Hope Town

 

Hope Town puts a smile on Ginnie’s face because she loves it here.  She says it’s like being on vacation at a luxurious resort. OK, sailing all winter is like being on vacation for me however I understand her feeling.  As beautiful as the rest of the Bahamas are, Hope Town is very special. When we were headed here this year from Little Harbor we were in the company of lots of other cruisers also moving north.  Cold fronts moving through an area tend to bunch cruisers up in safe places to be in the lee of strong winds.  Adding to that the fact that we can only enter Hope Town at high tide meant we were worried about getting a mooring which are on a first come-first serve basis.  So we contacted the Hope Town Inn & Marina to secure a slip for a few nights.  No problem, space was available and Ginnie’s smile was getting bigger.  This was a good choice on our part because there were no moorings to be had when we arrived.  As members of the Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club we received generous discounts for our dockage. 

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Hope Town Inn & Marina

After spending two nights at the dock we noticed a few boats leaving the moorings.  With our dinghy we scouted out the double blue Hope Town Inn & Marina mooring buoys, secured our “Reserved – Firecracker” float and went back to the dock to move Firecracker to our mooring. 

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Our “Hi Tech” reservation buoy.

Wait, won’t we have to turn in our keys to the showers when we move out to the mooring?  Have you ever seen “Ginnie the Negotiator” in action?  We are on the mooring and still have our shower keys.  Yeah Ginnie!  We still get to use the pool and are able to dump our trash there as well.  Being able to take long, hot showers and not steam up the boat is a plus.  It’s surprising how little water we use when we shower ashore.

Hope Town is a small settlement here on Elbow Cay.  The grocery store is small but adequate.  The bank is open one day a week from 10 AM till 2 PM and there are numerous boutique shops.  Restaurants are plentiful and range from lunch spots to elegant dining.  We went to dinner with George and Pat from Theodore at Firefly, which is a fabulous restaurant overlooking the Sea of Abaco. It was a night of good food and wonderful company.  If you are interested in diving, either scuba or snorkel, there are a number of companies located nearby.  Hope Town may not be large but the boat traffic in and out of here is impressive.  Seeing cruisers we have met both earlier this year and last year has been terrific.  It seems that most cruisers pass through Hope Town each year.

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An in town house across the road from Wine Down-Sip Sip, see the next blog post.

Speaking of cruisers that we met this year I have to mention Stewart and Penny who are on board Stravaign II, a beautiful Bristol Channel Cutter.  Stravaign if you were wondering is a Scottish word for roaming; wandering about.  Bristol Channel Cutters were designed by the late Lyle Hess, and built primarily by the Sam L. Morse company in Costa Mesa, California.  Stravaign is a 28’ cutter rigged beauty that hails from St John’s New Foundland. 

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Penny and Stewart have been wonderful hosts having Ginnie and me aboard for dinner.  And when Ginnie went home to see Reese and Graham they were kind enough to invite me again for a great meal.  Well today was quite special, Stewart invited Frank on board Morning Watch also from St John’s and myself to go sailing.  Three old salts having a great sail, and wait, the best has yet to come.  We sailed into Hope Town harbor, through the narrow channel, and up to the mooring without turning on the engine.  The moorings here are so close together there is very limited room to maneuver, never mind sailing to the mooring.  Great job Stewart!

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Stewart and Frank, notice no one is at the helm…

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The self steering vane is mounted to the taft rail and is connected to a trim tab behind the rudder.  Look Ma, no hands!

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Heading back into Hope Town after a sail to Man-O-War

Being aboard Stravaigan got me to thinking.  Here we were five of us on board for dinner last night and there was plenty of room for Penny and Stewart to dance to a favorite song.  28’ of well designed boat is all you really need to sail to the Bahamas, or around the world. 

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Penny, Stewart and Karen from Morning Watch on board Stravaigan after dinner.

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Plenty of room for some dancing.