Some Say We're Crazy
20 February 2013 | Governor's Harbor, Eleuthera
After yesterday’s effort of doing laundry (at the second best facility we have found in The Bahamas), we decided today would be a play day. We finished breakfast and dinghied to shore, anchoring out with an anchor fore and aft so we could recover the dinghy regardless of the tide. Our first stop was the Haynes Library, opened in 1876, in a beautiful pink building right on the water’s edge. The windows and doors were open and the space was inviting, cool, and breezy – a perfect place to curl up with a book, do some research, or share in the book exchange.
From there, we walked along the shore to the road to the Atlantic and the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (http://www.eleuthera-map.com/leon-levy-native-plant-preserve.htm) [check out the satellite mapping so you can see where we are]. And we walked … a bit over 2 miles to the Preserve, but it was well worth the effort, and what they have packed into 25 acres is pretty amazing. The goal is to protect and preserve native species, and particularly those long used by the native peoples for medicinal and agricultural purposes. The setting is very tranquil and one is encouraged (with a lengthy list of plants and birds) to spot the various species extant in the Preserve. We hiked some of the trails (well marked by white stones about grapefruit or football size placed close together on both sides of the trail – this is a labor intensive preserve) and climbed the tower for a lovely panoramic view of the area. Most amazing was that from the tower, we could not see any sign of the trails meandering beneath the canopy of vegetation. Although we heard lots of birds, we did not see too many, likely due to our noisy progress even though the trails are padded with mulch made from the invasive plants, such as the piney Casuarina tree.
After walking about 1.5 miles inside the Preserve, we headed back out and walked along the road toward the beach on the Atlantic side and stopped at Tippy’s for lunch. What a treat! We started with glasses of cold water garnished with lime, followed by a Tippy’s Sunrise rum punch (more grapefruity than the typical Bahamas rum drink) – very refreshing. Then, we enjoyed the best coconut shrimp (with lots of real coconut) we have had anywhere, followed by an arugula Caesar salad with grouper, all topped off by a coconut crème brulee. We were stuffed and opted to go lie on the beach (and not walk any further having covered over 4 miles at that point). Unfortunately, the bugs started in on Van so we departed there a bit sooner than we had planned. Rather than walk back, we took a cab (Mr. Sands in Taxi 44, recommended to us by our friends Dave and Mary) and made it back in record time, with him answering his insistent cell phone all the way.
We did a little shopping and then headed back to Gratitude for a swim. We had planned a nice big spaghetti dinner for tonight, but have opted for a simple salad after our lunch and quiet afternoon.
Moored right behind us is the An-Tiki, a raft following the tradition of Kon-Tiki. This raft, however, was inspired by the story of a British lifeboat that drifted to Eleuthera after her mother ship was sunk by a German submarine in 1940 and only two of her crew survived. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/gloucestershire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9385000/9385400.stm) The captain of the voyage was intrigued by the story when he read it as a young boy and decided to make the trip across the Atlantic while he could – at the age of 85! He and his original crew started in 2011 but “only” got as far as St. Martin in the Caribbean. Then, with a younger crew (in their 50s and 60s), he departed St. Martin last spring and arrived here in June 2012. Now, some of our acquaintances think we are crazy to be doing what we are doing – sailing around as we are with all of the risks “out there”. Yet, we do not think we are crazy (we are quite cautious) and now we have proof. A body’s gotta do what a body has to do – no matter when. Go for it!