Green Horizons- Blog 5- The Endless Adventure
Since entering onto the Bahamas banks two weeks ago our journey has been wild! We have explored many islands from desolate to populate. Our first stop was Spanish Cay, a little island only 3 miles long by a ¼ mile wide with a marina and resort. We docked up to clear customs and explore the island and reef that runs along the tip of Henry Bay that had provided us lobster on our last journey. No lobster this time but we relaxed and enjoyed the clear water that we love so much. Around lunchtime we headed southeast to Manjack Cay to dive around Nunjack Rocks for some lobster before the season ended. We dove the tip and found some lobster for the evening’s Dutch oven dinner! Manjack Cay is a peaceful place with only a few people living on the 5-mile long island. That night we feasted on lobster, collard greens, and quinoa stew that was mouth watering!
The next morning we were headed to Guana Cay to catch some surf when we made a pit stop at No Name Cay to cook lunch and explore the outer reef. As we neared the anchorage we noticed some wild pigs on the shore and wondered if they were friendly or not. Jake and Lukas paddled in to start a fire for cooking lunch and one of the pigs came up and tried climbing on the kayak! The gentle creature was obviously domesticated and ready for food and loving. We had no luck spear fishing but enjoyed the solitude embraced by No Name Cay. Only a bunch of pigs and us!
That afternoon we timed our sail through the Whale passage (Don’t rock passage) right before high tide. We sailed through the shifting sand bars with only a foot to spare below our keel. Around 7:30pm we motored into fishers bay at Guana Cay; perfect protection from the southeast wind and allowed us to surf the reef a ¼ mile across the island on the Atlantic Ocean (windward) side of the island!
April 2nd we awoke excited about surfing and jumped off the boat to paddle ashore for a surf. We walked through the small settlement and arrived on the Atlantic shore to a nice 2’ swell peeling along a reef point. We had a blast paddling and duck diving in the crystal clear waters! The waves were bonus and the day ended with a perfect sunset overlooking fishers bay!
For the next couple days we relaxed and unwind from the chaos of finally making it to the Bahamas. We enjoyed the bounties of the bahamas, surfing, diving, and meeting new friends who came to the Bahamas for the same reason as us – the clear water! While out surfing we met a young guy named Jordan who was a first mate aboard a yacht moored in Orchid Bay Marina. He was stoked to be surfing and meeting new people that thrived off of adventure. He told us about all the coconuts on the island and how nobody cared if we ate them. We were instantly re-inspired for the natural resources that prospered on land. We shared our boards with Jordan and spent the next couple days surfing, eating and drinking coconuts, and enjoying the beautiful beaches of Guana Cay!
With the waves subsiding and Jordan back to work, we decided to head out to a new spot. Before splitting, we met the Young family on vacation from Atlanta, Georgia They offered us ice for our boat. The next morning, while at the beach, the Young family showed up to tell us that they left a cooler full of ice on our kayak!. We thanked them for their great southern hospitality!
With a surplus of ice and Lukas’s burning ambition to troll offshore to catch a nice fish, we devised a plan to troll from Guana Cay northeast to Manjack Cay harnessing the strong south wind. That evening a local fishing captain informed us to stay in water depths around 175’ – 500’ for a good chance at hooking a fish. Around mid-Monday morning we headed out of Whale Passage and entered the Atlantic Ocean. We trolled two lines; one rigged with a ballyhoo another sailor friend (Helen) had given us, the other with a small blue spinner rig. After two hours of trolling the drop off we missed on a small hit. I told the boys, “ If you guys take a nap we will get another hit!”
Jake and Lukas went below deck and passed out while I sailed at a brisk 6.5 knots as we neared our destination, Manjack Cay. After 30 minutes of the boys napping, I started dozing off at the wheel. Right as I zoned out a loud scream broke the haze as line peeled off the blue spinner rig. A fish was on! Lukas was up and in an instant, grabbed the rod and slowly fought it in. As the fish approached, we realized it was a little tuna, and we were stoked to have dinner on the line! Lukas pulled it aside the boat, gaffed it and put it in the center cockpit with only 6 miles left to Manjack channel. Excited about our catch, we dropped our lines back out in search for another one. Twenty minutes later the drag came screaming off the ballyhoo rod. Jake grabbed the rod and fought a stronger fish to the stern of the boat. As it neared the boat we saw the beautiful blue and grey streaks down the fish’s side and realized it was a nice Wahoo! Just then, the Wahoo spotted us, and took off racing 50 yards from the boat like a jet taking off on a runway! The Wahoo dove deep at the same time shook his head to pop the hook loose from its jaws leaving us bewildered!
We were stoked with hooking the Wahoo and catching the Tuna! Around 4pm we slowly motor sailed into the Manjack channel to find anchorage, eat dinner and rest for the night! We slowly creeped into the channel and tacked south toward North Manjack cay and found protection in a small bay on the north end of the island. That evening was spent searing tuna over the fire on the lid of the Dutch oven and enjoying a sweet sunset in the now peaceful harbor…
The next morning we set off on a spear fishing journey; no grouper, or snapper, but we did get a couple grunts for lunch. The south wind was brewing harder and a large low-pressure system was heading our way. There was only one other boat, a 50’ rental cat with two families aboard, and us anchored in the nameless harbor. We thought to go across the Abaco Sea to Coopers town to ride out the front, but the report stated that the winds would stay out of the south-west through the storm so we decided it would be safe to stay.
