Pink sand, crashing waves, & friends

By May 15, 2011Bahamas, Caribbean, Cruising

This week started with us at Harbor Island. The island is a very popular tourist spot and I pulled the bikes out so Michael and I could follow a map to the 26 different sites on the island. Some were historic (the old houses), some were religious (3 different churches), some were memorials (a bust and monument), and some just sucked (a water tower?!?!). But the last stop was the reason people come to the island in the first place….the soft pink sand beach (it has a pink hue due to red coral bits mixed into the sand). Some consider it one of the top 10 beaches in the world and I might have to agree. The sand was as soft as Destin, FL and did have a pinkness to it (see the photo of it smeared all over me).

On Tuesday we motored back across the Devil’s Backbone without a pilot. It is not as bad as the cruising guides make it out to be, but I am glad we hired the pilot to make the first trip. Once we were through we pulled out the jib and sailed past Spanish Wells to the Arimoroa shipwreck, which was run aground in 30 feet of water due to a fire aboard in the 1970’s. The only thing above the surface is five feet of the bow, but southwest by 100-200 feet the engine is only 3-5 feet under. I can’t imagine finding that thing in the dark by accident. It was a great snorkel with the bow section and engines were the best features. We anchored at the fully protected Royal Island for the night and I was surprised when Matt & Kristy of Kaleo came strolling in at sunset. It was great catching up with them.

On Wednesday we poked around the 1950’s estate ruins, where I found a chamber in the middle of a building, which is only accessible from a small hatch in the roof (I have no idea what the purpose is and it is driving me nuts). We then moved the boat to the west side of Egg Island (sailors use to take the many bird eggs from here…thus the name), so we could snorkel the reef. We took the dinghy and popped in and out of the water snorkeling the reef. Michael was driving us to the breakers on the far side. Once we were there we found that they were 5-7 foot waves rolling over the reef, but the reef was still 5-10 feet under the surface so we anchored the dinghy just to the side of the breakers and started snorkeling through them (it was a absolute blast to have the waves slamming into me – check out this short video Overtaken By A Wave.  It was a great ending to Eleuthrea Island, since we were heading to Nassau the next day.

After the winds started against us they clocked to help us and we were able to sail 2/3 of the way. We spend a day at Rose Island (just outside the Nassau harbor) and then found a decent anchorage in the northeast section of the harbor where I could top off fuel and a few provisions. I did drag Michael on a tour of Nassau where we saw old town with the older building (some are worn down), the pirate museum (they had a ship display like other museums, but this one you walked into and saw the accommodations)(see photo of me in the stockade…luckily Michael let me out), Fort Charlotte (the best of the three forts guarding the harbor), and I picked up a shirt and beach towel at the cruise ship dock shops (a good place to shop for souvenirs).

We even stopped at a jewelry store so I could show Michael beautiful Pearl Necklace and conch pearls (see photo). It is rare (1 in 10,000), but conchs do make pearls just like oysters except these are pink.