Safe Spot Found
06 February 2011 | Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera
Beth / 80's / no snow
We were hoping for a secure little anchoring spot in Governor's Harbour, and luck, wind, and sea conditions have been with us!
We had another perfectly wonderful sail up here on Friday - leaving Rock Sound at 7:30 and dropping the hook here at 12:15, covering 27.54 nautical miles in under 5 hours. This is sailing! Gentle swells, no chop, close reach all the way. China Doll was anchored here when we arrived and Acme Cat pulled in shortly after, and it has been the three of us ever since. On advice from friends, we chose a spot in the SE corner, pulled in as close to the shallows as we could and dropped all the chain we carry in 16 feet of water. The weight of the chain, plus the very light SE winds ever since we arrived have allowed us to be secure and comfortable here despite the reportedly poor holding in Governor's Harbour.
We took a walk about town on Friday afternoon, finding the 2 grocery stores - both along the Queen's Highway, the tourist office where we picked up a map of Eleuthera, and Haynes Library where wifi is available for a fee of $5. (per hour) I appreciated the way the librarian smiled and said, "We don't pay close attention to timing. If you have your own computer, you can sit inside or outside. Once you pay your $5 and get the code, feel free to use it. I change the code every now and then."
Donnie, a local fellow who was sweeping up the Fish Fry area in the afternoon, told us that this is the place to be on Friday evening to enjoy music, beer, and fish, chicken or pork chops hot off the BBQ. The meals are $10 for a styrofoam (unfortunately) container of meat or fish, and your choice of peas'n rice, mac'n cheese, cole slaw. Starts at 7ish and goes late into the evening.
Jay and Nicole (China Doll) came over for a visit late afternoon and we loved hearing the spirit of adventure in the voices of these two young people. Both in their 20's, they bought this little boat in November and sailed her down here from New Jersey. They were keen, smart, and enthusiastic and we'll enjoy meeting up with them again when our son, Liam, gets here.
As the action started over on the government wharf, we dinghied ashore (no good dinghy dock here - we beach it and depending on whether the tide is rising or falling, anchor out or pull it high. We did it the wrong way around the first time and had to drag it a good long way over sand bars when we returned from our walk!) The G&G freighter arrived just before 7, and as it was positioning itself along the cement dock, the fast ferry, the "Bo Hengy" came around the breakwater. It was so much fun to be among the crowd of locals there to pick up goods and friends from the ferry.
The messenger line flew off the ferry, and the muscular young fellows on the dock pulled it and the heavy dock lines in and wrapped them around the bollards. A metal ramp scraped along the dock, the gates swung open and Donna and Chris arrived! We followed them to the sweet little house they are renting, gave them a couple of minutes to catch their breaths, and headed over to the fish fry. Sitting there amidst the throngs of locals and visitors, with the water rolling in behind us and stars filling the sky, we nodded knowingly when Donna commented, "All this feels a little surreal!"
Saturday was chock full of exploring, swimming and enjoying the wonderful island flavour. Jim and I took a walk up the hill past gorgeous homes with porches and gables, and brightly coloured flowers tumbling over gates and climbing walls. We met Chris and Donna for lunch at the Buccaneer Club where we downed conch, grouper, and cheese burgers. That's a pleasant stop with a shady patio, good food and cold beer (not as inexpensive as some spots but still good value.) From there we wandered our way along shady streets to the bakery. If you visit, you'll have to ask a local for directions because there is no way I can describe the twists and turns. All I can say is it's worth the walk because the breads and goodies are terrific! We met up with Doug and Susan (Acme Cat) on the way home and discovered they are from Montague, PEI - almost neighbours.
After collecting our towels and suits, we headed up the hill, and down the hill and along a track to the right and through the French Leave resort property (once a Club Med, and sadly abandoned after extensive hurricane damage several years ago) to the beach. And oh what a beach! Pink sand, high palm topped dunes, gently rolling waves of crystal clear, aqua blue water and fewer people than fingers on one hand. We played in the waves, walked the beach, visited a tapas restaurant/bar that I can't remember the name of and started our hike back to town. Just as we started up the long hill, a pick up truck slowed beside us and Christopher called out, "Hop in the back!". We happily clambered over the sides, and enjoyed the scenery instead of huffing and puffing our way along. We had chatted with Christopher, his wife Jonita and their almost 2 year old daughter Kiasha on the beach where they were enjoying the sunny afternoon.
As we hopped out of the truck near the boat ramp, a couple of fishermen were still selling their catch and we bought some lovely fresh mackerel to enjoy for dinner. Next on the agenda was a visit to Donna and Chris' house for showers. Clean and salt free, we all headed back to Madcap for dark and stormies and dinner. Donna had spent a couple of days on board several years ago but Chris had never been on board so it was fun to introduce him to our home on the water.
Jim BBQ'd chicken, I baked the mackerel, cooked up a pot of peas 'n rice and tossed together a broccoli and cranberry salad. The delectable little chocolate and hazelnut maple leaves that Donna brought from Canada topped off the meal perfectly. It was just the best way to end a day. Fresh and healthy food in the fresh air under the stars, shared with good friends. What can be better? We were even able to enjoy Junkanoo drumming from somewhere on shore. The tastes and sounds of the islands - they are all here!
And now it is Sunday morning. Still calm and quiet. Charles Enright, the voice of CBC's Sunday Edition comes through the cockpit speakers. Although Jim scoffs at the story on angels, I'm pretty sure our guardian angels are with us :-) We'll go swimming at Anchor Beach just off Cupid's Cay this afternoon, and then check out Ronnie's sports bar for the Superbowl game. Another busy day!