Cruising Life in the Abacos – Beaches, Bugs & Beauty
We’re moving further along in the Abacos and it feels like we’re settling into the rhythm of cruising life aboard Curiosity.
It’s a groove that’s easy to settle into because we follow Mother Nature’s lead. When the winds blow, we sail and if they are blowing a little too much, we work and tend to the sailboat. When the sun is shining and the winds are pleasant, we explore. We’re taking each day as its presented to us and it’s pretty freaking cool.
It’s a blissful way to go about life…until nature turns on you. One minute she’s gifting you with 15 knots of cool wind, sunshine and moderate temperatures. The next minute she takes away every whisper of a breeze, turns the skies grey and sends in the fleet of flesh-eating monsters.
Now, you may think I am exaggerating about the flesh-eating monsters part, believe me, I am not. If you’ve ever experienced a swarm of no-see-ums you know just the kind of evil I am referring to. It’s at this moment I am thankful we don’t solely rely on mother nature and we have the wonderment of human ingenuity known as the motor. I don’t normally like cranking on the motors, but in this case it’s like music to my ears!
While you won’t need any bug spray to safely hit the play button on today’s video…you may want a little anti-itch cream to get through the first minute.
I’m not sure this little island or anchorage is any more spectacular than the others we’ve visited, but the consistent flow of lobster dinners we scored here made it a fantastic anchorage! We were feeling like rock stars compared to our first lobster experience in Key West. Florida was good training grounds and practice for lobstering, but our new Hawaiian sling spear and these “lobster hotels” make catching these tasty bugs way more simple.
At this anchorage, we had a good-sized shark visit two different evenings, we spotted dozens of turtles during the day and couple giant ones chomping down at night. We would have stayed a few days longer to scope out the Atlantic side, but once those bugs arrived in full force there was no way we could make it another minute.
Calm as calm can be on the Sea of Abaco side with stunning sunsets and plenty of giant starfish. We spent our first night a good distance from the island since we feared the no-see-ums. After we paddled around the island, and didn’t get a single bite, we decided to pick up the hook and tuck in a little closer to the “mountain”.
There’s a nice trail that traverses the island and drops you off onto the Atlantic side. This is the best trail we’ve hit since we’ve arrived in the Bahamas (it’s no Yellowstone or Grand Canyon hike, but its about as good as it gets out here in the Abacos). On the eastern beach the waves crash, the rocks create tide pools and on the day of our visit it felt very northern California with the misty cloud filled skies.
We have had our one yellow Fisher Inflatable paddle board for a couple of years now. We have used it all over North America and we really put it to the test in Alaska paddling around glaciers and such. We were limited on space in the RV and were always happy to share the one board and take turns paddling each other around. However, with our new lifestyle on the water, it only made sense to get another board so each of us could paddle on our own.
We could have easily gone for a ridged fiberglass board but we love, love, love our inflatable SUP. We can stow it in a locker and get it completely out of the way while we sail. Plus, if we want to load them up in the dinghy and take them to a certain area to paddle, its super simple. By far, the biggest advantage is we don’t have to worry about bashing our boards, or damaging our boat when we’re moving boards around. We have gotten so used to the flexibility and portability of these iSUP’s, we couldn’t imagine having anything else on our sailboat.
Washing The boat
It seems a little ridiculous to have to wash sea water off a sailboat but that is exactly the case. We still have gunk leftover from being in service mixed with newly accumulated bug guts being burned into the decks with the salt crystals. We’ve been warned not to let the salt sit on the boat for too long, especially in the sun as it wears down the life of our fiberglass. So, we’re trying to be good to our gal Curiosity and keep her in tip top shape.
It’s mind blowing how much salt builds up. I can run my finger along the side of the boat and pick up a teaspoon full of course ground sea salt. I am not sure if its edible but I really should find out. Because if so, we have no need to ever buy salt again.
We’re still testing out products and soaking in all the recommendations of our fellow sailors but for now, here is what we’re using. Please note that the cleaning products we use are labeled as biodegradable and that is incredibly important to us. We don’t want to use products that are harmful to the environment or ourselves.
- Magic erasers are amazing at removing stains without damaging anything in the process. Best part is they don’t need anything more than a little water (and sometimes soap). We found this multi-pack that was much cheaper than the stores: http://amzn.to/2hIurvK
- Boat Wash, seems like any other soap to me. Nothing particularly special or magical here, just soap. When we were in service we would use dish soap to help get the oils and grime off if the boat was really dirty. We use the Maguire’s Boat Wash: http://amzn.to/2gYQHjB
- McLube HullKote was a recommendation that came through from a few of you in the comments and I have to say…Thanks!!! So far I am loving it and its far less work than waxing with a buffer. But that said, we’ve been told there’s no replacing elbow grease that comes with a good UV boat wax (we use the Maguries Wax). Only time will tell how well this stuff really works: http://amzn.to/2i2Y1Z3
To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
Nautical Miles Sailed: Moraine Cay to Allan’s Cay 7NM / Allan’s Cay to Powell Cay 13NM = Total 20 nautical miles
Dates: November 10 – 17, 2016
Gear Used In This Video
- Hammerhead Free-Dive Mask With Camera Mount http://amzn.to/2d5C6SB
- Hammerhead Free-Dive J Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2cjh3dV
- Wet Suits – We’ve had our dive suits and fins for over 8 years, and they’re still holding up decently.
- iPad Pro using Garmin Bluecharts App (and Active Captain): http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf
- Predict Wind App: bit.ly
- iPad Mount at Helm: http://amzn.to/2fT84PG
- Mantus Anchor: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/mantus-anchor
- Portable Floating VHF Radio: http://amzn.to/2hwEoK7
- Hawaiian Sling Spear: http://amzn.to/2hIBfHb
Cameras Used to Capture This Video:
- Sony A7ii: http://bit.ly/a7rii-sony
- Sony Zoom Mic: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-gun-zoom-microphone-black
- Sony 24 – 70mm f4 lens: http://bit.ly/2470-zeiss
- Sony Action Cam: http://bit.ly/sony-as300
- DJI Phantom 3: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/dji-phantom-3-advanced-quadcopter-drone-with-1080p-hd-video-camera
- All of our up to date photo and editing gear: gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Want the recipe for those giant yummy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Here you go: gonewiththewynns.com/chewy-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies
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Thanks for watching, reading and being a part of the journey!