Around midnight the squall came through blasting us with a torrential downpour and a strong 40 mph northwest wind. The north-west wind instantly created a gnarly chop in the harbor. All night we sat up to make sure not to pull anchor and drift into the rental cat that sat on our stern. By morning the chop had turned into breaking waves and knocked Valhalla around like a wild bull ride! We decided to try and tack out. Jake and Lukas reefed the mainsail and we pulled anchor on our way. We couldn’t get our heading, and nearly hit a coral head on the edge of the harbor just before coming about and returning back to our original location. By then our neighbor friends in the cat awoke from their sleep, so we kayaked over to talk to them, and asked if they could tow us out of the harbor. The captain on board said, “You guys are going out in this?
We stated, “Yes, we gotta get out of here before it gets any worse!”
He replied, ”We’ll tow you guys out, just give us a bit of time”.
Around 8am the cat started pulling their anchor, but lost electrical power because their anchor was stuck and the windlass popped their breaker. It took 20 minutes to fix their electrical system, get their anchor freed, and pull up beside us. Jake tied off a 1″ halyard off our bow and kayaked the line to the cat now 50 yards off our bow. At that moment Lukas and I started pulling in both anchors. We got one up just as the cat started pulling on the towline. The other anchor was hung, the line snapped, and we broke free. Jake was still in the kayak , and we told him to meet us on the other side of the island. The cat slowly pulled us out with the kids on deck filming the wild event, and us, just hoping the towline held. As we rounded the tip of Manjack they freed the towline, and we shouted a big thank you as they waved with success!
We motored Valhalla through a shallow cut and re-anchored 5 minutes later on the lee of the island in 6ft of water! That night we cooked quinoa, dried peppers, onions, and mushrooms medley with handmade masa tortillas and enjoyed some of our homemade wine to top it off!
With the wind calmer and water visibility better in the nameless harbor we went on a hunt for our lost anchor. Jake and Lukas snorkeled while I kayaked the harbor. After 20 minutes of searching Jake and Luke had found a couple nice conchs but no anchor. I said “Let’s do a search pattern from one side to another.”
Just then, Lukas came rocketing out of the water “ Here it is!”
It was buried deep in the sand deep, but Jake wrestled it out and lifted it onto the Kayak! Around noon, we set off south from Manjack back to Guana. Sailing 6 knots under a nice northeast wind, we cut through the shallow Whale Cut Passage just before high tide. After passing “The Whale”, the wind switched and we motorsailed through a storm into Bakers Bay on the north end of Guana Cay to anchor just after sunset. We left early the next morning and motored against a southeast wind back to Fishers Bay to enjoy the ocean one last time before heading to Marsh Harbor to drop Lukas off to catch his flight home.
Saturday morning, we headed out from Fishers Bay and decided to stop off at Man O’ War Cay to explore for a couple hours before splitting to Marsh. We were sailing beautifully coming into an anchorage called Corn Bay on the north end of Man O’ War nearing the anchorage when we turned the motor on and instantly heard a loud crash. We threw the anchor and went below to inspect. The bolts on our pulley hub had come off and we realized that our hub was installed incorrectly. We figured it out, reinstalled it, and decided to skip Man O’ War and head straight to Marsh Harbor. We were sailing fast downwind toward Marsh, and cruising nicely until we heard a silence. Our prop wasn’t spinning anymore. I jumped down below, and saw our chain coupler had came off, and our shaft was an inch from slipping into the water. Heart pounding, I gripped on to the little bit of shaft showing and held on with all my might until Jake and Lukas dropped the sail and anchor.
We went from a perfect sail to losing our motor, and then, almost losing our shaft and prop. The stress was getting to us. We slowly pulled the shaft back into place to reattach the coupler and chain. We double checked the setscrews and put a hose clamp on the shaft to ensure it couldn’t slip into the water. We were only 5 miles from Marsh as we pulled anchor and mainsail up again and set out on our way. A strong east wind had us moving at 7 knots. Around an hour later we were sailing into Marsh Harbor and set anchor in the busy harbor with over fifty other boats. Exhausted and drained we were glad to be anchored in the safe harbor.
That next morning we said our goodbyes to Lukas and wished him a safe journey home. Without his help we wouldn’t be where we are right now, and we thank him for that. He has been a huge part of Green Horizons and PureOceanTV since the very beginning! He is inspired by our passion to leave a soft footprint, and will stand by our sides at any moment. He sets off on his new journey as Jake and I refocus on our mission to find characters who are making changes, and doing better to live healthy and free in this world. The next three days we spent time getting all our ducks in a row, finishing blogs, gathering parts, meeting locals and refocusing our energy on Green Horizons. This journey isn’t about how far we can go, its about meeting the people along the way who are working harder to make this world a better place. We hope to capture their inspiration for ourselves to share with you.
Please share our story and help us make a powerful impact in this world.
Thanks for being a part of Green Horizons!
Jake (Truth) and James (Vision) and the rest of the PureOceanTV Crew!!!