Trip to Harbour Island
02/03/2008, Spanish Wells, Bahamas
[s] [d] 1/29/08 [t] Trip to Harbour Island [a] Mike [b] Jan. 29 Harbour Island
We arrived at Pinders taxi at 9:20 for our boat ride to Harbour Island and its famous pink sand beaches. The six of us.Cygnus, Sapphire, and Madcap were joined by an elderly couple who were on their way home to Philadelphia. We left the dock and were a little surprised when Calvin headed to shore on Eleuthera, which was about a mile away. We docked there and were ask to wait until the van could be brought around. The eight of us boarded the van and headed across the northern end of Eleuthera. As we drove along (on the wrong side of the road) through the island . I was shocked. There was nothing there. except what is called "scrub", wall to wall vegetation about 10 feet tall. After about five miles we were dropped off at dock on the east side of Eluethera for another boat ride of about 2 miles to Harbour Island. [s] [d] 1/29/08 [t] Trip to Harbout Island [a] Mike [b]Jan. 29 Harbour Island
We arrived at Pinders taxi at 9:20 for our boat ride to Harbour Island and its famous pink sand beaches. The six of us.Cygnus, Sapphire, and Madcap were joined by an elderly couple who were on their way home to Philadelphia. We left the dock and were a little surprised when Calvin headed to shore on Eleuthera, which was about a mile away. We docked there and were ask to wait until the van could be brought around. The eight of us boarded the van and headed across the northern end of Eleuthera. As we drove along (on the wrong side of the road) through the island . I was shocked. There was nothing there. except what is called "scrub", wall to wall vegetation about 10 feet tall. After about five miles we were dropped off at dock on the east side of Eluethera for another boat ride of about 2 miles to Harbour Island.
Finally, we were there.
There were golf cart hawkers on the dock but walking is important to sedentary boaters. Beth and Kathy went into the first store and picked up a map of the island. It was only five blocks wide . west to east , so we took off for the famous pink beaches.
Traffic was brisk. again golf carts reign, but there was a good showing of cars and trucks.. the most interesting was a 1950's vintage Morris. I had never seen one but they look a lot like a VW Beetle. On our way to the beach we passed the school which was winding up an assembly in the court yard area. Some students stood on the porches outside their classrooms to watch and some had carried their chairs out and put them in neat, orderly rows. The young ones (kindergarten) marched back to their classrooms with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The older kids were admonished by their teachers to carry their chairs back to the classroom. he setting was wrong, but the scene was not.
Over the hill, and by the way there are chickens running around everywhere here, we found the beach. Three miles of absolutely amazing sand and water. We walked south until we ran out of sand and turned around to check out the other end. Having had our exercise for the day we headed into town to find lunch and do a little shopping.
We went off searching for Wally's Pub, only to find it had been turned into a private home. We finally landed at the Harbour Lounge and sat on the porch overlooking the water. Mike had conch salad and I had a Caribbean salad that was fantastic. Mixed greens with fresh papaya, apple, and pear covered with chopped pecans and passion fruit dressing. Yummm. After lunch Mike and Jim went off to make some phone calls-one to Pinder's to tell them when we'd be heading back. The rest of us checked out the straw markets and some of the shops. We saw some nice dresses for a few hundred dollars, which we passed up. I bought a Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life. Then it was back to the taxis-water, land, water. This time we were picked up by Gurny Pinder who gave us quite a history about farming in the area. Some of the "scrub" we were driving through used to be mango groves until a hurricane (Andrew? Floyd?) flooded the islands and killed all the trees. It is too expensive to replace them, so the farms are let go.
We got back to the boat and got ready to head for Egg Island where we planned to spend the night and be ready to leave for the Exumas, the next chain of islands south, tomorrow morning.
Back to Royal Island
01/28/2008, Royal Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Sunday, January 27.... Spanish Wells back to Royal Island Harbour.
There is a cold front forecast for this morning so we need to find a little more protection than is offered here at Spanish Wells so we weighed anchor at about 9:30 and headed back toward Royal Island Harbour. Actually we passed the harbor and went on to check out a possible anchorage a couple of miles to the west at Egg Island. On arrival we found wind protection but waves were curving around and it seem to be a little too rolley for either snorkeling or anchoring for the day. So it was back to Royal Island for the night.
We arrived a little before noon and listened to the Wolverines lose on XM ... which was probably the highlight of the day.
Before we left Spanish Wells, we checked and our remote transmission to Sailblogs was sort of there .... out in the ocean with our text but the was not where it was supposed to be... so we downloaded the directions to try to work out the bugs. Eventually, we should be able to make everything work together....maybe.
It rained hard for about five minutes and the wind blew around 20 to 25 knots all day shifting from the west to the north.
01/27/2008, Spanish Wells, George's Cay, Eleuthera
Saturday, January 26 Spanish Wells, Eleuthera
We and "Madcap" hauled anchors and drove about an hour east to George's Cay and the town of Spanish Wells. At the dinghy dock we met "Hawk" who is from Wisconsin and has a home here. Hawk spent a few minutes explaining the town and it's attractions.
There is a cement break wall that runs the length of the harbor lined with ships big enough to be impressive, but not too big for the shallow waters of the Bahamian ports. There is also a large fleet of commericial fishing boats....trawlers that a all clean, and shiny unlike similar boats along the ICW.
We bought some fresh tomato's, a green pumpkin and a few green peppers from Shirley who was standing along the side of the pier. Then we were off on a walking tour of the island. The homes are small and painted in every conceivable pastel...neat, tidy, and for the most part well kept. One point of interest is that the houses have shingle roofs like any other, but they are painted with some white substance to reflect the sun and to glue the edges together so they won't blow away in a storm.
There was no real downtown area just a few shops scattered around town. We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant and waited forever for our very marginal lunch. Kathy bought some "Johnny Cake" at Kathy's Bakery and some lemons at the grocery before heading for the gardens at the Methodist Church. The Gardens consisted of a palm planting of about an acre with shaded paths crisscrossing the interior. All the plants seemed to be native .... and were quite impressive.
We returned to the dinghy in the mid-afternoon and headed back out the channel to Sapphire anchored off shore. The afternoon was spent ferrying water and fuel back and forth from town to the boat. Pindars, where we bought the fuel allowed us to fill jerry cans of water for free with the purchase of fuel ... so I took the opportunity to top off both of our tanks. Meanwhile, Kathy was busy uploading blog entries and keeping up on emails.
We had a wonderful meal of pan fried mahi-mahi, potatoes, and sliced fresh tomatoes.