1st May to 18th June 2015
1 Cherokee Point:
1st May 2015
Crossing from Eleuthera to Abaco with changing seas, winds and lots of rain.
Close to our arrival the wind completely died down.
Beautiful turquoise water of Little Bay at Cherokee Point
Late afternoon walk on the beach
On arrival we were greeted by a school of dolphins swimming around Vagabund
2 North Lynyard Cay
2nd May 2015
Fresh fish for tonight!
Anchored at North Lynyard Cay
Bottles attached to the net with “I was here” message along with pieces of wash up debris.
Possible “Braaiplek” for our 31st May Republic day celebrations.
Snorkeled Sandy Cay. It looked like an aquarium with big coral fish including a curious reef shark. We will revisit in better light conditions to take more pictures.
3 Little Harbour
3rd to 6th May 2015
With the unsettled weather predicted we decided to move onto a mooring in Little Harbour. Last night we most probably experience gusts up to 35 knots and raining was pouring down in buckets. Today is much more settled with periodic showers of rain.
Pete’s Pub is a unique bar/restaurant
The old lighthouse is now abandoned like so many other lighthouses in the Bahamas. Modern technology has made these icons absolute.
We still had time before the bad weather set in to look for some sea glass on the windward side. Sea state has drastically changed from almost a mirror surface to a washing machine. Glad we could make the passage in reasonable weather.
Little Harbour’s entrance
Having time to bake some rusks for Zack.
4 Sandy Cay to Elbow Cay
6th to 7th May 2015
Exploring with our dinghy at the Tilloo cut inlet we found a Nurse shark, Stingray and a Turtle swimming underneath the dinghy.
At the reef of Sandy Cay was interesting formations and a lot of reef fishes.
We found our deserted island with the most beautiful blue water at Pelican Cay at the North Cut between Lynyard Cay and Tilloo Cay.
Palm Trees and Blue water!!!
Hopetown in Elbow Cay:
A Candy striped lighthouse visible from far in a distance.
Hopetown is a quaint little town with narrow streets with cascading bougainvillea, vacation homes and shops.
5 Man of War Cay to Fowl Cay
8th May to 9th May 2015
Old Scopleys Rock is a small crescent shaped harbour at the north end of Man of War Cay. On the beach was an outlook point with a table. On one of the roof rafters we found the sign: From the rising of the sun to its going down “The Lords name is to be praised” Ps 113: 3. On the bench was a “Jar of Hope”. Awesome!! (www.internationalgospelmissionabaco.org)
Zack could not withstand the crystal clear water on the Atlantic side. He had to take a late afternoon swim.
Snorkeling on some of the best reef of Aboco’s are behind Fowl Cay.
Parrot fishes are in abundance on these reefs.
Our first encounter with a Hogfish.
A school of small fish decided to follow me and trailed me for a while. Thunder interrupted our snorkeling and we had to make a run back to Vagabund.
On the beach of Fowl Cay a swimming pool form on high tide.
I was spoiled on Mother’s day with my favorite brunch: Eggs Benedict.
6 Great Guana Cay to Manjac Cay
10th May to 16th May 2015
We walked over to Nippers at Great Guana Cay.
At Spoil Cay we picked up a lot of small shells.
Loggerhead cut to Whale cut.
At No Name Cay are a group of pigs that loved my rusks.
At Green Turtle Cay is the small historic town New Plymouth.
This is a postcard town with colorful houses, churches and restaurants
Scuba diving with Brendal’s Dive Centre. First a wreck dive at the San Jacinto Wreck and after that a reef dive
At Manjack Cay North Bay a Nurse Shark and a Ray waits eagerly for some scraps.
The Ray eating out of your hand
Lazy afternoon in the warm shallow water at Manjack Beach
A whole day of fishing in deep ocean water took us back to Elbow Cay.While working a school of fish indicated with diving birds we managed to catch a Yellow Fin Tuna and a 10kg Wahoo, later in the day we managed to catch an additional three Dorados.
7 Michael and Cathri’s Visit
17th May to 24th May 2015
Our son Michael and his wife Cathri flew in from South Africa to spend a week with us on Vagabund
Pelican Cay beach
A Ray swimming under the dingy
Hopetown is a quaint little town with narrow streets with cascading bougainvillea, vacation homes and shops.
Lunch at Cap’n Jack in Hopetown (Elbow Cay)
Beautiful houses in Hopetown
On top of the lighthouse in Hopetown. Built in 1836 —
A panoramic view of the bay from the lighthouse
Celebrating of Magda's Birthday
20th May 2015
Four SA boats in Scopley Rock bay of Man of War Cay (Panache, Rat Catcher, Island Explorer and Vagabund).
We start the day with coffee and rusks on the beach where I received my presents from the family.
I was spoiled with eggs benedict for breakfast.
At Fowl Cay at high tide we enjoyed the bath. Andre and Alison joined us.
Birthday cake served in the water.
Snorkeling afterwards at the seaside of Fowl Cay
At the end of the day we celebrated at Nippers at Great Guana Cay with South African Sailor friends (Island Explorer, Panache, Rat Catcher and Khya Moya). On our way to Nippers
Nippers at Great Guana Cay at the ocean side of the island.
Simultaneously arrival of our food
Special thanks to all our sailor friends, Michael and Cathri for sharing my birthday with me. Making it a special day.
The following evening sunset from the beach
Fowl Cay: Snorkeling and diving
22nd May 2015.
It was a beautiful sunshine day with the sea almost as flat as a mirror. Vagabund and Rat Catcher were anchored between the reefs on the Atlantic Ocean side of Fowl Cay.
On the diving buoys on the Southern side we snorkeled the reefs with Michael and Cathri and managed to scuba dive with Alison and Andre on the Northern buoys.
