We left the Exumas on April 6th from Staniel Cay and headed towards Rock Sound Eleuthera. It was a 55 mile open water sail so it was our longest in a while. The sail ended up being great as our speed averaged about 7.5 form and we caught a Mahi-mahi en route.
Our first stop in Eleuthera was Rock Sound. We were able to visit a couple of great local spots including Boiling Hole Caves and the Ocean Hole. The caves were our favorite. It felt like Indiana Jones or the Jungle Book. There were really cool roots growing into the caves from above and there were even bats.
The next stop was Ocean Hole. After the dusty caves we got to get cleaned up by cliff jumping into a brackish water hole that went down about 700 feet. Glad that we did not drop anything. After the cliff jumping and swimming we fed some of the local fish there and headed back to the boat. After the three mile walk between the sites it was great to get back to a beer and fresh mahi-mahi for dinner.
Our next stop was Governors Harbor. The town has been there for over 400 years. We were able to get some groceries ($9 for Cheez-it’s!!!) and had a great lunch at Bucaneer’s. While at Governor’s Harbor we also extended our visas for another 60 days. It was a neat little town and felt more like civilization.
Next stop, Hatchet Bay. We saw that a front was coming so we had to get some better coverage thus we headed north. Hatchet Bay is a near perfectly circular anchorage which is protected from all sides from bad weather. There is one small opening to get into the bay and it is barely sixty feet wide. This is a very scary entrance when the waves were at your back and your boat is 25 feet wide. Upon seeing the entrance Eva said “look through that narrow opening. You can see the bay inside.” I then responded, “that is the opening”. Eva said, “no way”. But we got through O.K.
Once inside it was perfectly calm and we spent a couple of days there. We met another boat with three boys and spent some time playing with them on the local playground. They spoke French and we spoke English but the kids all spoke “play” so they had fun.
The town was fairly poor and you could see it from the houses and shops but everyone was so nice and happy there we could have stayed longer.
When we left Hatchet Bay we headed north. We stopped at a day anchorage near the Glass Window. This is a narrow bridge of rock that connects Eleuthera at its narrowest point. Typically there are huge waves going through the window. Since the wind was the wrong direction there was little to see upon our visit.
While at the anchorage we also stopped at the Queen’s Bath. These are natural looking ‘tubs’ on the Atlantic side of the ocean. There is perfectly clear water in them. It was a little chilly but we all did get in. I was able to jump into the ocean side to see what was around but it was too rough for anyone else.
We left the day anchorage, passed through Current Cut (this can be treacherous) and went into Spanish Wells. We grabbed a mooring late in the evening and watched the world go by from the boat. This was our largest town in months and it did not disappoint. There was a real grocery store there!
There was also a small marine parts store so I was able to get a new slave solenoid on my starboard engine. I installed it and now I don’t have to jump the engine every day.
While in Spanish Wells we also hung out with the families from North 45 and Aphrodite. The kids jumped off the bridge together, played lots of Hide and Seek and even went to a local church fair together.
We had a great stay in Spanish Wells. It was our favorite city thus far in the Bahamas. It was big enough that you had everything, there was very little trash and you could walk the streets as people passed by in golf carts and waved hello.
We are slowly moving north, closer to the USA and will be in the Abaco’s next. That will be our last stop before crossing the Gulf Stream back to Florida. All in all we liked Eleuthera but it was so different from the barren islands that were so common in the Exumas further south.