March 2003
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March 2, Miami Beach

 We finally had enough of No Name Harbor and pulled anchor and went back to our old anchorage at Miami Beach.  Not many boats left here.  Some made it across to the Bahamas last week and others went south to the Florida Keys.  We will wait for our window here.  In the mean time I hired a diver to clean the bottom the boat, topped off the fuel tank and did some last minute provisioning.

 March 7, 2003

 Finally on our way raising the anchor at 0130.  We wanted to get out the cruise channel before the cruise ships started arriving.  The weather forecast was for south winds at 10 knots with 1 to 3 foot seas, perfect for a crossing of the Gulf Stream.  However the winds picked up to 15 to 20 knots and the seas grew to the 3 to 5 foot so the crossing was kind of lumpy.  We only came across a couple of ships during the crossing, a cruise ship heading into Miami and a large tug towing about 5 barrages.  About 10 a.m. we were visited by a large pod of 50 Dolphin.  They looked like they were having a good time jumping and flipping.  8 to 10 of them stayed with us for about 20 to 30 minutes riding our bow wave.  

 We arrived at North Rock just north of Bimini at 1300 thinking we would have some smoother seas, wrong.  We did change course so the wind was on our beam but it was still on the rough side.  We sailed until 1730 and dropped an anchor in twenty feet of water to get some rest.  The weather and the seas finally settled down around midnight. 

 March 8, 2003

 We were up at 0200 to get an early start to Great Harbor Cay in the Barry Islands where we would clear customs and immigration.  The wind was less than 5 knots and the seas were flat so we had to motor the 50 miles to Bullock Harbor arriving at 1300.  By 1430 we had cleared in and were settled in at the marina. 

 The next day we cleaned a ton of salt off the boat and then spent a few days discovering Great Harbor Cay.  The weather did not cooperate with us for the next leg of our journey and we ended up staying until the 22nd.  We enjoyed the island.  The people were very friendly and the beach on the eastern shore was wonderful, one of the best we had ever seen.

 March 22, 2003

 We left the marina at 1030 to stage at the north end of Great Harbor Cay dropping anchor just off of Great Stirrup Cay a little after 1300.  The cruise ships use Great Stirrup and the Cay next to it for as a day stop.  There were 4 ships anchored in the area.  We settled and relaxed for the remainder of the day.  We hauled anchor at 2100 and weaved our way through the other anchored boats to get on our way across the Northwest Passage to Little Harbor at the southern end of the Abaco Islands.  The winds were light so we motored for the first couple of ours raising sail around 0100 when the winds picked up out of the south.  About an hour out we encounterd the first cruise ship by 0200 we had met about a dozen cruise ships and tankers making the trip between Nassau and Grand Bahama.  Around 1030 we crossed the reef at Little Harbor and dropped an anchor off of Lynyard Cay.  We stayed anchored off  Lynyard for 2 days waiting for the weather and tides to get in sync for us to get into Little Harbor.   

 March 25,2003

We hauled anchor and moved into Little Harbor around 1400 and took a mooring ball in the middle of the harbor.  This is a very nice well protected harbor.  The only thing here is Pete’s Pub, Gallery and Foundry but it is on the list as a place you have to go so we are here.

 March 29, 2003

We are still at Little Harbor, Abacos. We had planned on leaving today and moving north however there is a strong cold front coming through Sunday night with a forecast of gale force winds and since we are secure on a mooring we, as well as about 6 other boats, have decided to stay put. Little Harbor is well protected from all wind directions. We attempted to find a secure place further north but everyone appears to be heading for the good secure spots ahead of the front so nothing is available. It has been a strange winter here in the Bahamas with these fronts coming through every few days. Those that have been coming here for years tell us this is unusual. Even the temps are on the cool side with highs in the low 80’s and upper 60’s at night.

In my last note I mentioned Pete Johnston & his foundry located here in Little Harbor. Tuesday Ugne and I got a private tour of the foundry and Wednesday they had a scheduled pouring. The amount work that goes into each of the casting from creating the mold to finished product is amazing. From the original artwork they make a rubber mold that can be reused to duplicate the piece. Then they pour wax into the mold to prepare a casting.  The wax is then dipped into a concrete type mix and rolled in 3 types of sand until the casting is about a ½ inch thick. On casting day that happens every couple of weeks, the casting is put in an oven at 1200 degrees to melt the wax out of the molds. The casting then is placed in a pit where they pour the melted bronze into the casting. The bronze is melted in a pit heated to 2000 degrees. Depending on the size casting it takes hours to days to cool. Once cooled the craftsman have to chip away the concrete mold and then assemble and polish the piece to its completion. A moderate size piece such as “The Old Man and the Sea” could take a couple of weeks to finish.

For you golfer in the crowd, at the pouring Wednesday I met Gary Player.  There is a new golf resort being built between Little Harbor and Cherokee Settlement just south of here. Gary Player apparently is designing the course. He has to be in his mid seventies and looks 60.

The only other activity here is Pete’s Pub. Their “Blaster” is just what it says. Two is all you need.

Today is to be a beautiful day, calm before the storm. So plan on going to the beach and do some snorkeling.

Vilkas at Bullock Harbor Marina

Great Harbor Cay Beach

Great Harbor Cay Beach

Vilkas at anchor Little Harbor Abaco

    

Bill at Little Harbor                                        Ugne at Little Harbor

Casting At Pete's