Living on SV Island Time

Adventures of Life on a Boat

Exploring Spanish Wells and Eleuthera

On Saturday, Jan. 21, Scott and I crossed from the Abaco islands to Spanish Wells, in the Eleutheran islands. In all, about 20 sailboats made the crossing and we could hear VHF radio chatter most of the way. After a sporty 60-mile, deep-water passage, we were happy to anchor behind Meeks Patch with light, easterly winds.

On Sunday, we moved to Spanish Wells Yacht Haven marina so we would have access to land during our visit. Since it was Sunday, all the shops on the island were closed, which is common in the Bahamas. The marina has a restaurant and bar called the Wreckers. As we walked in, I noticed a woman sitting at the bar. I recognized her as someone we had met just about a year ago in Sarasota at a dinner party hosted by common friends who had decided the two cruising couples should meet. What a coincidence that we should meet Christopher and Robin from SV Cerulean again in Spanish Wells. It was nice catching up with them over lunch.

On Monday, we walked around Spanish Wells for window shopping and some light provisioning at Spanish Wells Food Fair and Pharmacy, which was well stocked.

On Tuesday, we took the ferry to North Eleuthera. We were met at the dock around 9 a.m. by Baron with a rental car, a late model Honda CRV.

“Mon, there is only one road. You cannot get lost. Just dodge the potholes, Mon,” said Baron.

Scott at the wheel.

Scott at the wheel of our rental car.

We signed no papers, gave him no money and drove away with his car.  Yes, they drive on the left and the steering station is on the right. This is the islands.

We headed south to the Glass Window bridge. Years ago, the land bridge was knocked down during a storm so a man-made bridge now allows car traffic. We climbed to the top of the limestone hill so we could see the waves crashing on the rocks. On windy days, the ocean can throw walls of water 100 to 200 feet high. That wasn’t happening when we were there. We saw low tide and 10 knots of wind so things were calm but the view was fabulous.

Glass Window bridge facing east.

Glass Window Bridge facing west.

Next, we drove to the Queen’s Bath where 10 to 25 hot tub-sized depressions have formed naturally in the rocks from erosion. They fill with rain water and this spots makes for a nice place to play.

A natural pool at Queen's Bath

Queen’s Bath

The Cliffs were next on our tour. We turned east down a narrow, over-grown, one-lane path. The Cliffs face the Atlantic Ocean and the view is amazing.

The Cliffs looking east.

Overlooking the Cliffs to the east.

Hatchet Bay is a popular anchorage for boaters on the bayside of the island. When we passed by, about 10 boats were anchored. Hatchet Bay used to be a lake but a 90-foot wide opening was cut in the limestone to allow boaters access to a safe harbor.

Governors Harbor was our next and final settlement to visit. This quaint little town has several anchorages, a few restaurants and a grocery story. There were about five boats in the harbor. Baron, our rental car guy, recommended we have lunch at Sunset Inn, overlooking the bay. The food was delicious and the view was gorgeous.

View of the bay from Sunset Inn.

View from Sunset Inn.

The best beach is at French Leave. Here, we found pink sand and 72 degree water. We just had to get our feet wet.

Scott and Martha at French Leave Beach.

Scott and Martha enjoying French Leave Beach at Governors Harbor.

From here, we turned north to go back to North Eleuthera.

We found another beach just south of Hatchet Bay on the west side of the island where we found some nice sea glass.

We met Baron around 4 p.m. to return the car. He drove us to the ferry dock, we paid him (and gave a tip!) and headed back to Spanish Wells.

Back at the boat, Scott checked the weather forecast. Starting on Thursday and lasting about a week, we expect 20 to 35 knot winds, 5 to 8 foot seas and some rain. However, Wednesday’s forecast called for clouds with light and variable winds. Other boats were staying put in Spanish Wells but we decided to make the 45-mile jump to Nassau.

We left the harbor on Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. and arrived at Hurricane Hole Marina in Nassau around 2:30 p.m. We checked in, picked up tourist brochures and started to work on our chores. Nassau is going to be fun (Atlantis!)and we are excited for our daughter and her friend to visit next week. We’ll be here almost two weeks.

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Heading to the Bahamas

3 Comments

  1. Ruby

    What a wonderful way to spend your life. Thank you for sharing. Great pics too!

  2. brenda bullock

    I love the pictures… I would love to see that area. I’m so glad you all are having a great time during retirement.. you both for sure earned it…

  3. Jon

    Sounds like fun. Wish we were there.

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