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Abacos Boat Life: Heaven and Hell

Living on a sailboat, with no job pressures, no commute, no boss, floating in pristine Bahamian waters, walking stunning beaches....sounds like heaven, right? It is! But don't be deceived, it's also hell on earth. 

We came to Archer's Cay to seek protection from south winds. The anchor, instead of burrowing in sand or muck and allowing the boat to rest happily in one general location, bounced along on solid rock. We tried 2 times and then headed south 1 mile to another spot and failed a few more times. The anchor finally seemed to set, and the waters seemed calm. After we get settled in, I became confused and saddened by building "wrap-around swell" that made me seasick at anchor. After 2 days, I couldn't take it anymore. This isn't living, it's being trapped in a living hell!

We headed for Treasure Cay. Winds increased to 25 knots. A ferry headed straight for us and seemed determined to kill us. We arrived at the Treasure Cay entrance channel but didn't feel confident navigating the channel in high winds and seas. (Another joy and pain of cruising - you are new to the neighborhood, every single day). 

We anchored outside the channel. 
2 minutes later, we were hit by a 40 knot thunderstorm gust front. The anchor didn't hold, at all. Matt motored into the wind and the anchor re-set. 

Obviously this isn't working so we head into Treasure Cay and pick up a mooring. Twice the price, twice as nice? We've been told this is heaven, the best place on earth. We hate it. It's like hell.
Sailboats on Moorings, Treasure Cay, Abacos
$30 Mooring at Treasure Cay
The next day, we sailed to Manjack Cay. Turtles bob their heads in a mangrove creek. Hastings jogs the 1 mile tree lined path to the ocean. The bayside looks like a postcard- palm trees, white sand; we love it! It's heaven!
Ocean Beach Sign, Manjack Cay
Manjack is private, but the owners kindly allow cruisers to wander - even providing signs!
Ocean Beach!
Seaside beach, Manjack
Manjack beach and anchorage - beautiful!
Manjack Sunset
On day 3 in this idyllic paradise, west winds built; it's hell. We headed to Green Turtle Cay and picked up a mooring inside the harbour. It's protected from all wind; heaven! There's no breeze and it's buggy; hell! We walked to Gillam's Bay Beach and swam. It's one of the prettiest beaches we've ever seen. The water is perfect, calm, and soft. Heaven! 

We walked back to our beautiful sailboat, moored in a picture perfect spot in the Bahamas. Palm trees sway, the sun sets, stars sparkle.  Sure, the nightmares are constant, but we're living the dream! 
Gillam's Bay Beach, Green Turtle Cay
Black Sound moorings, Green Turtle Cay
Have you ever been to a much talked of destination and been disappointed? What ruins a trip for you?

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7 comments

  1. Curious what you didn't like about Treasure Cay. We've never been there but other people rave about it.

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    1. Yeah, 100% of people I know say it's the best place in the world. We were there on an off day. It was crumbling, and dirty, and seemed to be overrun by American Spring Breaker types. The pastries could have been purchased at a gas station. The beach was nice, if you haven't been to any other beaches in the Bahamas. Just not our scene!

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  2. Living on a sailboat and cruising is a mix of heaven and hell? That sounds about right!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. Yep. It's really helpful to have a personality that allows you to forget all the bad times!

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  3. Your stories are breathtaking and your pictures are stunning! Well done, Lucy!

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  4. We have good memories of Manjack as well. Such friendly and welcoming people. And, we had to hide in Green Turtle for a cold front. We anchored there, but it was deep and a pain in the butt.

    You sum up the boating life perfectly, Lucy! A lot of it sounds quite familiar - the ups and the downs, the joys and the distresses. For us, we also had to add the constant search for internet and the need to run our business into the mix.

    Sometimes, it is worth paying for a mooring and being done with the major hassles of re-anchoring. We hate to "give in", but the comfort level is worth it after another nightmare or sleepless night. Yeah, yeah... :-)

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