Regatta Time in Abaco 2002

July again and what better place to celebrate Independance than in the Beautiful Abaco Islands of the Bahamas.

This year I decided to be lazy and skip the racing and just go for the cruising and the parties, so I went on Cool Cat with Bill and Sharon.

We left Fort Lauderdale with my friend Ray and our friend's daughter Katy on Friday night at around midnight. The wind was very light so we motor sailed. We made it over to West End where we had intended to check in through Customs but there was a very long wait so we decided to keep going and headed over to Great Sale Cay and anchored out for the night.

Next morning we left early and went over to Moraine Cay where we took the dink out to the reef and found it to be prettier than we'd expected. Saw a shark out there too, a Black Tip I think, abuot 4 feet. Found 3 Conch practically under the boat and Katie learned to get them out of their shells and clean them, under Bill's direction. She made Conch Salad to go with dinner and it was great!




Moved over to Umbrella Cay and anchored there for the night and left early the next morning for Green Turtle Cay. Made it to GTC by about 1300 on a kind of rainy dreary Monday, July 1st. No one home at Customs so we were still unable to check in. No one seems to mind much so we did a trip ashore to show Ray and Katy the town.


They were happy to find an ice cream shop there and they both indulged. Sharon and I decided to keep a watch on our girlish figures and I bought jewelery instead. A little gold Dolphin pinky ring.

Went back aboard and then over to the Green Turtle Club for the skipper's meeting. The meeting was short and no sign of the Bandana so no racing for us the next day. I was a bit concerned but heard that they had made it over to Marsh Harbour so I knew they were safe but had a generator problem so needed to stay at the dock for the electric until it was fixed. They had to keep the refrigeration going so the food didn't spoil. Too bad, I was looking forward to racing.

Instead we went out to watch the start and then motored over to the top of Nunjack and anchored and went out to the reef. This is a hard life we have!




Back over to the GTC for the awards and dinner and we had a large dinner of chicken, ribs, and grouper at the club.

Went back to the boat sort of early, as the band was supposed to play out on the deck but the rain put a damper on that.

Wednesday, we were motoring over to the 'Stranded Naked' party when we somehow managed to lose the prop off the starboard engine. We anchored in 6 feet of water and snorkeled around for an hour or so looking for it but no such luck. Bill and I took the dink back over to the club to call my dad to have him arrange to order and ship us a new one. We really wanted to get the order in before the holiday but still we were not going to have our new one before Tuesday. Lucky we are a Catamaran and can get around on one engine! Nothing else we could do so back in the dink and over to Fiddle Cay to find our crew at the Stranded Naked party. This crowd is growing every year but this year they all had their clothes on! Too bad, or maybe not? Hahahaha. ;)








We all went in to town after dinner aboard and went to the new club called Pineapples. Did a bit of dancing and swam in their pool some. Went to sleep exhausted!

Thursday morning was the first race of the RTIA series and Katy got a ride racing on a boat so Ray and I kayaked out to watch the start and then spent a fairly leisurely day relaxing on Cool Cat and in the water.


Next was the awards party at the Govt. Dock with free drinks for all... more music and more tough is this life?










Went back aboard after the Beach party for a steak dinner and some dancing aboard, then back over to Pineapples for more.





Friday morning, steak and eggs for breakfast and then hauled anchor for the trip through Whale Cay Pass over to Baker's Bay at Great Guana. Messed around with the windsurfer and the Kayak and invented a new game, called Kayak Skiing...or something.



Friday night was a tough night with no wind and too many mosquitos. Not much sleep, so I was glad I didn't have to go racing..I would not have done very well. Had to have a day of rest to get ready for the Nippers Mount Gay party, after all! It seems that along with Mount Gay hats, plastic beads, like they have at Mardi Gras, have become rather popular and treasured over in Abaco! Watch out for the guy on the roof! He has the goodies! The prettiest beach you can imagine and the view from up here can't be equalled. It also seems that this is the year of the 'matching crew toes'. Maybe this is how you know which boat you belong to?










Became pretty good friends with the crew from Dolcinea and invited them aboard for dinner. It was pasta night and they brought the salad.

The next day we did a trip over to Scotland Cay for some snorkeling and came up with about 15 more conch! We took them aboard and sailed over to Marsh Harbour and invited the Dolcinea crew aboard again for dinner. It was a sort of a pot luck deal, fresh conch chowder, they brought ribs and, George was also invited and he brough the Snapper and Grouper he speared on the reef that day. Oh, and Ray seems to have found a new Girlfriend! What a doll! We had quite a feast!


Monday night, another Mount Gay party, this time at Snappa's in Marsh Harbour. This place was not here last year and is another typical patio bar with pool. Very nice, all brand new with clean showers and restrooms. Somehow, this way of getting Mt. Gay hats is quite different from any other regatta but at least everyone has a shot at getting one if they are persistent.






Thursday Ray and I did a favor for a friend and sailed his chartered Hunter 32 over to Hopetown so he could race and his wife could be on the RC boat. We were following Cool Cat over because my GPS decided to quit, and then a squall came and we were unable to see them so we were just taking our chances and watching the depth guage. Our engine was dead and we sailed into the harbour entrance and dropped the anchor. Bill came and helped us set the second hook and took us back over to Cool Cat. Dolcinea anchored next to us and we all went ashore for the Lighthouse tour. It's not to be missed.




Finally went back to Marsh Harbour on Thursday went to the final party at the Jib Room. Took on some new crew (Bill and Joanne) from another Catamaran for our return to Florida and Headed out on Friday. Stopped at Pelican Cay reef and was happy to see it coming nicely back to life. The reef looks healthy and we saw a baby nurse shark and a pair of rays and plenty of reef fish.

After our swim we went the rest of the 14 miles down to Little Harbour where we checked out Pete's Pub and the foundry.



Saturday, July 13th. Left Little Harbour at 0730 and did some fishing and motor sailed in next to no wind over to Cat Cay. Did some fishing on the way and caught a small Spanish Mackeral and a King Mackeral and a small Tuna as well. Got to Cat Cay at about 3am and anchored up for a few hours of sleep and left early for the trip across the Stream. Made it home on Sunday at about 1600.