We have all heard of those friends and acquaintances that come to stay for a day or so and then stay for longer, well that is what we were beginning to feel like in West End.

The problem was the wind and weather, it blew like stink for the entire week!

One big plus of our stay was that our electricity making capability was exploited to the full, and boy does it work well! Between the wind generator, which really came into its own and the solar panels, we avoided the extortionate rate that the marina would have charged and lived for the entire week that we were there under our own power – no generator, no engine and no shore hook up…… awesome !!!! This is with the fridge and freezer on normally and normal electric usage. With the new digital thermostat on our fridge and freezer, it would seem that the last piece of our puzzle is complete and we can be self sufficient.

How did we spend our week, well relaxing, entertaining, chatting and reading and most of all….. trying to stay warm !! One complaint that the Admiral has is the cold, but she was able to find a sunny nook, out of the wind, and sit in the sun and read. (Steve and Rugger stole my spot!)

The weather meant that we were unable to use the resort to its fullest i.e. no swimming pool, no tiki bar etc but some members of our little flotilla did use the beautifully equipped gym. We did spend many hours studying the weather maps, charts and I spoke to our weather guru once again and it looked as if we would have a good window on the 7th but we need to be in shelter by the weekend because of yet another front coming through with all that that brings.

So the 7th it was ……. bills were paid, water and fuel taken on and we were set for an early departure with a long leg planned, which we calculated would bring us to the Green Turtle anchorage at some time after midnight. For this leg of our trip we were joined by Jim and Barbara Thompson from N Carolina on “ Skat “ a CnC 38, making their first trip into the Abacos.

We left the harbour between 07.00 and 07.30 hrs on a bright, clear and only slightly windy morning and very soon were able to motor sail north to the position where we were to cross onto the banks. The first leg of a couple of hours therefore was in anything from 300 ft of water to “out of soundings”, but then we crossed onto the Bahama Banks and we were soon in anything from ten to twenty feet of water. The wind went ahead so back in with the sails and our trusty Westerbeke continued to purr and purr and purr.

Lunch came and went and then supper for which Catherine made me a super salmon chowder. Sunset saw us just about two thirds through our journey.

We were treated to a typical colourful and very red sunset and as darkness fell and the stars started to appear, Catherine was able to appreciate what is quite common at sea with no light pollution, the night sky. The stars were just magnificent with her favourite Pleiades hanging there immediately above our mast.

As our approach to Green Turtle came closer and the Sea of Abaco becomes narrower, more careful attention needed to be paid to lights on shore and areas of shifting sand, which thanks to “Indian Summer” we avoided with little problem that a couple of sharp turns . Navigation in this area is not particularly easy as there are no navigational marks, sparse shore lights, a number of radio beacons that can be seen for miles and often resemble other vessel’s side lights at first.

Anchor was down and the engine stopped at midnight off New Plymouth, Green Turtle .

A quick drink and then into bed to sleep peacefully in millpond like conditions. For those interested in such things the distance that we did was 114.4 nm in a time of 16.33 hours for an average speed of 7.00 knots, most respectable !!

We are presently sitting peacefully at anchor awaiting high tide at 15.00 hrs for us to enter Black Sound and go to the dock that is reserved for us to ride out the next norther, expected late tonight and over the coming weekend.

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