Wednesday, May 2, 2012
UPDATE: Our Hope Town Visit is Complete – Lookout Green Turtle
Well we briefly left Hope Town and headed over to Treasure Cay. We had planned to stay a week or so and come back to Hope Town to visit our friends from Raleigh, NC who come the last week of April every year. Wednesday we sailed in light east winds from Hope Town to Treasure Cay and had to lay off shore a couple hours until the tide was high enough to get in the channel.
Around 5:00 pm we started our run through the Treasure Cay channel and made it without parting mud or sand with our keel. What a disappointment to find the anchorage pack to the gills with mainly Sunsail Charter boats and a few cruisers. Crap, all this way to have to turn around and find another anchorage. The forecast was for light winds 10 kts or less until the next nasty cold front approached on late Friday into early Saturday. Guess what? As we left the Treasure Cay channel the wind was kick’n a good 25 kts from the east. It had been building all day but really picked up quickly in the late afternoon. I’m thinking where did this come from and where do we need to be in case the forecast is screwed up. We decided to head for Water Cay which is about 6 nautical miles east of Treasure Cay and about 9 nm west from Marsh Harbor. The anchorage would give us good protection from a clocking NE->E->SE->S wind. We pounded our way east for about an hour and found a great anchorage waiting for us in the lee of Water Cay. Only one other boat anchored there and we had a great star lit evening on the hook.
We weighed our options on whether to head back to Treasure Cay or do a quick provisioning stop in Marsh Harbour and head back to Hope Town for the Blow. The forecast was for some really ugly weather late Friday through late Monday so everybody and their brother was looking for a safe place to hide. We decided we would try the new docks at the Hope Town Inn and Marina. Friday morning we weighed anchor and headed for Marsh Harbour. The hook was down by 11:00am and we hit Snappers for lunch before the provision stop at Maxwell’s. We had just sat down when our friends Ellen and Erick from m/v “Westwind” came in. They were meeting friends who were flying in and staying on their boat for a few days. We met Ellen and Erick in Stuart, Florida last year and spent almost a month there with them and many others cruisers waiting out bad weather. It was great to see them again. After lunch we hit the bank and Maxwell’s and hung out on the boat until the tide was sufficient for us to head for Hope Town. We pulled into slip 219 by 6:30pm and were glad to be on a dock for a few days.
As predicted the strong cold front brought some ugly weather. Sunday morning around 4:00 am we clocked a 51 knot gust and recorded sustained winds in the gale force range for several hours. We always keep our VHF radio on at night and especially when bad weather is forecast. Around 5:00 am in the pitch black darkness with the wind howling 35 to 40 knots we heard a call for help from m/v “Second Look”. “Second Look” was on a mooring in the harbor. A large Great Harbor Trawler (that should have been at a dock) drug their mooring block past several other boats and slammed into “Second Look”. Now you have a big mess. Two large vessels tangled together in almost total darkness slamming into each other with the wind blowing like stink. If they stay tangled who knows how many other boat they will take out before going aground or into perimeter shoreside docks. Truman Majors to the rescue. Truman owns the fishing vessel “Lucky Strike” and also owns the green moorings in the harbor. We always use Truman’s moorings because he maintains them very well and his mooring blocks are massive.
“Second Look” was safe on one of Truman’s moorings until the big Great Harbor trawler who was on another companies mooring slammed into him. Truman came out in the howling wind and managed to get the two boats free of each other before a bigger problem happened. The Great Harbor trawler left Hope Town as there were not many options for them in a very tight harbor with the wind blowing like hell. I spoke to Mike on “Second Look” several days after the incident and he told me those a-holes never called him about taking care of any damages. They simply skipped town. What a bunch of jerks.
Everyone knows you are responsible for the damage your vessel causes. You take a mooring at your own risk. If it breaks which this one didn’t (the guy improperly short tied the mooring pennants at low tide and the wind hit at high tide causing his trawler to float the mooring off the bottom) you are responsible for the damage.
Anyway around day break the radio lit up again with a call from someone land side reporting a sailboat either aground on the reef or anchored on the Atlantic side (windward side) of Elbow Cay. Not a good place to be with the dangerous seas and wind. Truman Majors to the rescue again in less than 2 hours. Truman and one of the other BASRA (Bahamas Search and Rescue Association) men braved the sea conditions on an Albury 23 to have a closer look and determine if anyone was onboard who needed assistance. Once they were on scene they requested BASRA contact the Bahamian Defense Force as something didn’t appear quite right. There were apparently people onboard. Truman and the other gentleman towed the vessel to safety around the north end of Elbow Cay to the lee shore where the Defense Force apparently took over. The last we heard they moved on the next day. They were apparently just scared sailors who got caught in a Blow that everyone on this side of world knew was coming a week in advance. These guys were very lucky they didn't lose their boat or lives.
All I can say is God Bless Truman Major for selflessly helping others in need of assistance.
We enjoyed staying at the Hope Town Inn and Marina resort. Arron, Sam and the bar staff were great. While not yet complete, this place is really shaping up be an awesome destination. The architect Michael Myers is very talented and has created a spectacular design for the resort.
We met several new boats and had a great time getting to know Tom and Linda on WindSwept. After the blow we moved to the mooring field and have enjoyed hanging out with walks through town and walks on the beach. We ran into our friends Corbett and Robin on “Cookie Monster” and they invited us over for Sundowners where we met Graham and Valerie on s/v “Bonnie Lass”. Turns out ‘Bonnie Las” stays in Brunswick for hurricane season too.
Our Hope Town visit would not be complete without seeing our friends, Debbie and Lance and Jeff and E.A. These guys come every year and we have a blast drinking and listening to their tall tales. The weather gods haven’t been real nice this year but we got in several good visits with them and feel our Hope Town visit is now complete. So tomorrow we will head out for Green Turtle Cay where we are to meet up with Sandy and Ray on s/v “Megerin” and start our track back to the U.S.