WE have finally reached Georgetown! Our most southerly destination – we have made it. What have we done since I last wrote?
After waiting out the front that passed though us at Spanish Wells we had a wonderful day sail down to Rock Sound, which is at the bottom of Eleuthera. You always have a mental picture of a place – and it’s never right!!! The cruising guides had painted Rock Sound as a thriving community; what caught our eye was that there was a coffee bar with wifi – we imagined sipping a good cup while catching up with emails, banking and other communications.
It seems that Rock Sound has come upon hard times – a lot of the places are closed and things look very run down. There was a most beautiful Anglican church right on the beach – imagining worshipping there?? There was free coffee and free wifi at the grocery store … not quite what we had been dreaming about! So we went back to the boat and cooked on board. The sunsets are equally beautiful no matter what onshore amenities there are!
Next morning we went walking around again. They have a huge blue hole almost right in the middle of town. We heard that they had done some dye tests and found that it opened to the ocean a couple of miles offshore!! They have stocked it with fish that come swimming over when they see visitors arrive.
We had seen a sign showing the road to the ocean beach – and a bar and restaurant. It said 1.5 miles – we decided to go. After two miles (black tar road, extreme heat = sweating and sore feet!) we reached the beach road, but no sign of the restaurant and bar. We turned left for a while and were about to give up when we saw another couple coming towards us. They had been there before and led us – we were so close and if they hadn’t come along, we would have turned around. So grateful we didn’t – we found Northside Cottages and Restaurant, Rose Gibson – Proprietor. What a delightful person. She cooks to order, and so started cracked conch and coleslaw from scratch when we got there. She poured us some much needed cold water and suggested we take a walk on the beach while she got ready. Her view is just amazing and the water, when you get down there, is almost transparent it is so clear.
The other couple did the same – after we got back from our walks we started talking (as you do) and it turns out that they had spent four years in Annapolis, had bought their boat from us through Teta, and she had worked at Fawcetts when Kate worked there!! What a small world. They had spent a lot of time in Rock Sound and their tales redeemed the place for us. The best was meeting Rosie. She is a widow and has a home in Freeport but runs the restaurant and cabins in Rock Sound on her own. She has 5 children, one son living in Freeport, the other son at college in Canada, the girls (all graduated from college) living in Canada, Australia and Switzerland and she travels around the world visiting them. One of her daughters married a doctor who worked at a hospital in Johannesburg – her grandson was born there and she has visited a number of times! What a surprise! She showed us her photograph album – presenting flowers to the Queen, and also met Nelson Mandela on his visit to the Bahamas shortly after his release. She said that she and her husband had been educators in Freeport – they must have been well recognized. You can see from the photos that she is very ordinary in appearance, but she is so much more than you would expect when you meet her.
Another surprise there was when she told us she had a piece of the space shuttle under her deck. Garth went down and found this – we aren’t sure what it is, but Garth thinks it is titanium, a pressurized helium tank. Perhaps from one of the ones that exploded?
From Rock Sound, we made our way down to the Exumas. With fairly strong wind, we decided to head straight to Waderick Wells …. which is simply – paradise!! There are just no words for the clarity and color of the water. In the north mooring field, there is a deep channel which carves its way through sandbanks and you pick up there, according to your depth and length. We waited there while a front passed through and were happy to share a cruiser’s happy hour on Saturday night.
There’s a whale skeleton on the beach – it died in 1995 as a result of trying to digest plastib bags. Waderick Wells is in Exuma Park where you are not allowed to pick up anything that you find, or leave anything behind – no trash. It is pristine and we went snorkelling on a coral reef with tons of fish. We don’t have an underwater camera but took some pictures through our glass bottomed bucket – worked quite well I thought!
Garth walked to the top of Boo Boo Hill and left a piece of driftwood with our boat name on it – a cruiser’s tradition.
The next day we walked along another path and found equally beautiful scenery …
We were sitting on our boat late one afternoon when we saw the Loretta Anne come in and try to pick up one of the outside moorings.
Although they had a carbon fiber boat hook (!!!), it was not long enough to reach from the foredeck down to the mooring ball in the water. After trying several times, and trying unsuccessfully to reverse up to the mooring ball, Garth jumped in our dinghy and went to help. They dropped down their mooring lines and he was able to thread them though and attach a retrieval line. Saved the day!! They stopped by later with a pretty turtle bag with two bottles of delicious pinot noir to say thank you! (Google the Loretta Anne, it’s pretty impressive!) We shared the wine with Mel and Gary and their friends Dick and Kay when we went over to share a tenderloin that Dick and Kay had brought with them from Canada – so spoiled!! Another wonderful evening on Second Sojourn and new friendships made.
We had other boats pass us by on this trip –
We went to Cambridge Cay – passing … Island, which is owned by the Aga Khan. A bit of a controversy with the local Bahamians as to what the government is allowing him to do on the island, when they are trying so hard to keep it all natural and pristine. His house is in the middle of the island with amazing views; a beach site ready for parties; and housing for his staff and boats. Not a bad job if you could get it!!!
We left on a very rainy day – multiple drenching downpours on our way down to Black Point. Mel and Gary were ahead of us sailing into the black clouds. We arrived in Black Point with God’s promise of no more!
We loved Black Point. The local people are so friendly and welcoming – great local restaurants and a GREAT laundry – lots of machines and the owner bakes doughnuts and carrot cake! (Your priorities change when you are cruising!!) We stayed there for a couple of days and then headed down to Farmers Cay for the 5F’s – First Friday in February at Farmer’s Festival! It was amazing and I took tons of pictures – a separate blog – soon!!!
After that we made our way back to Black Point to watch Super Bowl on Sunday night. A wonderful experience with lots of locals who were even more vocal than Garth!! With no skin in the game, we were rooting for the underdog which seemed like a great idea …. for most of the game. Oh well, perhaps next year the Ravens will be in it.
Stopped at another beach on our way down to Georgetown – just too amazing. And a picture of a ray that was next to our dinghy – you never know what you are going to find
So that’s where I’m leaving this blog – we are learning all about Georgetown (they call it day camp for seniors – lots organized activities!!!) Will keep you posted.