We found a decent weather window for the next few days so we figured we should take it. Leaving Long Island means that we are officially on our way north and ultimately back to the United States.
During our stay in Long Island we found out that the water we had been purchasing from the Petroleum store at .54 per gallon was actually from a cistern and not RO (Reverse Osmosis). This was disappointing considering we had been here for over three weeks and overtime filled up both of our fifty gallon tanks, yuck! So our first order of business was to get rid of this water and replenish our supply with RO water that you can get free at the dingy dock in Georgetown. Not and easy task considering 5KNOTS carries a total of 100 gallons and you have to do this with five gallon jerry cans. Fortunately I was able to borrow five additional cans. These with the two we have makes it seven or 35 gallons a trip. From our anchorage to town is at least a mile each way so this became a several hour project. Renee has been pushing for a water maker and lets just say I am now a believer. Next year we will not have to schlep water!
After leaving Georgetown, we picked our way back north through the Exuma chain taking time to re-explore Rudder and Schroud Cays and Warderick Wells. These were some of our favorite spots and we wanted to enjoy them a second time. Our last stop was at Highbourne Cay where we would resupply and head to Eleuthera the following day. Turns out that Highborne Cay is a private resort and marina, even though you are permitted to come ashore, eat at the restaurant and purchase fuel and water from the fuel dock. After loading up on fuel, water and eating at the restaurant, we decided to walk around and see what the facilities and marina were like. Immediately we were stopped by security and notified that there is a $25 per person fee to walk around. Needless to say, we left and just went back to the boat. Guess we can scratch Highbourne Cay off of our must see list!
Our first stop in Eleuthera was Rock Sound where we stayed for a few days. With bad weather predicted, we moved a few miles north to Hatchet Bay. Hatchet Bay is a deep harbor that is basically protected from 360 degrees. During our stay in Rock Sound, we met Vanda and BJ while out for dinner. BJ told us he had a sports club in Hatchet Bay and to stop by when we got there. Vanda and BJ are wonderful hosts and now new friends. When you are in Hatchet Bay make sure you visit BJ’s Sports Club and tell them 5KNOTS sent you. BJ also raises chickens and has fresh eggs daily, they are delicious and be sure to get some.
After leaving Hatchet Bay, we anchored in north Eleuthera just off of the Glass Window Bridge. The original bridge was a natural rock bridge made famous by Winslow Homer who made a painting of it in the 1800’s. The bridge today looks very different from the one Homer painted and seems it is always under some repair. The area where the bridge is along Queens Highway is often referred to as the Narrowest Place in earth.
We also visited the Queens Bath, an area along the Atlantic side of Eleuthera where the water rushes over the rock and creates pools of water that you can sit in. On one side of the highway you have the raging deep blue Atlantic Ocean and on the other the calm turquoise water of Exuma Sound. Quite the contrast.
On the way to the Glass Window Bridge we noticed two massive boulders that seem to be just sitting there. These are referred to as the Cow and the Bull. It is estimated that these boulders weigh 383 and 925 tons. It is also suggested that the boulders washed up on the rocks about 100,000 years ago, when water levels were much higher than they are today. Here is Renee flexing her muscles.
We arrived just outside the entrance to Spanish Wells and decided to anchor off of Meeks Patch for the night knowing the water around the entrance is a little skinny (shallow) and we wanted to enter the harbor at a rising tide. The next day we went into the harbor and decided to pick up a mooring ball just off of the sea wall. Spanish Wells is the most populated and has the busiest harbor than any place we have been during the past five months of cruising. We found the Food Fair which is a fairly large grocery/merchandise store a couple of miles from the harbor. Here is a picture of Tim and I with one of the locals. Who says Mermaids do not exist?