Green Turtle Cay, Abacos

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Bahamas

026-45.720 N
077-20.040 W
Marine forecast for this location

June 22, 2006

Ahoy from Green Turtle Cay!

Green Turtle Cay is an absolute delight to visit and definitely goes on the must-go-there-again list. Green Turtle is about 25 miles from Hope Town and we had a wonderful sail getting here. There's nothing like sailing behind a reef with 15-20 kts of wind! Green Turtle is about 3.5 miles long and maybe a mile wide at its widest. There are two major bays with moorings and marinas. The guides show that you can anchor in the Sounds, but we only saw boats on mooring balls. To the N you have White Sound and to the S you have White Sound. Getting into either with a sailboat requires a good tide and I wouldn't feel secure going into Black Sound with anything less than 2.5' of tide. We decided to anchor in Settlement Harbor in 6' of water and we found a nice little sandy spot to drop the anchor. The biggest problem with anchoring outside of the settlement is power boats sending up huge wakes as they pass by.

The principle settlement is named New Plymouth and is a charming little town. In the morning cool we'd walk around and explore the town and surrounding areas. New Plymouth only has about 450 inhabitants and three major streets, but it has a warmth to it that other towns just didn't have. There are only three major streets in the town, and get this, all of the street signs are made with gold leaf lettering! The houses are painted in typical Caribbean pastels (they do seem to like white houses with pink trim) and are typically very well kept. This is quite different than on Andros where many of the buildings looked like they were just hanging on since the last hurricane. The narrow streets are paved and are spotless. There are three grocery stores in town which made refreshing fruits and veggies easy.

There are quite a few little places to eat in town. Our favorite was Harvey's where we had a great lunch. We also went to the Bluff House Marina for dinner and had a so-so meal. On Tuesday's their main restaurant is closed and they only have a price fixed BBQ buffet. The chicken was good, the ribs just OK and the fish was over done. So for the low, low price of $94 we got 2 buffets and 2 beers. Wow, what a deal! I think not. Put that on the don't-go-there-again list.

The marinas are home to the power boats from FL. You'll see them arriving in mass with one lead boat and then a dozen smaller boats following. They'll hook up to shore power, get their AC running and head to the bar and pool. A day later you'll see all of the boats leaving the marina and heading to another one, all in a line. Staying in marinas isn't cheap. Dockage was $1.75/foot plus $13/day for power plus $0.25/gal for water. You're looking at $100/day for dockage plus meals. I suspect that these boats have never anchored. Personally I don't want to be in a marina. I want to be where there are fresh breezes, clean water and no lights.

The beaches at the S end of the island are absolutely spectacular. We're talking miles of white sand and crystal blue water. It's the kind of images that you see on calendars. We spent parts of 2 days playing in the water and collecting more shells. We haven't sunk yet, but we're getting close! There are 18 mooring balls on the reefs which were installed by Reef Relief. If you go to their web site, www.reefrelieve.org, you can find a description of the location as well as the lat/long of the balls. We went out and dove/snorkeled on several balls and had a nice time. This is shallow diving (15-30') and the coral has been beat up by storms. I keep trying to find a deep diving site, but haven't managed to as of yet.

Our next stop is Manjack Cay, which is only about 5 miles away. We need to get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city! :-) Actually, it's supposed to be quite pretty and it's another place to explore.

-- Geoff & Sue
Log ID: 872

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