We arrived in Rock Sound on Sat, Mar 15th and anchored off of the town. Investigation by dinghy led us to a dock across from Dingle Motors. This small garage is the hub of things for cruisers. They offer info, car rentals, wireless, garbage disposal, laundry drop-off etc etc. Walking around town, we were greeted by Godfrey who asked if we were looking to rent a car. With some negotiations, arrangement were made for a van both Monday and Tuesday.
We visited the grocery and hardware stores and loaded up with supplies. High Stepper was in need of water ( remember their watermaker broke ) and we tried, to no avail, to find good water here. The town water is brackish ( slightly salty ) and everyone in town drinks bottled water.
Mike Medved arrived as scheduled on Sunday morning early and made his way to the dock at Dingle Motors. We hauled anchor and drifter across the harbour to anchor closer to some reefs for diving. After breakfast, they went on their way while I baked a cake. They returned with 4 lobster and one fish! Lobster season is drawing to a close and the lobster are getting goofy. They were out, walking around and sparring with Murray’s spear using their antenna. I am sorry that I missed the sight.
After cooling swims ( it was HOT! ) we sailed back to the town and Doug & Connie came over to join us for dinner. First, we had hot crab dip ( one Mur shot a couple of days ago ) followed by blackened mahi mahi, yellow rice, cabbage salad and pineapple dump cake for dessert. Man,what a feast!
A cold front came through that night and cooled things off as well as increasing the wind. Everyone packed up and we met Godfrey, with the van, at Dingle’s dock. After some discussion, Murray was nominated the driver. Remember ” drive on the LEFT!”. He went to climb into the van and found himself in the passenger seat. The wheel was on the right side. The rest of us piled in and off we went.
We drove north up Eleuthera, which is an island almost 100 miles long and barely 2 miles wide. Small villages clustered around the Queen’s Highway and the speed limit never rose above 45 miles per hour. Just as well because the road was pocked with pot holes and on-coming traffic often wanted the middle. Signs along the way prompted off-road excursions – most memorably to see the Surfer’s Beach. The road was narrow, lined with branches that scratched the side of the van and full of holes big enough to loose a small car. But, we made it and there was one surfer.
The Glass Window was the next point of interest. Originally a natural rock bridge 85 feet above sea level that washed away in 1926, it was replaced by a bridge in 1960. The island is very narrow here and, to the east lies the dark blue waters of the Atlantic while the turquoise waters of the shallows lie to the west. In 1991 a rogue wave picked up the bridge and moved the north end of it 7 feet to the west. Concrete and steel tore like paper. The bridge is still in use but just one lane. Photos will be posted soon. Just yesterday due to a large ocean swell, a wave washed across the road, flipped a woman’s car and pushed it over the bridge. She had scrambled out and was safe. Scarey!
This was our turn-around point and we hurried back to Governor’s Harbour for a delicious hamburger – in fact, the best in the Bahamas – at the Waterside Cafe. The Ocean Hole in Rock Sound was the next highlight. It is a 360 ft diameter hole similar to a blue hole. Researchers are unsure of its depth or whether it connects to the ocean. Fish have been placed in here and are avid for food thrown to them. Mike’s flight left Rock Sound airport just after 5 pm. He had a short but eventful visit. On the way back to the boat, we stopped by the grocery to find that it was already closed. It also closes at 2 pm on Wed! Friday and Monday are holidays here, as in Canada, so shopping times are limited this week.
After one full day of driving about, we opted not to use the van the next day. In fact, we turned it over to other cruisers. Godfrey was informed and he said “just leave the key under the mat when you are done”. No paper work to fill out, just go. It’s the islands, mon.
On Wed High Stepper decided to head back to Cape Eleuthera Marina to buy R/O water and we motored over to Poison Point, in prep for an early morning departure. The smell of diesel fuel prompted a search for a problem and Mur found a broken connection from the fuel pump to a secondary fuel filter. Eventually, Murray drilled out the broken part, drilled and tapped for a nipple fitting and attached a piece of hose to replace the metal tubing. It worked like a champ!
Just before dawn, we hauled anchor and sailed downwind 70 miles in 25 knots of wind. It was a rolly ride but a fast one. By four pm, we had picked up a mooring in Spanish Wells. Unfortunately, there was only one mooring available and High Stepper went into Royal Island for a few days.
Here, we will do laundry, re-stock the frig, and visit friends ashore. After about a week, according to recent weather reports, we should be able to travel to the Berry Islands. From there, we will sail to Ft Pierce. Hopefully within the next two weeks, as High Stepper will be getting low on water again.
So, that is what has been happening here. We hope that all is well with you and spring is on it’s way. Snow may even be melting. Stay warm and write when you can.
Hugs, Heather & Murray