The water was crystal-clear. Michael and Cathri were expanding their exploration.
A turtle swimming by was the bonus for our snorkel.
We joined André and Alison for a scuba dive, A Nassau Grouper was swimming with us for almost the whole dive. Loved to be touched.
We saw different reef sharks. One was patrolling the reef and only swim past us. The next one was following us to the shallower reefs and circled us a few times while going back to the dingy. According to a local dive instructor these reef sharks are local residence at this dive spot.
8 Treasure Cay
23 to 24th May 2015
The last day of Michaels and Cathri’s visit was spending at Treasure Cay.
Treasure Cay beach was voted one of the 10 best beaches in the region. It has soft white sand with warm turquoise water .
Michael and Cathri were playing in the water.
We were enjoying sundowners at the water edge overlooking the marina. Vagabund is awaiting us in the background.
Last breakfast on Vagabund
Saying our goodbyes at the taxi on their way to the airport. It was a week that flew by. We enjoyed every moment.
Treasure Cay golf Course
24th May 2015
We played 18 holes.
Dick Wilson designed Treasure Cay Golf Course. This golf course with its tight fairways and unforgiving rough were a good test for our rusty golf skills. We enjoyed playing the course.
Bonefish at Marls on the bight of Abaco
27th May 205
After months of trying Zack finally got his illusive bonefish on a fly.
After the ice was broken another two bonefish find their way to the boat. Legendary Ronnie Sawyer was used as a Bonefish guide.
9 Manjack Cay: SA boats in the Bahamas with Opskop 2015
28th May to 1st June 2015
Nine SA boats gathered at Manjack Cay (Northern Abaco in the Bahamas) for a Opskop 2015. Photo taken from the top of the mast of Vagabund
John Aldworth: “Six weeks ago on Compass Cay in Exumas, Bahamas, three SA boats (Vagabund, Panache and Khya Moya) got together for a typical beach braai. It was soooo much fun that an idea was spawned to gather as many SA boats together that were in the Bahamas area, to celebrate Republic Day with a beach braai. Well perfect weather was provided by The Almighty and NINE boats gathered in Manjack Cay, Abaco for the opskop of note. The boats were dressed for the occasion and a wonderful time was had by all.”
The venue was decorated with SA flags
The group: Island Khya, Vagabund, Panache, Khya Moya, Alleycat, Rat Catcher, Island Explorer and Shiloh.
A starter was traditional Boerewors made in California.
Listening to Afrikaans music and appreciate each other’s company.
Brett: “ Each and every person clubbed in and we had a fantastic time, danced, played games and floated, talking and laughing in the water. What a lovely day.”
Traditional food in abundance
Deserts: “Melktert, Souskluitjies and Broodpoeding”
The three best dressed Opskoppers
Each girl received boat sandals with “Opskop” from Holi for the occasion
Talking heads with an ocean visitor joining us.
Eating out of my hand.
The day after the Opskop
The next day we gathered four dinghies to snorkel the barrier reef close to Manjack Cay.
School of Doctor Fish
At the end of the day we went in different directions. Vagabund had a lazy afternoon sail with the spinnaker to Powell Cay up North.
10 Powell Cay to Allan Cay (Outer Northern islands of Abaco)
1st June to 5th June 15
Utilizing the late afternoon breeze from Manjack to Powell Cay.
Walking through the Beautiful forest of Powell Cay to the eastern side of the island with Riaan and Brenda of Island Khya.
Vagabund and Island Khya anchored in front of Coopers Town.
Coopers town is a true Bahamian village not affected by tourism.
Sunset in Allan Cay with Vagabund and Rat Catcher
Allan Cay’s traditional trees where visiting sailors hang some mementos indicating their visit to the Northern Bahamas. Vagabund, Rat Catcher and Island Kaya.
Zack is high up in the tree to ensure a special place for our driftwood signs.
11 Moraine Cay
6th June 2015
Moraine Cay is truly one of the Crown Jewels of the Abacos with her two white sand beaches and blue water.
Alison and André joined us for flapjacks on Vagabund.
Sunset at Moraine Cay
Moraine Island was surrounded by crystal clear blue water. The handful villas on the island were not vacated and we had the whole island for ourselves.
André is enjoying a bottomless cup of beauty.
There are extensive reefs to the immediate East and North of Moraine Cay that we snorkeled the next morning.
I was surrounded by a school of fish.
12 Abaco: Double Breasted Cays to Grand Cays (The last visited Bahamian islands of our 2015 sailing season)
9th June to 11th June 2015
At the northernmost rim of the Bahama islands is the grouping of Walkers, Grand and Double Breasted Cays at the outer limits of the Abaco chain.
A Spanish Mackerel caught on the banks
Fashion runs high amongst the girls to dress up by wearing colour-matching shoes to their costumes and clothes. You cannot buy them so you have to make them. What is so nice about boat shoes that they do not fill your cupboard but go into a jewelry box.
Double breasted Cays are a grouping of small cays and rocks with untouched beauty ashore.
Rosie’s Place Marina at Little Grand Cay
Colorful houses overlooking the bay of Little Grand Cay
Big Daddy Restaurant provided our late afternoon meal that were of the best cracked conch in the Abacos.
On our way to scuba at the Pillars we encountered a waterspout. The dive was abandoned and the weather closed in over us.
Talking heads conclude our happy hour of chit chat.
A full season of talking heads can make you stand on your head.
André and Alison of Rat Catcher dinghy off into the sunset.
Zack first blow of the conch. Honoring and saying thank you to God our Creator for a fantastic sailing season.
The end of our 2015 islands sailing season. The Bahamas concluded our best sailing season till now. Meeting up with old friends, making new friends, visiting family and enjoying nature.
Hello Florida here we come!!