Green Turtle Cay – Tonka and The Goombay Smash
At our little cruiser sundowner party Nancy and Gee decided we must visit Green Turtle Cay before heading off. It worked out perfectly since they needed more rum and we needed to upload a video.
Gee offered to be the chauffeur because he has the fastest boat (small boat with a big motor) and because we thought his boat was way cool. It’s a 22’ C-Dory boat, which is essentially the camper van of the sea. We couldn’t get over how much it reminded us of our old Westfalia VW Vanagon.
Nancy has spent a ton of time on Green Turtle (she is building a house on Munjack) and it’s easy to see she enjoys playing the role of tour guide.
Green turtle is only a whopping four nautical mile trip from Munjack Cay, which is why this cruising community can easily spend so much time at this anchorage. Civilization is just around the corner, there’s a full-service marina with fuel and the island is incredibly cruiser friendly. We bummed around the town of New Plymouth. It’s a little town on Green Turtle Cay in the “out islands” of the Abacos, Bahamas.
We land on the free public dock, drop our garbage into the giant dock dumpster and we’re off to explore. This is the most polished place we’ve seen in the Abacos so far. Golf carts are everywhere and judging by the colorful storefronts it’s a tourist friendly place.
Our first stop is what Nancy calls Beer & Breakfast. It’s basically a diner, bar and liquor store. Sadly, we’d already eaten but the bartender/waitress was kind enough to give us the Wi-Fi password and let us store our computer behind the bar to get our upload started while we roamed about town. Of course, we made sure to buy some rum from them when we came back to retrieve the computer.
We went from one bar directly to another, but this time it’s with the intention to have a drink at the “World famous Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar“. The story is miss Emily invented the now famous Goombay Smash. It’s so popular in the Bahamas that Coca-Cola bottles a non-alcoholic version that we see in every store. Her Goombay Smash is wildly strong, but tastes like punch we drank as kids with an insatiable sweet tooth. To be honest we were disappointed that the sweet concoction was pre-mixed and served out of a plastic milk jug, it made the experience seem more like a tourist trap than a locally crafted cocktail.
We continued the tour around the island with the Jail, the town offices and into a local eatery. The food was good but nothing to write home about. Each place we’ve eaten so far in the Bahamas has similar offerings of fried seafood, but this place obviously caters to tourists with burgers, pizza and chicken fingers. One thing that’s a bummer is their menu states homemade fries, but that’s not what was served. The lady said they don’t always buy potatoes so today you get the frozen ones instead (I’m always a little bummed when I’m sold fresh then served pre-packaged foods, yet charged the same price).
We stopped into both grocery stores and here’s the consensus: It’s expensive, about double the price we pay in the states. Fresh anything is hard to find as there are very few fruits or veggies since food takes a while to get here (it ships on a boat from Florida to Nassau to Marsh Harbour to Green Turtle). We saw a $9 bag of tortilla chips which made us glad we provisioned well for the sinful snacky stuff.
Winter is the off-season here but we still ran across several business owners and people out and about running errands. We were surprised that most of the people we met were white. Turns out the settlers here are British loyalists, many coming from the Carolinas in the late 1700’s. One thought I couldn’t shake during our visit: This town feels like a popular destination for the retirement crowd, almost like one of those active adult resort villages in Arizona. But, that could be due to the time of year we’re visiting.
New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay is a cute town and we felt our one day tour was enough to satisfy our curiosity here. If we make it back through this area we may stop for another walk-about, especially considering it’s the only town we’ve seen since Grand Cay.
As you may have noticed we departed this anchorage just before thanksgiving, and that was a difficult decision to make. You see, we set out to explore as much of the Abacos before we have to turn around to pick up family for Christmas and New Year’s…which means it’s time to sail on.
Sailing Report MotorTrippin’ on Tonka
To see our full travel map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
Nautical Miles Motored: 8 miles round trip from Munjack Cay to Green Turtle Cay
Dates: November 21, 2016
Anchorage: There are anchorages at Green Turtle but we were staying at Munjack Cay
Cell & WiFi: Our BTC signal was good here but we were trying to conserve our data by using local wifi. The local wifi speeds were slow and BTC 4g is much faster if you really need fast internet.
Gear Used In This Video
- Insulated Grocery Tote: http://amzn.to/28UIaXS
- Ice Packs: http://amzn.to/29drigA
- Waterproof/Floating handbag: gonewiththewynns.com/product/productugo-waterproof-pack
Cameras Used to Capture This Video:
- Mostly used our little Sony RX100 for this video: gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-dsc-rx100m-iii-cyber-shot-digital-still-camera
- 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
- 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
Just wrote on your other post about having lived on Eleuthera in 1989-1990, and the Goombay Smashes were always prepared in a gallon milk jug. I think this is the “local” version and the “tourist version” would be a lot flashier. When made well, you don’t taste the rum too much and they really sneak up on you. You can get “smashed” without realizing it! Speaking from experience here 😉
Just curious – on a recent video you said that you have to fire up the generator to run the RO system – but I know you’re running the AC off your lithium battery banks. I would imagine that while the RO system would take a decent amount of power, that it would certainly be less than the AC. Just curious as to why you can’t/won’t run the RO off the battery banks – I’m guessing that the real problem is that you can’t run BOTH – either your inverter would get maxed out, or that you’re depleting your battery banks faster than your solar can top them off, but I’m just guessing. Anyhow, you guys have inspired me to sign up for ACA 101!!!
