February 5: Still catching up on our trip to Nassau then I can tell you why we ended up flying back to North Carolina.
Eleuthera was next on our route. Specifically Spanish Wells which really isn’t on Eleuthera at all, but on St. George Cay, a separate island just north of big island of Eleuthera. Everyone just thinks of it as the most northern stop in Eleuthera. We stayed at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven and were met my Treadwell, the dockmaster who remembered us (at least he said he did) from our days there with Moriarty.
Spanish Wells is one of the few settlements that does not depend on tourism or cruisers. People here make their living from the sea and Spanish Wells is known as the lobster capital of the Bahamas. You will see more commercial fishing boats than cruisers here— that is unless you are there during the fall and winter when the fishing boats may be gone for weeks at a time. There are services for cruisers and everyone is friendly, but you definitely get the feeling that you’re peripheral to the main agenda.
We shared the dock with Lenny Kravitz’s 60 foot power boat. I admit, I didn’t know who he was, but Google filled me in. Seems he has a house on Eleuthera but keeps his boat at Spanish Wells because of the safe docking here. This day his captain was taking him to Nassau for some business thing. What a hoot to watch, all this crew running around and these big diesel engines powering up.
Then, the captain ran the boat aground getting out of the harbor, bent one of the propellers and Lenny had to charter a plane to make his trip. Not a good day for Lenny. I admit we nearly ran aground coming in, we were outside the channel which is actually easy to see if you’re paying attention to the color of the water and not the chart-plotter.
Since Spanish Wells is known for its lobster, we had plenty and at a great price. $22.00 for two big lobster tails, salad, and peas and rice. What a deal.
So walking this pretty, neat town and waiting out weather for two days, we headed to Nassau. We put sails up, but the wind died and after a time motor/sailing with just the main, we finally had to furl it too. Nassau harbor is marked by a lighthouse, but it doesn’t compete with the one in Hope Town.
Now the kicker. We love the stop in Nassau. It’s got a bit of everything including the ever present game of dominos which you can hear before you see it. It’s all about the way the players slam the donminos onto the table.
We dock at the Nassau Harbor Club. There’s a Starbuck right across the street (with reliable internet for the price of a coffee) and now a new grocery store, Fresh Market that competes with Whole Food in the U.S. What a treat. But this first day, the head stopped up and we (make that Ed) spent the first entire day working on it, finally removing the outlet hose that carries everything from the toilet to the holding tank. Believe me, you don’t want photos or any more description. Just know that this is every captain’s least favorite job. At least we were in Nassau when this happened.
But we have discovered our new favorite restaurant, Cafe Matisse. Expensive, but wonderful food and outside garden. Complete with a cat named Lulu.
However, after 6 days, and no let up in the wind, we decided to fly home, take care of business and return in 10 days. The flight was the worst of our travels so far. High winds, tornadoes even delayed our flight leaving Atlanta and caused us to circle to wait out a storm before we could land in N.C. Finally home at 1:30 am.
We forgot how cold it is in N.C. in late January and February and we are ready to head back and continue south to the Exumas.