N26 32.65 W76 58.10 - HOPE TOWN

Trip Start Mar 09, 2009
Trip End May 26, 2009

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9, 2009 - Hope Town
N26 32.65  W76 58.10
We traveled up from Man O War to Hope Town in search of coconut bread from Vernons!  Actually this is one of the most picturesque towns in the Abacos with the candy striped lighthouse.  The Wyannie Malone Historical Museum shows the history of Hope Town dating to Lucayan times.  The museum was founded in 1785 and is maintained by the community.  
The houses are very "cute" and most of them can be rented for the week or longer.  I'm not sure anyone actually "lives" in Hope Town as most of the residences are rentals!  Elbow Cay is a large island so there are plenty of inhabitants elsewhere!
The harbor entrance from Sea of Abaco is very, very shallow - 6.5' depths on approach.  Many of the deeper draft boats anchor off the island. We were able to come into the harbor and pick up a mooring ball for $20/ night.  Lots and lots of boat traffic in and out of the harbor, mostly open fishermen that people have rented and are tooling around the islands.
We zoomed into the dinghy dock - actually avoided the actual "into", and climbed up the ladder to the public dock.  Our mission was fresh bread from Vernon's. Note the hours for banking.  Better get your stuff in order on the one day of banking or head for Marsh Harbor to get some real work done!  Give's new meaning to Banker's Hours.

We headed up the streets passing these cute little places. - Decided Dave's beard (and my hair) was too short to be braided.  Ah well, maybe next time.

  Walked up to the beach to check out the seas.  They are looking very, very good!  In a day or so we'll head out the Whale's Cut which is the only way to get from this part of the Abacos to the northern part which is where we need to be to leave.  The center of the Abaco Sea has a shallow bar that runs across and only small boats can get up through it.  We who drag a keel - must go out to sea and back in.  It looks to be flat - you don't want to attempt the Whale's Cut in rough seas or a rage.    Hard to believe this coast is trecherous.  But there are reefs out there!


This is a cemetary for the Cholera victims.  It took it's toll on this island.

Now this is a red firehouse!    


  The lighthouse is right off our stern.  This is the lighthouse I was watching as we sailed up from Eleuthera. 

Many years ago the residents of Elbow Cay made their living off salvaging wrecked vessels that landed on the reefs of Elbow Cay (that we made a distinct point in avoiding!).  
There is a funny story in Steve Pavlidis' guide about when a preacher was conducting a service and spied a ship on the reef.  His flock had their back to the sea and couldn't see the windfall.  The preacher asked the congregation to bow their heads in silent prayer and after a few minutes a few of the members started raising their heads and noticed the preacher was nowhere to be seen, until he was spotted in his boat heading to the wreckage.  The next day the congregation turned the altar around so that they had the view of the sea, not the preacher!
The lighthouse was scheduled to be built in 1864 and the Abaconians protested to no avail.  This is one of the last three oil-burning, hand-wound lighthouses in the world.  The lighthouse keeper climbs the 101 steps to the top every two hours to hand crank the weights that operate the beacon. 
The light mechanism sits in mercury and its five bulls-eye lenses focus its kerosene fueled light once every 15 seconds.  Faced with modernization, the residents of Hope Town managed to preserve the lighthouse in it's original state.  
We will watch the lighthouse light up tonight and toast Tommy - Tim and Dianne's dear friend who loved boating, rum and the Bahamas.  We know we would have enjoyed his friendship because of the company he kept.  Friends are precious.  When friends loose a friend, because we love our friends, we too share in the loss.    Here's to Tom!  .
Life is precious!
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Thanks for Toasting Tommy Treadway
Thanks for Toasting Tommy in this beautiful location. He loved the sea, diving and boating and was enjoying your blog right up to the end. Know that you helped distract him from his pain and brought a smile to his face. We especially loved the Macerator story. He recruited me (his 'Boat Monkey')to help replace the Macerator on his 45 Sea Ray during on a trip to Sarasota. There we were on the dock with a soldering iron singing like Lynard Skynard -- 'ooohhh that smell'. I'm sure you all can relate. What a guy!

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