Traveling the day before wiped Michael out, so he slept in on Sunday. By 10am I got antsy, so I pulled up the anchor and set the jib without using the engine. This got Michael stirring and we were hooked to the free mooring in the all weather Hatchet Bay within two hours. During the two days we were there we visited the abandoned poultry farm. It has been reduced to 300 foot long foundations, although someone is using it to hold goats for personal use. We saw several very small kids, which were cute. We pulled out the bikes and rode to Sweetings Salt Pond, where the water was very clear and nice, but you need a small boat to really enjoy it. We then rode to a cave. Michael was content to go in and just look around, but I had to explore all the passages and found one that was long and flat. I went in a good quarter of a mile and then my flashlight started going out (this reinforced a rule I already knew, bring three lights). Luckily for me I had my camera with me and I used the light from the display. Michael said if I did not return in 20 more minutes he was not going to come find me, but would go get help at least. We continued to ride to Gregory Town and stopped at Elvina’s and chatted with the owner. We had lunch at Surfer’s Manor (I got a grouper taco with mushroom sauce…yummy) and visited Surfer’s Beach. I found a couple of beach surfer shacks (see 2nd photo) with signs, artifacts, and a swing.
On Tuesday we sailed north of Gregory Town to the Glass Window, which used to be a natural arch and a very narrow strip of land connecting North and South Eleuthera. There is now a bridge spanning the distance, but the view is still SPECTACULAR (see two photos)!!!! After hanging out next to, on, and under the bridge, I walked to see the Bull & Cow rocks (disappointment…it was just two rocks). We finally sailed back south to Gregory Town in order to listen to live music at Elvina’s (this is a favorite hang out of Lenny Kravitz and many others musicians). It was a fun evening, but the cove we anchored in was not great since the small waves bounced back and forth off the cliffs.
We needed to get passed Current Cut in order to visit the two best known settlements on Eleuthera, so on Wednesday I checked the tide and timed the 12 miles sail to arrive at the high tide mark (this means no current). We made it through with absolutely no problems and anchored on the north side of the cut and waited several hours, before taking the dinghy back through and visiting the cute and well maintained Current Cut Settlement. On the way back to the boat I jumped in and let the 7-8 knot current rip me through the cut. I took underwater video, where the ground is screaming by (you can see it when the travel videos get to this location…check back regularly…hint, hint). I also grabbed the rock ledge and the current took my body horizontal (see last photo). It was a blast and I wanted to do it again, but the current picked up and the dinghy was having trouble getting both of us through again.
We spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights at Spanish Wells. This is one of the wealthiest settlements in the Bahamas and supplies three quarters of the lobsters exported from the country. The island town is wonderful and completely safe. It is in my top three settlements with Clarence Town and Black Point, if not the top. The only disappointment is that the museum was closed for renovation. I also took the dinghy across the channel and visited Preacher’s Cave on the mainland, there was nothing overly spectacular about the cave, except for the historical significance. This is where the original settlers survived for 20 plus years back in 1648.
On Saturday we hired “Bandit” to pilot the boat through the Devil’s Backbone (it is highly recommended due to the massive amount of reefs and swell) so we could spend some time at Harbor Island, which I will tell you about next week.