Marsh Harbour, Abaco

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Radeen happily says, OMG, look at this store…..

We have returned to Marsh Harbour in the Abacos, sailing in from Eleuthera and the Exumas, where we were lost in the beauty for over a month. We tried to sail into Spanish Wells on the north side of Eleuthera and hoped to spend a few days exploring there with friends on IP420 Flatlander, but the weather called for us to press on to the Abacos before the north winds began to blow.

Now that we are here in Marsh Harbour, we are thrilled once again with the many conveniences and services provided in this town. We are amazed by the massive grocery store, Maxwell’s and the large hardware store, Standard Hardware. These stores match any we would find in the USA, yet we are reminded that we are in the Bahamas, mon! Coming from the Exumas, where a store may be a room in a house with three shelves of limited supplies, and now being presented with such large retail establishments, is quite overwhelming. Commercialism and marketing are everywhere, and it is honestly a SHOCK.

Along with this marketing we also have noticed the different attitudes of the store workers. In the Exumas, the people are calm and so happy to see you visiting their store. Conversely, in Marsh Harbour, they really don’t seem to care if you are there or not. Reminds us of the attitudes of marketing in the USA. We all can learn a lot from the people of the Exumas, how polite and calm and honestly helpful they are. That is a beautiful place in the world, with genuinely friendly people.

Desmond is the LIMBO KING, no one can go lower

While here in Marsh Harbor, we are participating in all the standard activities. Wednesday Night means RIB NIGHT at The Jib Room, a real local treasure. Tom, Linda and son Stephen provide a great meal and fun atmosphere, where 75 to 100 cruisers will gather and share stories and tales of the high seas while eating one of the best meals in Abaco! After dinner, we enjoyed the fun entertainment of Rake and Scrape by Jason and the amazing DESMOND with his ability to limbo lower than anyone else. Check out the photos…

Another thing we all do in Marsh Harbor is head off to Maxwell’s Grocery Store nearly every day. We take our rolling luggage carts or back packs and go shopping for provisions. We wheel them back to the dinghy dock where we load them up and take them out to the mother ship on anchor. Once at the mother ship, we hand the items one at a time up into the cockpit and then move them below decks where they are stored in the lockers.

A typical grocery store run 

This task of “going to the grocery store” is almost an all day task, but it is actually fun. You walk 1.5 miles to the store, chatting with other cruisers along the way. Once in the store, it is fun to find items that are unfamiliar. You must only buy just enough for your carts so you can walk it back to the dinghy dock and get it out to the boat. It really is a fun task, so much more fun than getting into your garage kept car and driving to the store and then driving back. Here, you actually have to walk and carry all you buy, in a round trip of about 3 miles. This makes it a good activity!

 A full moon over the harbor with IP40 Navigator on anchor

Currently, there are at least 8 other Island Packet Yachts at the Jib Room or anchored in Marsh Harbour. They include IP38 Slow Flight, IP40 Sunkissed, IP40 Navigator, IP420 True North, IP440 Grand Cru, IP40 Down Island, IP420 Nederluft and IP35 Island Breeze. We enjoyed meeting many of them at The Jib Room’s Cruisers’ Cocktail Party on Thursday.  The sailing community is an amazing group where people help each other and are sincerely interested in each other. It is truly different than on land. I guess it is the fact that we all are living the same challenges and the same adventures that brings us all closer together. One thing is for sure….it is an interesting and adventurous lifestyle, where even going for groceries is fun!

Desmond preparing to limbo low. He has been performing for more than 15 years!!
Hayden working on his Rake and Scrape skills
Rake and Scrape is percussion via a screw driver and a saw!
One grocery store run for the HEAVY items

Yes, life on a cruising boat is SIMPLE. Imagine walking for all your food, never driving a car, jugging water to your boat, living in a space the size of your closet…..and some how…..it really is fun :-)!

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