First, an observation: Has anyone else noticed how many of the islands of the Bahamas include “Grand” or “Great” as part of their official name? In the case of Great Guana Cay, we pretty much agree, it is a pretty great place.
Along the northern and eastern edge of Great Abacos Island is what the locals claim is the world’s third largest barrier reef. Number 1 (Australia) and Number 2 (Belize) everyone agrees on, but the title of Number 3 seems up for grabs by any number of tourist boards. No matter it’s ranking–it is a special place. Between Great Abaco Island and the various reef islands offshore is the Sea of Abaco. Shallow, but not TOO shallow, with great tradewind sailing, and beautiful scenery. After we left Lynyard Cay we sailed up the Sea of Abaco to the barrier island of Great Guana Cay where we picked up a mooring for a few days.
This was truly one of the beautiful places. While tourism is important, it has none of the tacky flavor that haunt so many tourist places. It is pretty, and “real”. Also just a 30 minute ferry ride to the large town of Marsh Harbour where we did our grocery shopping.
Our next goal is to head back to the big city of Freeport, where we will leave Harmonie for a few days while we take care of some business in Florida. This means retracing our steps back down, and around Great Abaco Island. We have only just started to appreciate that cruising the northern islands of the Bahamas is a very seasonal thing. Just a few weeks 2 weeks ago anchorages that we shared with one other boat, now are packed with 10!
We retraced our steps, back to Lynyard Cay, and then south to Sandy Point. In especially delightful weather, we paused to fish for a bit at one of the local deep reefs and quickly picked up a pair of grouper for dinner. As we drifted off the reef into very deep water, we were visited by a 10 foot long bull shark who stayed just long enough to make sure we were not edible. After he left, we were visited by a small school of mahi-mahi. I had no luck in getting them to bite, but the fresh grouper made a delicious dinner.
The last leg of this trip was a delightful fast 50 mile sail from Sandy Point back to Freeport, highlighted by a fishing double header, a mahi-mahi AND a wahoo on the lines at the same time. Neither was especially large, but that’s ok because we didn’t have a lot of room in the freezer!
We are back in Freeport now, and will be taking the fast ferry to Fort Lauderdale in a few days. In the meantime, tomorrow is the local Junkanoo Festival. A carnival type celebration that we expect to be a lot of fun!