The wonderful world of Andros

By May 29, 2011Bahamas, Caribbean, Cruising

This week was spent exploring Andros, which is the largest Bahamian island and one of the least populated.  We started off by sailing 40 miles south southwest from New Providence Island (the capital) down to South Bight (the island is divided by three bights, which are creeks 3 miles wide).  We visited a 5 star resort called Tiamo (it was very nice, but expensive…$900-$1300 a night) and snorkeled a small blue hole where I found a 28 foot sailboat at the bottom.

We then moved to Middle Bight and anchored next to what we called Gilligan’s Island.  It had a reef on both sides and a protected beach with palm trees and a couple of shacks.  We visited Moxey Town for service and to walk around, but spent the rest of the time here snorkeling the reef and spear fishing.  I got a triggerfish and grouper and I would have had more, but a shark took an interest and it was time to go!

Our next stop was the wonderful town of Fresh Creek, where we picked up a free mooring ball behind the only other cruiser we saw on the entire island.  The moorings are nice with a bow and stern tie up due to the current, but it is shallow and my starboard keel rested on the bottom each low tide.  The day we got here Paul & Nancy did some laundry and I baked cookies and bread (both turned out well) before Paul took us out to dinner at Chickharnies (named after the fabled bird like gremlins on the island).  The next day we took a tour of the town, which included the Androsia Factory where they make the local batik fabric (wax prints are stamped and then the fabric is dyed)(see photo of Nancy & I with some), a $4 lunch at Gatior’s Deli, ICE CREAM!!!, and the lighthouse which is supposable haunted.  After some deserved naps we took a dinghy ride up the creek and found a mangrove where cargo netting was put up to form a clubhouse like structure (lots of fun climbing around on)(see photo of Nancy on it).  We were going to leave the next day, but Paul found Captain Bill’s Blue Hole was only a 5 mile bike ride so off we went.  The hole was great, because the National Trust built a pavilion 15-20 feet above the water and you could dive off it (photo is from the water after I jumped).  On the way we stopped at a straw shop for Nancy and became friends with Eldridge.  We fished with her and her husband, Trevor, that night and the next day they took us on a tour of the island, where we visited the Mennonite mission (a nice farm), Red Bay (I was disappointed since it was a Seminole Indian settlement and we were told to go, but it really was only some homes with wood carvings for sale), Morgan’s Cave (Captain Morgan hid treasure here… it was smallish but neat and well hidden)(the last photo is everyone at the cave), Morgan’s Bluff (nice harbor – the water dock was big and deep with two ships sunk next to it – the bluff was beautiful), Uncle Charlie’s Blue Hole (clearer and better rock formations than yesterday’s, but not as much fun for me), and Farfor (a research site for students – wish I had classes here).  We ended up spending five great days at Fresh Creek and I loved it.  The only negatives were the local horse flies (called doctor flies because their bite hurts like a shot), two birds that keep trying to build a next on my mast (I had twigs everywhere…ugh), and a forest fire burning nearby that has everything still smelling like smoke (it brought back memories for me and coughs for them).

When we left Fresh Creek we sailed 45 miles north, with the wind on the aft quarter, to Chub Cay (located at southern end of the Berry Islands).  We ended the week by spending time in the pool of the Chub Cay Club development and snorkeling Mama Rhoda Reef.  I also met a group of firefighters chartering another 410.