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Green Turtle Cay to Powell Cay

Big Purple Fan and other Soft Corals

Beautiful Big Purple Fan and other Soft Corals at reef, oceanside Manjack Cay

May 27, 2014

By dinner time Captain Gary said he was worn out. Rarely, have I heard those words come out of his mouth. However, he said it was a good fatigue, because it was such a good day:

We wanted to go to the reef on the ocean side of Manjack Cay to snorkel. It would be our last opportunity to snorkel in the Abacos. Manjack, pronounced Munjack or Nanjack by the locals, was only about four miles north of Green Turtle. We left Donny’s mooring field before breakfast, anchored at Manjack, and was on the reef around 9:30 AM. Gary said he enjoyed the first 20 minutes, of the one hour snorkel, better than any of the other times we had on the reefs in the Abacos. During those first 20 minutes, or so, we were at a great reef, with lots of live coral and many fishes, and it had a deep ridge going down to the ocean’s floor, maybe 30 feet deep. That is why Gary really liked it. That reef would have been a good one to scuba because it had life on it all the way to the bottom.

The water was more silty than previous times on the other reefs, so we did not get good pictures. However, we could have spent hours out there, but we were both tired of pulling the dinghy with us and trying to find more good reefs. To give you an idea of what it was like trying to find reefs in silty water, I’ll give you a description: after you come to the end of one reef, you swim toward where you think there should be another one after taking your head up out of the water and looking at the surface of the water around you for darker colored water. Then you snorkel in that direction and you either see a towering dark shadow in front of you, which you find to be a reef when you get close enough to actually see it clearly, or, that darker water ends up just being a grassy bottom, or, it could turn out to be nothing but sand because there was a dark cloud overhead when you checked out the color of the water around you and it made the water just look dark. If it were a reef, then it is either a healthy reef with a lot of live coral and numerous fishes, or it could be a dead reef with nothing to see. This is what we call exploring the reefs. When we find good ones, we document the location on our navigational chart so we can find them easier the next visit.

After leaving the marvelous reefs, we dinghied past Crab Cay on our way to the boat, and saw wild pigs at the shore. We had to get pictures of them:

Two wild pigs came out to greet us, surely expecting us to feed them.

Two wild pigs came out to greet us, surely expecting us to feed them.

Hey people, where 's my food?

Hey people, where ‘s my food?

Dang! No grub from them! *#!!_*+!#*!!!

Dang! No grub from them!

After we returned to White Swan, I went aboard to get a piece of paper I had written a couple’s name and phone number on who had tried to make contact with a couple who lives on Manjack last year via our website and us. Unfortunately, I had not read their request they had posted in the comments section of our website until we had left the Bahamas. They wanted us to give their info to their friends, Leslie and Bill, because they had lost Leslie and Bill’s contact information. Fortuitously, Leslie and Bill were home and we gave them their friends’ phone number. They seemed grateful that we relayed the info. That’s just the kind of thing the boating community does for each other.

Thatch umbrella at Bill and Leslie's cool!

Thatch umbrella at Bill and Leslie’s beach…so cool!

During the short time we visited Leslie and Bill, whom we had previously met another time while we were in the Abacos, we actually learned some interesting facts from them. Bill told us no-see-ums are attracted to black clothing. I was wearing a black swimsuit. No-see-ums usually come out at dusk, but before Gary and I left their island, the little buggers were attacking me. I believe Bill knew what he was talking about.

Also, Leslie and Bill have a breadfruit tree in their yard and she told us they prepare them like one would prepare potatoes. She said the immature breadfruit would make you sick if you ate it, and she showed us what a mature one looked like.


Leslie with ripe breadfruit in right hand, and fresh egg from the hen house in left hand

Leslie with ripe breadfruit in right hand, and fresh egg from the hen house in left hand


Leslie and Bill’s Breadfruit Tree provides a fruit, to be prepared like a potato.






I also learned a lot about chicks and hens since Leslie had a hen incubating eggs in a big plastic tub in their indoor shower. Five chicks had already hatched. Gary already knew everything she told us because he grew up on a farm and gathered eggs everyday from the time he was 12 years old until he went to college, but I found it all to be very interesting.

Leslie's hen,chicks, and two eggs still to hatch, kept under her care in a bin in her shower.

Leslie’s hen,chicks, and two eggs still to hatch, kept under her care in a bin in her shower.

Traveling further north up the chain of islands, we sailed up to Coopers Town, on Great Abaco Island. The 15 nautical MPR winds made for a great sail, but it made the windward side of the Sea of Abaco too rough to manage getting into the dinghy to go into Coopers Town. The biggest deterrent was the low tide making the bottom rung of the ladders on the town dock too high to step up onto from the dinghy. Note to self: Don’t go to Coopers Town during a low tide. To reach the ladders, we need a high tide.

Our night’s anchorage was just across the Sea of Abaco from Coopers Town. We anchored in the lee of Powell Cay, protecting us from the wind and the rough sea. Soon after anchoring we went to shore to walk the long beach and look for shells. Gary found a pretty milk conch shell, which we kept, and another beautiful conch shell, of which we don’t know the name, but it had a live conch in it, so we didn’t keep it. I had never seen this genre of conch before we saw their shells displayed at Pete Johnston’s Gallery. I asked the lady who worked at the gallery about them and she said they were from the Abacos. Gary said he had found one last year when we were in the Abacos, but it too had a live conch in it. I don’t want the beautiful creatures to die, but if we ever find one of their empty shells, I’ll be thrilled to keep it.

We also found three baby sea-biscuits that were no bigger than a nickel. The first two I found, and they soon broke, they were so fragile. Gary found the third one and I asked him to hold it since I’d already broke two of them. Low and behold he got it back to the boat in one piece. We’ll see if it makes the trip home without crumbling like it’s counterparts.

Gary cleaned some more on the bottom of the boat. I started dinner preparations and before we knew it, another fully wonderful day had slipped by into the evening’s sunset.


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