We have been having a blast with our Canadian friends on the boats s/v Salty Ginger, and s/v Gromit. After our first stop and Lanyard Cay we moved up to Tilloo Cay and Tahina anchored in beautiful turquoise waters in just 5-6 feet of depth over sand. We had acres of beautiful water all around us and we loved it. Nearby was another beach with a great “camp site” which had some basic furniture brought in by other boaters so you could do cookouts under the trees, relax by a camp fire in the evening, and enjoying the beautiful white sand beach going in both directions.
Tilloo Cay pool
We spent one afternoon just lounging around the shallow water sand bars in our very own giant multi-olympic-sized pool. Occasionally a big ray would come scooting by and we managed to get some pictures of one. We brought out lots of water toys on our dinghies and just hung out for hours.
We moved the boat up to Marsh Harbour – the main town of the Abacos – and got some provisions at a huge American-style grocery store. Karen and I enjoyed a nice dinner at a restaurant with the adult crew of Salty Ginger one night.
Early the next morning we moved north a few miles to Fowl Cay – which is home to a protected marine park. We loved the beautiful waters on the south side, but everyone piled onto Tahina and we moved out to the north side to anchor amongst the reefs. We had a delightful few hours snorkeling the various reefs out there. Beautiful colorful coral, lots of fish, lots to explore. The kids enjoyed becoming part of my underwater photography and were often swimming into view. Lots of photos in the slideshow down below. The photo here is of Amelia – which shows you why they call their boat Salty Ginger.
Hope Town lighthouse
After relaxing the afternoon away at Fowl Cay, while we waited for high tide, we sailed a few miles east to Hope Town of Elbow Cay. They have a lighthouse near the town, and it was a favorite photography object. The Gromits were meeting someone on the island, so Salty Ginger and Tahina went ashore and enjoyed a lunch in the town, and did some souvenir shopping. We were also checking out the real estate as this is a beautiful place – but, we found it to be a bit pricey.
The next morning, Tahina led the way through a shallow area along Elbow Cay sailing the whole way back down to Tilloo Cay. The Salties took some pictures of Tahina as we were sailing down. After lunch, we took Tahina’s Dinghy down with the Salties and a couple of the kids and did another snorkel off Pelican Cay. We saw some awesome Spotted Eagle Rays – the largest I’ve seen at about 1.2m in width, and got some good pics. We also saw some shark, and a nice variety of fish and coral again.
That evening, we did another cookout on shore. Actually, Graham of Salty did all the cooking on his BBQ grill which he brought ashore. He set it on a makeshift table made out of wood, which kind of caught fire after he had been cooking a while. But, we got it under control. After another nice pot luck dinner, which was capped with some great desserts from all three boats, I got to play some frisbee on the beach! Later, Liam – the son from Gromit – made a nice camp fire again. The girls Amelia and Maya came over and serenaded us with songs and guitar, and Zoë performed an amazing Tahitian dance (she learned at a Tahitian school in 2011).
Yesterday was a rainy day (which we knew was coming). Liam came over to Tahina for a few hours of video game playing. Karen was invited to play board games at Gromit – which she enjoyed as always. I spent many hours today – another rainy day – processing hundreds of photos – of which I’ve reduced it down to a mere 75 for you to enjoy below:
We have to wait another few days to see if a weather window will develop to allow us to sail our final leg back to the US. We are definitely having a great time while we wait though! A little while ago, we saw a big shark swimming through “our” swimming pool. The kids just watched “Jaws” last night, so I don’t think they’re going swimming today.