Friday, January 17, 2014

January 14, 2014 Hope Town

I woke up early to heavy rains.  I got out of bed and
went topside to lower the sides so the cushions wouldn't get wet....too late!!  It was raining so hard that I could hardly see Whisper anchored near us.  Maybe we won't be going anywhere this morning!!  We waited it out and Whisper called to let us know they would be leaving shortly to venturd back up to Hope Town.  That's the direction we decided to go also.  We knew we needed to be heading out soon if we didn't want to have to worry about shallow depths. We told Rita that as soon as we finished eating our eggs, we would raise our anchor and be off.    Circe II and Simplicity II were still undecided but stayed at anchor to wait and see what the morning's weather would bring.

Up came our anchor at 8 am, and we headed slowly toward Hope
Town, waiting for Whisper to catch up.  The rain had quit but the skies were still threatening with huge dark clouds but during our 45 minute trip, all we got was a fine mist.  The trip  was uneventful because it was about 1 hour after high tide.

 Even the motor into the channel was good!  :))  Once we entered the harbor, I was shocked at how many boats were already moored there. We had been told by many of our dock neighbors that during this time of the year, the harbor doesn't seem to fill up.....wrong.   I think the predicted weather has everyone that normally anchor, scrambling for a safe haven.    We were lucky to find blue mooring floats right in front of the Hope Town Lighthouse.  We were able to get a front row seat!  I love it!!  Whisper came in right behind us and they grabbed green mooring floats right off our port stern.   Moorings are tight here!!  Tighter than I feel comfortable with.  
Elbow Cay Light

Head boat behind us looking out the channel
Harbor Marina store

Pink Flamingo Villas

Sign to the lighthouse

It's weird but the different mooring floats belong to different people.  The blue that we picked up belong to the Hopetown Marina, while the green that Rita and David grabbed  belong to a guy named Truman.  It really doesn't matter because all moorings are $20 a night.   No one here seems to be in any hurry to collect their money.  We waited all day for someone from the marina to motor out to collect....David too.....and we didn't see anyone.  What the heck?  We are planning on leaving in the morning.  They better show.......Once settled in, we hopped in our dinghy and motored over to pick up Rita and David.  We wanted to first off climb the lighthouse.  So, we motored over to Harbor Marina, tied up, visited their store, and then walked the short distance to the light.    The light's correct name is the Elbow Cay Lighthouse but it seems everyone has dubbed it the Hopetown Lighthouse.  It's relatively short with only 101 steps and it could use a new red and white paint job.  Chuck and I climbed to the top.....piece of cake....but David and Rita made it up about half way.  I was a little disappointed because the cat walk was closed but we still had an awesome sight. What a view looking down and across the harbor....there's Happy Hours II....there's Whisper....and over to the ocean.  I am loving every minute of this.  I love lighthouses and I love water! And, walking back down the spiral staircase wasn't as bad as the Cape Hatteras Light!

view from top of light -HH II bottom right
View from top of light. HHII bottom right

We hopped back in the dinghy.....I should say we climbed down the ladder into the dinghy because the water was on the low tide swing...and shot over to Capt'n Jacks for lunch.  We tied up to their deck and climbed up their ladder onto their dock.  The restaurant's deck was 8 feet off the water at this time today.  We found the perfect table out of the sun and connected to their wifi while waiting for the waitress.  Rita convinced me to order the fish reuben sandwich.  She ordered one and I was game to try it.  We had a choice of grouper or mahi-mahi....we went with the grouper because it is more tender.  David had a grouper dinner and then there's Chuck....a BLT sandwich with carrots!!  ha ha. The fish reuben was excellent.  I just would never think to put sauerkraut on fish!  I also had ice tea.  I am really missing my daily  large unsweetened ice tea from McDonald's.  I'm addicted!

After we ate lunch and caught up on our emails and blogs(Rita), we wanted to walk around Hope Town. The colorful houses and buildings sit very close to each other and the cement paths they consider their roads are only about the width of one car.  We saw only 2 vehicles. Everyone either walked, rode bikes, or drove golf carts.  You never know if the next building is a house or a store! They are intermingled among each other.  Signs are stapled or nailed to the light-posts showing the direction to the different shops.  The pace is very slow and all of this makes Hope Town a very lovely place. We didn't stay or walk very far because Rita's ankle was telling her it was time to go back to their boat.  Chuck and I will be back with Rick and Bev and we'll stay more than one day.  We didn't get to see it all!  On our back to the boat,  we spotted the 'sv/Dream Catcher' with Gary & Jane aboard.  Their home is a 41'  catamaran.  They just got into the harbor when the 4 of us motored over to say 'hi'.  Of course Gary invited us aboard for 'Dark & Stormys' but we had to pass since David had a bag of ice to get into his cooler.

 After we dropped David and Rita off at their boat, we went exploring around the harbor before we boarded our boat.  About an hour later, we ventured over to the public dinghy dock and to the sandy ocean beach that we had discovered earlier.  Chuck and I both love to walk, and a sandy beach is just the ultimate site!  Soon we were interrupted by black clouds approaching Hope Town, so  we headed back hoping we weren't going to get drenched.  We were in for a bit of a shock when we got back to the dinghy dock.  Our dinghy was missing!!!Oh no!  This is our lifeline to land when we're  anchored.  What are we going to do?  We looked around the dock and found it on the opposite side of where we left it!  Here's what happened.  We originally tied up on the windward side of the dock.  Chuck threw the anchor out back to keep the dinghy off the dock.  The wind must have kicked up when the front blew in and it blew the dinghy and anchor underneath to was low tide and there was plenty of room under the boards. Some kind sailor noticed the boat and pulled it to the leeward side.  We were very lucky it didn't get stuck under the dock...dinghy, motor, and anchor!! What an expense if we had to replace everything, even more so in the Bahamas!!

Taken from Capt'n Jacks deck

Look how close Whisper is to the blue Cape Dory!

We made it back to Happy Hours II and were in for the night.  We relaxed by reading and later watching the light flash from the lighthouse.  A perfect ending to a perfect day.......

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