By Heather Hild Atwater
This cruise, we were lucky to have three beautiful yachts: A Moorings 5000 with the upper deck, a Moorings 4500 also with the upper deck, and another Moorings 4500. Skippers were Nate Atwater (Leader boat), John DiToro (sixth time sailing on a Flotilla with Offshore) and Jay Adler, a new skipper, second time on a flotilla with Offshore. The crews were a good mix of repeat flotilla participants and new to flotilla sailors. We had a great group of sailors who were all good team players, were flexible and had positive attitudes, all important on a flotilla!
Our Abacos itinerary:
Day 1: Marsh Harbor- Due to the boarding time and the fact that many restaurants are not open on Monday night, we chose to make a quick trip to Marsh Harbor the first night to eat at Colors for our Meet and Greet Diner.
Highlights- Getting off the Dock, Meet and Greet Dinner at Colors restaurant.
We come due to the weather and you work for us: Colors, Wally’s, Snappas it hits the spot, good holding and protection is what we ask and you deliver, Marsh Harbor.
More than mastheads I see spotlights yellow, taillights red, dock lights blue, it is a barrage of color and sound. I hear car noise, barge noise, generators, the gull is a welcome sound high and shrill above the man-made cacophony too a rooster crowing in the distance.
The city is awakening and yet the horizon is just burnt Orange with a silhouette of buildings and boats interrupting the blue of the sky and water which would otherwise be one…..”
Day 2- Sail to Manjack Cay- Often when we plan the itinerary it is best to go to the furthest point first and work our way back. This gives weather flexibility, so we did this, and we needed the flexibility as it turned out. Lunch stop after the Whale Passage to No Name Cay to see the piggies.
Highlights: Good sailing, piggies on da beach & cocktail party aboard “Taco Cat.”
Highlights: Great sailing in Bahamian waters, golf cart ride on GT and to New Plymouth Settlement, dinner at Green Turtle Yacht Club for the whole group.
Day 4- Green Turtle to Great Guana (lunch stop) and on to Man-O-War.
Busy day with an early start and Whale Passage Part 2…. much rougher than on the way there. Great Gauna tempts with Nippers and Grabbers beach bars but we are not at our final destination as yet. Onward to Man-O-War Cay.
Highlights: Sailing to Great Guana with the Whale Passage behind us, sparkling waters and gorgeous views.
Day 4- Early morning exploration of Man-O War Cay, visit the Sailbag Ladies and Coffee Shop/Museum, Joe’s gift shop too, all before heading to Elbow Cay via the deep-water draft route and seeing the sights at Hopetown and the light house before heading for the night to Marsh Harbor.
Day 5- Marsh Harbor- this day was supposed to be a heavy air and rain event…. thankfully it did not fully materialize SOOO……. A brisk and lively sailing occurred, and we returned to safe harbor for the night.
Highlights: Heavy air sailing, dinner at Wally’s for some.
Day 6- Early start to Mermaid Reef to snorkel and then off to Tahiti Beach, then back to the base by 3:00 p.m.
Highlights: The Thirsty Cuda on Tahiti Beach, sailing wing-on-wing in front of the Hopetown lighthouse, final dinner at Snappas restaurant in Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco.
Day 7- Disembark by 10:00 a.m. – Another great Colgate Sailing Adventures® flotilla in the Books!
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