09 March 2023
We started off our stay at Rock Sound with dinner out at the Fish Fry with a group of 12 or so cruisers who were in town for the weekend. The Fish Fry was run by volunteers as a fund raiser for the various local recreation groups. A large beach gazebo was the base of operations for the evening as the volunteer staff served up tasty meals and of course sold ice cold beer. There was a junior Junkanoo competition scheduled for Saturday night so one of the local school teams ran their practice on the street in front of the fish fry much to everyone's the delight. A Junkanoo is a street parade with dancing, hand made colourful costumes and music often played on homemade instruments. At one point I turned to make a comment to Bev about the dancing only to find she and another girl were dancing down the street with the kids.
We had reserved a car for the weekend so we were up early on Saturday morning to pick up our ride and hit the road. Eleuthera is 110 miles long in a north south orientation but, in most places, is only a mile wide and good anchorages are few and far between. We had found renting a car is one of the best ways to see the sights. We set off with the crew of Sandbox for a full day of touring; our first stop was a visit to the Glass Window, a narrow 100 yard wide strip of rock that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Eleuthera Bank. The force of nature is on full display here, there are two rocks, bigger then a school bus that had been moved more than a mile during a hurricane. Our next stop was the Queen Anne Baths, which are protected tidal pools that are constantly filled and rinsed by the surging waves. The balance of the day was filled with exploring side roads, buying produce from a great local garden and visiting the pink sand beach that runs the length of the eastern shore. Our last adventure of the day was a return trip to the Hatchet Bay Caves which we had explored in 2019. We capped our day off with an early dinner in Governor's Harbour before heading back to the boats.
It had been a long fun filled day but we were a little anxious to get back to our dinghies which had been at the town dock since early morning. We had seen a few school buses heading south during the day and wondered what the attraction was. Well, when we arrived in Tarpon Bay we discovered that the Junior Junkanoo was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. The only road through town was jammed with traffic and both sides were lined with all the school teams preparing for the competition. With the help of the local police directing traffic we crept through town marvelling at the beautiful costumes. Unfortunately had we known the schedule we would have planned our day better and taken in the festivities.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, up early and head south to explore the bottom of the island. The south end of the island is less populated and has fewer attractions then the north end. There are a couple of beautiful high end marinas and gated communities that occupy the prime real estate. I am an admirer of lighthouses and looked forward to visiting the Old Point Lighthouse at the southern tip of the island. We were very disappointed to find that Disney has bought the whole southern tip of the island and are building a resort here. They have successfully closed off the road and the only way to see the lighthouse is to hike 2 miles down the beach at low tide. The gang was weary from the previous days exploring so we passed on the walk and headed back to town. It's a little sad to see the island being developed this way because in most cases the locals are not seeing any lifestyle improvements as a result of the revenue collected by the government. All in all we had a great two days exploring and Robert did a great job driving, we only had to remind him once or twice which side he should be on.
The tentative plan was to leave on Tuesday, so Monday was chores day. Rock Sound is a fairly busy town so food, fuel and water are readily available at decent prices. However, during our travels on the weekend Bev came in contact with what we think is poison wood, it's like poison ivy but worse. By noon there was a huge ugly blister on her toe and her foot was so swollen she couldn't bend her toes. We convinced her to stop at the local clinic and have it checked by a doctor. It's certainly not like a clinic at home, we paid 30 dollars to register, only waited 10 minutes to see the doctor who gave her a good check up and the 2 prescriptions were $21. As itchy as it was she refused to scratch it and after a day of the drugs there was a marked improvement.
Tuesday we moved 40 miles north to Hatchet Bay to stage for our run through Current Cut and our crossing to the Abacos. But all good plans are weather dependent and it seems we'll be held up here for a few days at least. There's a huge low sitting north east of Bermuda that is pushing rough seas into the area we need to cross. The 50 miles crossing can be a challenge at anytime so we'll hangout here for a few days to see what happens.
Today's picture was taken by Lana as we passed through Tarpon Bay.