10 February 2011 | Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera
Beth / water temp 29.2 C !!!
We have been packing in the fun from dawn to dark in the last few days! Actually, the folks on shore start before dawn with the cock-a-doodle-doo's of the roosters that call Cupid's Cay home - and I don't quite think they call that part fun.
I'm afraid laughter more than sympathy was our first response as Donna relayed the tales of one memorable night. She and Chris were awoken by the barks and howls of a dog fight and then a goat baaaing, followed by some noisy excitement as the dogs chased the goat. I think there might have been a cat or two, and as dawn approached, the scrabbling of a crab as it clawed its way up the window screen added another layer of sound. Of course as all that died down, the ever present roosters started their announcements.
We had a delightful evening with Theresa and Andrew Burrows and their daughter Gem on Tuesday. These folks invited all five of us over for dinner and an evening of at-home Bahamian hospitality. Theresa cooked up some fresh and delicious conch fritters that we devoured as fast as she lifted them from the pot, and then laid out platters of fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, peas'n'rice, fresh green salad, and zesty and tender conch salad. I had taken along a pan of spicy gingerbread, and Chris and Donna provided beverages. It was a perfectly wonderful evening of good food, good friends and a conversation filled with questions and discoveries about both Bahamas and Canada. We have many things in common as members of the British Commonwealth, and of course many differences as countries with different temperatures, economies and geography. It seemed especially sweet that Gem's older sister, Elizabeth, attended Acadia University in Nova Scotia (also my school!), and Theresa has been there to visit!
Theresa's photography is stunning, (www.theresaburrowsphotography.com) and she is involved with Elizabeth in publishing both the local newspaper, the Eleutheran, and a beautiful glossy magazine, the Eleutheras. If you'd like to rent her sweet little house on Cupid's Cay, check out www.vacationseleuthera.com/suncresthouse/html.
Chris arranged for a 2-day rental of a van that would carry the five of us and all our gear, so on Wednesday morning we headed north for a day of exploring, using the book "The Elusive beaches of Eleuthera" as our guide. First stop was the Glass Window where a narrow bridge is all that separates the Calm turquoise waters of the Sound from the deep blue Atlantic. Once upon a time, this was a natural bridge. It was washed away in a hurricane and replaced by a concrete bridge. When we were here in 2008, that bridge had gaps and cracks and certainly didn't inspire any confidence. This year it is in fine shape - solid and firm - no gaps - and new wooden guard rails. It is still an impressive spot to visit.
Just south of the Glass Window, we made our fist beach stop at the Twin Sister's Beach, on the Sound side. We laughed as we looked for the Cow and Bull Boulders on the Atlantic side of the highway and then the parking spot " just north of a telephone pole". We had wonderful swims in the clear calm water but found few shells and few fish as we snorkled. In fact, at all the beaches we visited, we had to content ourselves with small shells and a few fish. After checking out the restaurant at Hidden Bay Beach (not open) we stopped at the Laughing Lizard Cafe for creative and tasty paninis and wraps. Next stop was Smuggler's Beach on the Atlantic side where we beachcombed but didn't swim since the undertow was much too strong, and then we were off to the Sound side again at Rainbow Beach. We found some fish here and a ray, but practically no shells - no surprise since this beach is right off a paved road and parking lot in an area of houses - pretty easy to get to!
On Thusday, we pointed south first and despite several tries to find Ten Bay Beach, we kept driving down rocky, overgrown tracks that ended at coral cliffs. We gave up and went to Tarpum Bay where we drove in the lane by Ingraham's Beach Inn. Despite being well kept and in prime location, there was not a soul around. We swam and walked here for an hour or so and then moved up to another beach access road that supposedly led to a more northern part of the same two mile long beach where there would be more shells and opportunities for snorkelling. We must not have been far enough north because it was much the same as the last stop. It was a good place for a picnic though and we munched on goodies from the Governor's Harbour Bakery. As we drove north again, we spied a road we had missed the first time and finally found Ten Bay Beach! It was lovely and we swam and played, but weren't able to find any sand dollars.
From there, we drove straight back to Twin Cove Beach just north of Governor's harbour and absolutely loved the place. It's a beautiful Atlantic side beach, with the two coves separated by a spit of land. Jim and Liam went snorkelling out along the point and made their best finds of the two days. I found some bits and pieces of sea glass, Chris found some small shells and Donna perfected her snorkelling skills. We were a happy bunch!
This was our final evening together so we cleaned ourselves up and drove to the Buccaneer Club for dinner. I think I'd recommend it more for lunch than dinner - but we enjoyed our food and had a good finale to our week with Donna and Chris. Liam will stay on with us for another few days, and we'll move on from Governor's Harbour to do some more exploring.