Hopetown, Sandy Cay and Tilloo Cay

Hopetown is a deservingly popular destination in the Abacos. I felt like a Disney princess dinghying by the candy striped lighthouse surrounded by giggling sailboats. I almost broke out in song. Cheery music chimed from a church speaker as we climbed up the dinghy dock ladder . The houses are brightly and neatly painted and there are quaint shops and, as there should be in magic land, there is a wine bar, Wine Down, Sip, Sip, where I partook in a chilled glass of Rose.

We rounded off the night with a fantastic dinner. Last year I lost weight while sailing. This year I think I’m gaining. I keep pestering Sadie to start a food blog. It is amazing what she and Matt can pull out of their limited resources and equipment. We have recently had Carnitas El Pastor with homemade tortillas, Margarita pizza on homemade crust with fresh mozzarella and bay leaves, and an Asian night smorgeshbourg that could satisfy a king. In fact it did, and a sea princess. Soul Divers is my new favorite restaurant. And it’s free!

Beef pho in the cups, fried wontons, pork spring rolls, chinese bbq grilled pork, vegetable fried rice, salad with homemade ginger carrot dressing and all the favorite dipping sauces.

We had a couple of days forecasted with the perfect becalmed weather to enjoy a sea park with a renowned protected reef. Captain Smittenasakitten and I were a little reluctant to leave magical Hopetown so soon but we plan to return and linger there a spell. Off we went about thirteen miles south to Sandy Cay.

Sandy Cay was all about the water. Matt and Sadie dove and Captain Thatsalotofwork and I decided to snorkel it. Sadie took some beautiful pictures.

From there we moved on to Tilloo where I am writing to you from a spinning, howling, complaining boat amidst an all day storm that is not supposed to tire herself out until the wee hours. There have been reports of a water spout five miles away. Water spouts are little, mini tornadoes. I saw one last year with my very own eyes. They are mysterious and mesmerizingly beautiful as they arc from the clouds and dance all wiggly waggly tossing up the sea. Even Kraken beware.


Waterspout compliments of Dr Google Free Waterspout search

We have had dishes fall out of cupboards and unsecured items fall off of counters and tables. Wind gusts have exceeded 40 mph. Yesterday, we wisely snuggled into a protected bay off of Tilloo Cay in preparation for this blow. Captain Manhandlesher gave B.P. a good drop and snub and I backed down on her to set her vicious bite into the sand below. We and Soul Divers have lookie buckets. This is a simple bucket with a clear bottom that you use as an underwater viewer. Matt and Sadie came by after checking their anchor to check on ours for us. Only one of B.P.’s teeth were set in the sand so Captain Giveherhell threw Echoes in reverse as our friends watched B.P. dig in hard. As much as I detest that rusty, scary, feisty BIG B.P. I appreciate her tenacity on a day like today.

This is B.P. dug in with a lazy chain on a calm, clear day in Hopetown. She is in about thirteen feet of water. The chain was straight off the bow and tight when she was set but the winds calmed overnight and we woke up right on top of her.


Tilloo Cay is protected from the brothers Wind, North and East, who seem to be more than a bit peeved at the moment. To me though, this storm feels more like a scorned woman Wind than the brothers Wind. Why? Because she is long winded and has dug in her heels unwilling to let her grievances go. Male storms, indulge me now, are fiercer but much, much shorter. Boom! Crackle! And then the sun shines and you go about your day. I’m not speaking personally, of course not, I’m just a student of human nature after all.

This one is for my high school besties. Happy Birthday, Monica!

There are Kraken out there feeding off this scorned windy tempest like a shark drawn to bloodied, wounded tuna. I’ve heard a bit about improperly tethered dinghys and dragging anchors on the VHF but, gratefully, there have been nary a tentacle sighting from our little sailboat cocoon where I sit bobbing with a good book as Captain
BuonAppetito adds spicy Italians to spaghetti sauce on the gimbaled stove.

The water quality in the U.S. tops its acceptability rating at 500 or less parts per million. World standards are acceptable at 1000 parts per million. We have filled our tanks with anything from 800 to 1700 ppm since we’ve been in the Bahamas. We thought I may have cross threaded a deck fill port and tainted our water with sea water but the more water we buy the more alarming the ppm. So, not only are we thrilled to save the thirty-five to forty cents per gallon for water but rain water captured is by far the cleanest water we’ve had, including Florida’s. This rain water tests at 240 ppm. You can clearly taste the difference. I’ve been guzzling rain water like fine wine. Our one hundred and ten gallon tanks are full to the brim.
In the following video we are anchored and not moving at sea. At the end of the video you can see how Captain Rightasrain captures the rain by creating a dam with a winch handle wrapped in a clean towel.

We live by the commands of Sovereign Weather. We will wait here for the scorned woman Wind to fully express her fury. She is forecasted to blow for about eight hours and then leave us with clouds and some tears for a day or two. No worries. She gives me time to play with words.

Cracked lips
Wind whipped
A shower both short and icy
Unplugged
Debugged
Life giving books instead of TV
Stars bright
Moonlight
Background music, my captain, and me
Wine soaked head
Time for bed
To dream of full sails at sea