After repairs were completed in Spanish Wells, we departed for Hatchet Bay, further down Eleuthera’s western shore. Hatchet Bay is a large lagoon accessed through a small cut in the hilly coast. Hatchet Bay provided great protection for us during a few days of high winds from the NE. That evening we were joined in the pond by the Liberty Clipper, a schooner from Boston. It is a classic looking two masted gaff rigged boat, carrying passengers touring the Bahamas.
Our second night in the bay we enjoyed dinner onboard Symmetry III with Rick and Helen. Then the next day we took our dinghies into shore to explore. There were free range goats, chickens and roosters roaming the island, including the local playground. The first restaurant we stopped in was closed for lunch because the owner’s daughter was in a spelling bee. Folks on this island have their priorities straight.
As we walked along we found “Da Place” open for lunch. Our choices were fish or chicken, so we each had one of each. The fish was the whole fish with the eye staring back. The chicken was a leg/thigh combo and each was accompanied by the local macaroni and cheese, peas and rice, and cole slaw. We walked away full (and needed the walk). Each local patron who came to the restaurant to pick up lunch greeted us and wished us a good day. As we walked through town, any drivers of vehicles who passed us tooted their horns and waved a greeting. Needless to say, we felt welcome.
The next day we traveled further south to Governor’s Harbour. This was the original capital of the Bahamas but has since become a small outpost community. Our plan after arrival was to go into town with Rick and Helen from Symmetry III. We took our dinghies close to shore, but there was no dinghy dock, so we anchored our dinghies in the shallow water and waded to shore (trying to avoid the low tide fiasco in Spanish Wells).
Inside the anchorage we found a raft anchored, named Antiki. The raft was made of fiberglass tubes, with a corrugated metal shack in the middle, a telephone pole for the mast, and a similar sized pole for the cross-boom. Interestingly it was still broadcasting an AIS signal. A local explained that six older gentlemen sailed the raft from Europe and were now trying to sell her. She is sea worthy and definitely interesting.
Pete and I picked up a package of replacement cable from the local shipping company without any problems, but Rick and Helen were expecting a package that had to be picked up from the incoming ferry at the Government dock. While waiting for the ferry, which was behind schedule, we found the Waterfront Café for lunch. From the patio we could watch for the ferry’s arrival. The dock turned into a hub of activity with the ferry’s arrival. Everything from paper towels to building supplies was offloaded from the ferry. It appeared the whole community turned out to pick up what they needed.
After securing what we needed from Governor’s Harbour we returned to our boats to stow our new acquisitions and plan for the next stop. During our last night in Governor’s Harbour the wind shifted and our anchorage turned rolly-polly – not much sleep had at all. Early the next morning we departed for Rock Sound, further south on Eleuthera.
After arriving and anchoring in Rock Sound we took the
dinghy into shore to explore and go shopping. Along the walk we met Juan, a local poet, who recited one of his poems for us. Although I can’t quote his lines, the gist was that we all need to follow the Ten Commandments in order to get along. I can’t argue with that. We had just departed the local liquor store, where cold beers were on a 3 for special, so we shared our extra beer with him. I realized as we walked on that this was a first time for me to be walking along a street drinking from a bottle in a brown paper bag. I guess there is a first time for everything in life!
The next morning we were awakened by the church bells from St. Lukes Anglican Church on the waterfront. The bells chimed 30 minutes and 5 minutes before services began. We decided to explore a part of town that we hadn’t been to yet. We found Ocean Hole, which is a large pond that is about 100 yards in diameter. The hole is filled with saltwater, over 600 feet deep, fed by water from the sound, and has an abundance of fish (Snappers, Angel Fish, Sargeant Majors, etc). Locals claim the water has healing powers. After a walk through town, we found Sammy’s Restaurant for lunch. We shared a great conch chowder, a cheeseburger for me and fish burger for Pete. We were delightfully stuffed when we left.
This was also Super Bowl Sunday so we explored our options for watching the game (and commercials). A couple of local establishments were broadcasting the game and advertising on the VHF radio. By then we were back onboard Delphinus and not willing to venture into the dinghy dock again. We kept up with the scores through our daughter’s text messages and we’ll watch the commercials when we get a better internet connection.
The next day our friends from Symmetry III, Rick and Helen, suggested a walk to the Nort’side Restaurant for lunch. The sign on the lamp post said it was 1.5 miles. Sounded like a good idea. Along the way we stopped again at the Ocean Hole to feed the fish. The fish were waiting at the bottom of the stairs to be fed.
The walk to the restaurant proved to be much more than 1.5 miles. We kept walking and walking and walking in the hopes that the restaurant would be over the next hill. Finally a car came toward us and stopped. We asked if the restaurant was nearby and the driver answered, “Yes, and I’ll be right back.” Sure enough she came back and offered us a ride. The driver was Rose, the owner/manager of the Nort’side Restaurant. The pedometer on my phone indicated we had walked 4.7 miles! When we asked for a menu, she said she had some just cooked some jerk chicken, so we ordered four plates.
The view from the restaurant was spectacular and we were the only patrons in the restaurant. Rose and her “ladies” took great care of us. When we finished eating we asked Rose if there was a taxi or car service. She volunteered to drive us back — thank goodness! I don’t think I could have walked that distance again.
Now it is time to leave Eleuthera for the Exumas. Stay tuned!