Not quite. The AC along with the soft start actually doesn’t spike anywhere near what the RO does. The high boost pump on the watermaker is an extremely big draw. We could add a soft start to it as well and that would help but it still requires a lot of power. if we wanted to run our watermaker off of our batteries, we would need to get a different watermaker. There are 12v watermakers (spectra) that we very well could run off of our batteries and should ours ever fail, that would most likely be the direction we would go. You can learn more about running an AC off batteries and why a soft start is necessary here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/off-grid-solar-rv-air-conditioning We will eventually have a video about running our AC on the boat and how we have everything set up.
Makes perfect sense! Yeah unless something has been designed to run off of battery banks…..well it’s probably expecting to have shore power or a generator running it! I have a small RV (Itasca Viva) that I’ve done extensive off grid mods to, a lot of them inspired by you – I was actually able to sell the generator when the rig was essentially new, and used that money to cover much of the cost of the solar install. I have two deep cycle AGM batteries on them, I’m thinking when they wear out I’ll upgrade them to LiPo, and then it would make sense to put the soft start in. With only 250 amp hours on board now (and really only 125 since I’m not supposed to go below 50%), it’s just not worth installing the soft start, or for that matter upgrading the inverter so that it could handle the AC load (1500 watt high surge model here, enough to run my Bonavita coffee maker – yes, that’s how I sized my inverter….) ANYHOW! Sorry to geek out so much, I spend about 50% of my time in the RV these days, exploring the West and paragliding, and a big part of that comes from you folks. -Sky
After years of reading your stellar Blog and watching your expertly produced You Tube channel, we have figured out why you moved from the RV world to the sailing yacht world. You are seeking eternal summer and by not having to have heavy coats and boots Nikki has more room for her wardrobe!
My wife and I do enjoy your adventures, they get better every time. You are living your dreams, thanks for taking us along.
Sandra & the 2 Spaniels
One question that I haven’t seen answered? What are you two doing for a washer/dryer? Hand washing, laundromats? And how are you finding place to store stuff? Since you are basically vegetarians, would you get more space saving from freeze dried packaging versus canned/packaged items? I keep hoping we will get another peek at the personal quarters.
Love your adventures!
Pete Crosby (aka pacjag)
They have a washer/dryer on the boat.
We enjoy all of your adventures. Beautiful videos
Selena & JR
We found your blog just as you were transitioning to sailing from the RV. We are about to embark on RV travels ourselves and your free spirit has given us a great boost! JR is retired military (Navy 21 years) and traveled the world, diving in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Our current interest is in seeing the US by RV with our home base being a houseboat. (He is most at home on the water). We currently own an animal rescue and once we have everything in place… We’re off! It’s refreshing that you tell the truth regarding your findings and experiences. The real deal is always better than a Michelin guide! Kudos for following your hearts. Can’t wait to see your next adventure!
Just wanted to give you two the visual on this end…. we’re currently visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with Estelle for two weeks. Despite the wealth of exploration to be done here, Mom has made time to engross herself in your most recent videos, and we get as much pleasure out of watching her reactions as the videos themselves. 🙂 She asked us to say a big Hola!
Great to be able to follow along and we love living this new chapter in your life vicariously. This area is extra fun for us as we vacationed in that part of the world (Great Guana Cay & Scotland Cay) two consecutive winters. We’re interested to see your take on the Exumas (assuming you sail there), as we flew our plane the entire length of the chain at 750′ above the water. From that altitude, the scene is mesmerizing and hypnotic, as every boat at anchor appeared to be floating in air above the swirling crystal clear turquoise water. We’ve always imagined it to be as magical on the water as it appeared from the air.
Have a blast and thanks for sharing. Love and miss you both, Peter & John
That was fun thanks for sharing. Off you go, next stop?
Don’t be disappointed about Miss Emily’s pouring the Goombay Smash out of a gallon jug. They have always done it that way because the recipe is so secret they don’t want anyone seeing what they put in there. Kind of a tropical Hunch Punch! Here is an article about this “interesting” drink: https://talesofthecocktail.com/history/goombay-smash-bahamas-most-famous-drink-no-ones-talking-about
So what you experienced was an authentic Green Turtle Cay tradition rather than just a touristy ripoff. Thanks for sharing these wonderful experiences with us!!
I guess I need to put some money in your tip jar. Those prices are outrageous! I hope you find better deals on the other islands!
It’s really nice to see both of you enjoying the weather and the friendly people. Thanks and stay adventurous.
So happy I found you guys on YouTube! You bring a smile and makes me want to go explore the world. I have mainly traveled Europe, I’m Swedish so I’m living there, but been in the states a few times and done some traveling in Asia to. Enjoy life and have fun!!
Lots of fun ! Thank you for taking me along.
So fun to explore!! No heavy winter coats & boots needed there – you are lucky!! Thank you for sharing – I really enjoyed that 🙂
Are you finding that you should have stocked up more from Publix?
If Gee is French Canadian, his name is spelled G-U-Y. The French pronounce Guy as Gee.
Will be curious where you end up getting more provisioning. Prices there seemed outrageous. Is Marsh Harbor less expensive?