Another cold front
09 March 2016 | B;ackpoint Settlement. Exumas
We needed a place to tuck away during the next 'cold' front... that is Bahamian for northeast-winds that go on forever. We choose Blackpoint Settlement on Big Guana Cay. Perfect choice. The harbor is huge... there were over 50 boats spaced out on anchor there one night. The harbor protects from all but west winds..and we did have northwest the first night so it was rolly. After that, it blew sink from the north, northeast and east and it was livable. Even though there were white caps in the anchorage at times, there wasn't much fetch so the waves were pretty short. Getting in and out of the dinghy from the boat was a challenge but worth it. The anchor was rock solid and we heard no stories of anyone having any issues with holding.
Ashore, the town was charming. A few roads with colorful homes, freshly painted fences, shops and restaurants. Three were stand-outs. Lorraine's Cafe is famous throughout the Exumas. Lorraine is a gem... she greets everyone with a smile, a wonderful meal and a welcoming atmosphere at her cafe. Cruisers sit around, chat over a Kalik or Sands, catch up on email with the free WIFI. At the Wednesday BBQ party we celebrated David's birthday with homemade carrot cake and everyone in the place sang to him. Lorraine presented him with a logo tee.
Second on our list of favorites is Ida's Rockside Laundry... and more. She made the delicious carrot cake as well as the daily servings of conch fritters (6 for a $1). While waiting for your laundry in the most upscale laundromat in the islands, Ida will cut your hair (see the picture of Bill's do). She also rents beachfront suites over the laundromat and brand new golf carts to tour the island. Her waterfront patio is often the site of cruiser afternoon cocktail parties.
The island roads aren't paved much beyond the few blocks of the settlement, but you can go a few more miles if you don't mind the bumps and dust of the more remote trails. We followed the northern one to a pool near the cut to the Sound where we found an abandoned sailboat that had run aground years ago. We followed the southern one to the abandoned marina that never got past dredging the canals and laying out the plots for the condo development. The pristine beach at that location was one of the best we have encountered, but it apparently wasn't enough of an attraction to keep the marina concept afloat.
Third place favorite is a toss up between Scorpio's Bar, featuring a happy hour with two for one rum punches three days a week and Desdemone's Restaurant with delicious homemade pizza. I suppose i could mention, that this list of favorites pretty much covers all of the entertainment at the Settlement. All of them cater to the cruisers who anchor in the bay. There is no marina, no fuel dock and no fancy gift shops. The school children on their bikes greet you at the dinghy dock if you land in late afternoon. Everyone you pass on the street says hello. The mail boat comes in once a week and hopefully brings enough to restock the few stores. The day we left we did so without any ice as there was none to be had..... luckily we managed to freeze a few hockey pucks of ice for our evening cocktails.
When it was time to leave, it was with great memories of wonderful people, both in the town and on the boats that shared the anchorage with us. To the former, we will return. To the latter, we hope to catch up another day with the new friends we made at Blackpoint.