Marsh Harbor

We departed Treasure Cay on a high tide and ran the short trip down to Marsh Harbor. Marsh Harbor is the 3rd largest “city” in the Bahamas after Nassau and Freeport and has probably 10,000 inhabitants. Though small it is busy with non-stop traffic on its few roads and a harbor full of tourists boats like us, though mostly sail boats. Most services can be found here including a large US-style grocery store; always appreciated and rarely found in the islands. MH marks our return to familiar places; our stops previously have been novel but Marsh Harbor and the surrounding Cays (Elbow, Man-o-war, Guana, Lubbers, etc.) are familiar.

We came down a bit early to restock some supplies and take care of last-minute items in preparation for a guest! My brother Jim is flying in from Seattle on Friday and will join us in our little adventure for the next week. Jim is no stranger to Tivoli and is always welcome aboard. It will be fun to see him again; though he usually brings Seattle weather with him! I also have an appointment on Wednesday with Dr. Charite who kindly stitched up my face last week. I’m healing well and the eye is going through the usual rainbow of colors one experiences with such an injury. I’m still in the purple phase; hoping to reach the yellows soon. I appreciate your kind posts and emails, many thanks my friends!

The entrance into the bay was quite interesting. We arrived on a Saturday morning and the local yacht club was running a Sunfish race – smack in the middle of the mooring field among 25-30 anchored boats! Naturally, as we arrived a flock of sails block our entrance as they round a mark heading to windward. Tacking back and forth in front of us and between the anchored boats made for an impressive sight. There was no opportunity to avoid the course given our draft so we decided to be kind and wait until they passed and we could proceed down the channel to Harbor View Marina. This was not to be. By the time the stragglers cleared the channel the leaders were again rounding the marking and heading for us. We wait. After two or three circuits I’m beginning to think this is an endless race. We wait. Back and forth like a flock of butterflies. We are impressed with their skill. I guess sailing in these conditions while avoiding anchored boats would quickly weed out the incompetent. Smacking into the side of an anchored boat and dealing with the shouting that follows would strain the enthusiasm of the most avid sailor. Finally, we tire of waiting and burning fuel and idling in circles and decide to plow ahead. At the first clear moment we inch forward, soon I have Sunfish in front, Sunfish in back, all tacking toward the windward mark. One hapless youngster capsizes in front of me; I hit the “brakes”; i.e. throw it in reverse and easily stop Tivoli given our slow speed. The child hops back aboard and carries on as if this occurs all the time. We continue on and finally clear the course, pull into our assigned slip and tie up.

An hour or two later they are still circling the buoys!

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