cay, or “Piggy Cay” to be exact, as that’s where the swimming pigs in the Abacos live. Yep. Stingrays and swimming pigs are coming your way. As well as each of our little magic moments in the Abacos. Today, we want to share with you Powell Cay, a.k.a. “Starfish Key,” where we found the biggest starfish we have seen in all of the Abacos. What was intended to be a simple ride to shore to explore around the island turned into something magic and memorable, as did everything it seemed in the Abacos. The smallest moments and simplest adventures brought us unforgettable pleasure. Want a little taste? Join us! At Powell Cay, for a magic dinghy ride! Where a trivial jaunt to shore brought us sightings of a sea turtle, a nurse shark (which GoPro was able to get a glimpse of underwater), a massive, mesmerizing starfish (which Video Annie thought might be an alien that would suck her face off), and another stunning Atlantic shore. I’ll bet you find yourself singing along by the end: “This magic moment … ”