Our plan for Saturday was to leave Marsh Harbour and head back across the Sea of Abaco to the charming town of Hope Town. Marsh Harbour is not known for its abundance of activities for cruisers. There are three or four marinas, each with a restaurant in which to dine. The main reasons to come to Marsh Harbour are for the airport to fly in and out of the Abacos and for provisioning. Maxwell’s is the largest grocery store in the Abacos. Unlike the very small grocery stores we’ve seen thus far in the Abacos, this is a U.S. Style store with everything you’d find in a major American store like Winn Dixie or Publix. Tracy and I walked the mile or so to Maxwell’s for some provisions for the next ten day’s. We caught a Taxi back to the boat and prepared to leave the Conch Inn Marina.
Just before noon, as we were about to pull out of our slip, we had our first boarding by the authorities. In our 2-plus years in the U.S., we’ve not yet been boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard. This morning however we were boarded by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to check our papers, etc. The 5 or 6 men were very polite and professional. One of them, it turns out was an avid Pittsburgh Steeler fan with a Steeler lanyard around his neck and a Steelers towel in his back pocket. Julie and Tracy (both Steelers fans who live not far from Pittsburgh) were able to talk about their beloved team with this Bahamian officer. Everything was in order aboard Beatitude, so soon we pushed away from the dock to head for Elbow Cay. On the trip over we enjoyed a brisk breeze and intermittent sunshine.
When we rounded the corner into Hope Town harbour, who did we find waving and greeting us from their vessel but our friends aboard Bella Luna. We were unaware they were in Hope Town, but was glad to see them again. We quickly picked up a mooring from the Hope Town Marina. Cindy was happy to have some assistance in tying to a mooring ball. It was much easier with a helping hand from Tracy. Perhaps the most iconic picture of cruising the Abacos, is the picture of the red and white-striped lighthouse standing above the harbour. We’ve seen it many times and wondered if we would ever be here to see it ourselves. Well, we’ve made it!
Around mid-afternoon, we took Dalí over to Captain Jack’s Restaurant on the harbour and tied to their dinghy dock. We would return to have dinner a couple of hours later, but first we walked around the quaint little village of Hope Town, admiring the colorful cottages lining the narrow streets. We took a stroll along the Atlantic beach and stopped at a few stores to shop before returning to Captain Jack’s where we enjoyed a nice meal on the waterfront. We threw crumbs over the railing and watched the grey snapper fight over them. Our delightful first full day with Julie and Tracy was concluded with a couple of games of Jeopardy on board and a viewing of one of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris.