Great Sale to Green Turtle to Marsh Harbor

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What a sail it has been! After leaving Lake Worth Inlet, FL, at 0700, we anchored off Great Sale Cay at 2330 and the next day we were underway by 0700. The forecasted approaching front was right on schedule and we could see it as we motored north to round the island. The front looked a lot worse than it really was. It was forecasted to be only 10-15 knots from the NW, so a nice easy front. Well, it was PERFECT as our course was East and, with the NW wind, we rolled out the sails. Check out these great sailing photos of the front. WARNING: This blog post has some really cool sailing photos. I hope you all enjoy these.

Motoring north to get around Great Sale Cay as the front is arriving.
PERFECT sailing conditions, NW 15. Shut down the engine and let’s sail
It looks really serious, but the morning light and the frontal clouds were beautiful. Plus it brought the NW 10-15 winds exactly as forecasted.
We started with a full mainsail but ended up putting in a reef as we were overpowered
We sailed all the way from Great Sale to Crab Cay until the wind died out

The Wind died out, the front has passed

You have to LOVE springtime sailing when the cold fronts are not as strong and the NW winds are not 25-30 knots. Then, when the front passes, the air behind the front is cool and the sea is calm. Look at the Abacos as we powered around Crab Cay to Green Turtle Cay where we needed to check into the country.

Customs and Immigrations, welcome to the Bahamas

We docked at Leeward Yacht Club at 5 p.m. We cleaned off the salt and spent the night. We did not go anywhere as we could not check in until the AM. So we relaxed and had a Mahi Mahi fish dinner onboard, of course, some wine and called it a night. This was one of our best runs to the Bahamas. Sadly, we are missing our buddy boat 380 SHAWNEE. After weeks of preparation, Drew and Deb had a fuel problem and then a broken motor mount. Darn, we were so looking forward to sharing this run together 🙁

We arrived Green Turtle and docked at Leeward Yacht Club, what a great property

The next day, we checked into the country with Customs and Immigrations. We arrived at the office at 1100 hours and they had a sign on the door that they would return at 1235. No problem, MON, we will come back, it is Island Time. At 1400 hours, the customs officer finally arrived and we were able to process our paperwork and pay our $300 for a cruising permit. The fee is based on boat length. As it states on the government website, the fee is $150 for 35-feet and under boats and it is $300 for a 35-feet and over boats. We are a 35 foot boat. Do you see a problem here? Well, we have learned that it is at the sole discretion of the office to choose a price for 35 footers! Five times we have paid $150, this time and one other time, we paid $300. Welcome to Da Bahamas, Mon.

At 1100 we arrived and this was the sign. At 1400, the sign came down.
It was a beautiful day to check in
Back to the boat at 1600. Down with the Q flag and up with the Bahamas Flag

Let’s Go Thru the WHALE

When heading south from Green Turtle Cay you have to go out over a reef to sea, run in front of Whale Cay, then cut back into the Sea of Abaco over another reef. This “Whale Cay Passage” can be very serious. It can also hold you up on either side of the passage for weeks if the swell is breaking over these two cuts. This day, the winds were SW 15-18 and that makes for a dream run as you can sail out to sea. beam reaching, and then close reach back into the Sea of Abaco.  Perfection! This day will go down as one of the best sailing days in many, many years. We had about an hour of engine time, to leave the harbor, set sails and then to motor into the next harbor, drop sails and anchor. The water color changed several times on this leg.  First, there is the Bahamas Banks at Green Turtle, then the indigo blue of the deep ocean outside Whale Cay and finally the Teal Blue Green of the Sea of Abaco. Navigating around here is easy, the waters are protected and we simply love sailing in the Bahamas. I hope you enjoy these photos. Some of the best.

Beam reaching for the Whale Cay Cut from Green Turtle Cay
There it is, WHALE CAY, as we head for the Atlantic
We both wear harnesses so we are safely tethered to the boat
This is WHALE CAY. On previous passages, we have seen ocean swells crashing up and over this cay. It is serious when the swell is running. This day was very calm.
We sailed out, and now we can sail back in, what a great passage!
Welcome to the Sea of Abaco and the Teal Green Blue water 7 to 10 feet deep
A most beautiful day to be sailing the Sea of Abaco
Reefed mainsail and a full 110% jib
We do rarely hand steer. Our B&G Autopilot steers according to the masthead wind sensor. It even learns to anticipate the action of waves and steer a straighter course. Amazing!
One more photo because it is just so beautiful

Arriving at MARSH HARBOR for the JIB ROOM

It is Saturday night and, if you are in the Abacos, then you know it is STEAK NIGHT at the Jib Room / Marsh Harbor Marina. We LOVE to treat ourselves to this great meal, wonderful bar, fun limbo show and, best of all, fun with sailing buddies. Our boat buddies on IP 485 SANCTUARY, Sheryl, Michael, and Andrew arrived from Naples FL via Key West to here. We also connected with Caliber 40 HIGH ZZZs, Sheppard and Deb.  We bumped into IP 445 GRATITUDE, Mike and Lizzie, new owners out of Rock Hall, MD who joined us as well. Our World Sailing, Ocean Crossing Buddies on Catalac Catamaran 44 ANGEL LOUISE, Ed and Sue, came over from Hope Town.  We all had a great time gathering at the happy hour, drinking BILGE BURNERS and enjoying a wonderful steak dinner at THE JIB. This is like coming home for us. We count this as one of our “happy places.” We do miss the previous owners, Tom and Linda!

IP 485 Sanctuary arrives Marsh Harbor
We hoisted the IP flag for Michael and Sheryl
Catalac 44 Catamaran Angel Louise. Ed and Sue, have circumnavigated all of Europe via the rivers and canals. Now they just finished the American Great Loop. They call themselves “Chicken Sailors” but they really GO PLACES!
The Jib Room, always a great program with delicious food
Desmond, the #1 Limbo man in the Islands, entertains the crowd. No one can go as low.

WE ARE HERE and We are Happy….

We are so happy to be out cruising again with our boat repaired. Now we can keep going and set sail for the Exumas and the Berrys. First, a full review tour of the Abacos.

Hayden and Radeen, two lucky and happy cruisers. Here we are enjoying breakfast at the Green Turtle Club, one of our Favs.

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5 Replies to “Great Sale to Green Turtle to Marsh Harbor”

  1. So happy that things are going so perfect for you.Sailing is FUN again.Really liked the horizon photo with blues and contrasting clouds.

  2. Glad you’re back in tropical water! We’re in Roatan and having a great time scuba diving every day. Dive sites are a 5 to 10 minute dinghy ride away and visibility is 80 ‘ +. We dive the wall, which is incredible.
    Best regards and enjoy the Abacos
    Bob and Nina

  3. Wow! You stirred up so many wonderful memories!
    We got an email from someone who read DIXEY AND JULIE SAILS blog that I wrote in Marsh Harbor in 2014, just this week! -called: – 2 Coconuts and a Castle, about meeting GAYLE, the daughter, of “Out-Island Doctor” book, – at the castle BnB she runs. It was fun. You helped me create the blog: morninggrace32.blogspot.com . (people are still reading it.)

    We are with you in Spirit!

  4. A great post and sail. I enjoyed reliving Green Turtle Cay and the Whale Cay Passage which I passed through several times. Continue to enjoy your cruising life. There is nothing better!

    Chuck

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