Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hope Town

On Sunday the 7th we decided to head over to Hope Town. The marina was bustling with cruisers packing up and heading out. About 6 to 7 boats left one after the other and we all headed for our next destination. FinniRish and us set our sights on Hope Town and as we left Marsh Harbor it was evident that we were not to see the calm water and mild winds that were expected. It didn’t bother us, but we knew Anke, Dirks mom would be a bit nervous as this was to be her first “rough” sail. She did very well but I don’t think she was having too nice of a day and she would be happy when we arrived at our destination. We had to time our arrival into Hope Town with high tide and got into the tiny entrance with no problems. We made our way through the very tight mooring field, found the mooring ball we had reserved and got tied up and shut things down. This was the first time we had a chance to look around and see just how pretty this harbor was. The pastel colored homes sitting on the water front with the red & white striped lighthouse standing tall. It was Ellies birthday from FinniRish and we headed over to a waterfront restaurant to have dinner and celebrate. Dinner was incredible and we topped it off with a nice desert and conversation. The following day was Dirks Birthday so we woke up in the celebratory mood. Anke had snuck out of her bed in the morning and put some cards and gifts out for him so it was like Christmas. It was a beautiful day so we decided to head over to the lighthouse for a climb to the top.

Once at the top the view was absolutely beautiful with the turquoise colored water surrounding the Island. You realize just how small the area is which makes it that much more charming. This is the view to the right into Hope Town Harbor. Tybee Time is sitting just out of view to the right.

This is looking to the left showing the entrance to the harbor

Once we were back on the ground we all decided to head back to our boats to actually put on a bathing on and check out the beach. We found our way to the public dinghy dock and set out on our way admiring the beautiful homes and flowers along the way. By far the prettiest island yet. As we entered the beach we were met by hues of blues and turquoise that can only be described as breathtaking with the waves crashing along the shoreline.

Here Dirk & I pose with the tourquoise water behind us

I of course set out on my sea glass hunt as was Dirk and he was finding them left and right. I was having more trouble, but then where he was finding them was further into the surf then I wanted to immerse myself. We wandered down the beach a ways then circled back to make our way back through town stopping at a mom & Pops place to grab a cheeseburger and fries before heading to the local grocery where I got to compare prices. That’s always fun, and I got to see what a $7.00 loaf of bread looks like, I opted for the freshly made Bahamian $3.50 loaf.

Check out these bankers hours.

On the way back to the dinghy Dirk spotted a fisherman cleaning his catch and walked over to see what he had only to return with one and a half pounds of freshly caught and cleaned yellow fin tuna. Ah, something else we can throw into the mix of Dirks Birthday dinner tonight. It was going to be steak and lobster but tuna sounds better now. Ellie & Jim joined us at the boat and we celebrated Dirks birthday with a decent rendition of Happy Birthday and a coconut rum cake I had baked for him. Afterwards Dirk decided he wanted to take the dinghy out to an area he had heard about that had conch. Off he went and when he returned he did indeed have a conch.
He spotted about 11 of them but only one of legal size so he set about cleaning the critter. Very daunting task if you ask me, but he got a book out with step by step instructions and set to work. After whacking away at the shell with a small hammer he came back in the boat to retrieve another. Conch 1, Hammer 0. Mega hammer was retrieved and Dirk evened up the score with the conch losing in the end. The conch got stowed in the fridge, the lobsters were boiled and the tuna steaks were lightly seared in sesame oil all served with melted butter and a sweet soy sauce on the side. Topped off with a nice glass of wine it was a perfect dinner to end a perfect day. The following day we were due to head back to Marsh Harbor as yet another front was moving through and we needed to be back there on Saturday for Anke to fly out. We couldn’t leave Hope Town until about 1 when we had high tide and even then on the way out we were greeted by a rather large sailboat churning up sand trying to find some water under his keel. As we cleared the channel the water was so clear that Anke & I placed ourselves up front looking in the water for starfish and hoping to catch even a glimpse of a dolphin. We have only seen one since we have been here and that was in Marsh Harbor Marina under our boat. I finally settled back and lazed about on the bow of the boat trying to steal a few rays from father sun shine. Doesn’t seem like we have seen him too much lately. Once we got close to the entrance we made a pit stop and anchored the boat near Mermaid Reef. I say anchored but as Dirk found out there is a layer of sand with rock underneath so I use the anchoring term loosely. There really wasn’t any current and the winds were light so the weight of the anchor and the chain basically kept us in place and I would be staying on the boat in case I needed to do anything. Anke had never snorkeled so we put her in a wet suit and showed her how to use a mask and snorkel.

Here Anke is trying to figure how this snorkel should fit.

Dirk and her hopped into the dinghy and headed over to tie up to a mooring ball and to each other.
Anke was very nervous as she left the boat not knowing what to expect but returned with a huge grin and tales of beautiful fish. Afterwards we started up the engine and headed into the marina getting the same slip that unfortunately we are getting use to. We will be having bad storms running through our area soon so we decided to treat ourselves and hook up to cable for the 2.00 a day charge. . Wow, television……It’s been so long but I have to say I don’t miss hearing about all the depressing news that seems to bombard us every waking hour. It will be nice to catch up on some favorite shows or just veg for a bit. Dirk cooked up the conch that evening by chopping it into bite size pieces, whacking it a bit to tenderize it and fried it up after rolling the pieces in Louisiana fish fry and Cayenne pepper. I have to say this is the best way I have had it prepared to date. Once you get past the idea that your eating a large salt water snail it’s really good. Doesn’t look like we will be going anywhere till after Sunday due to bad weather rolling in from the states. We have actually run across a few cruisers that have given up this year and are going home early due to the weather we are having. Dirk and I say that you can’t kill our spirit so quickly although it is frustrating. So forgive the lack of post, but until we do more then congregate at the jib room for steak night and rib night I hate to bore you.

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