We are waiting out another storm in Rock Sound Harbor on the southern end of Eleuthera Island.
We sat out the rain and winds near Spanish Wells and were rewarded with a near perfect day in the Islands. Saturday was sunny and calm. Cori got up and wanted to go ashore. We were anchored on the east side of Meeks Patch, a narrow island that was protecting us from the winds the previous days. The tide was low so we went in and joined several others walking the beach. Plans were made to meet up later and spend the day ashore. Once back at the boat we decided to make one last trip into town for supplies. It was about a two mile dinghy ride but everything had calmed down so it was a good ride. Once in town we dropped off our garbage and walked to the store. I was about to run out of Diet Coke so that was high on my list. I had previously stopped at a little bakery and wanted to go back and buy a pack of johnniecakes. They are similar to English muffins. On the walk back to the dinghy we also stopped and stocked up on more rum, we don’t want to run out. We had a smooth ride back to the boat then joined everyone from Willimia, Sea Ya and Exit Stage Left on the beach for the rest of the afternoon. It was a perfect day of sunshine and light winds keeping everyone happy and cool after being stuck on the boats while the rain and wind worked their way through. Getting into the dinghy to go back to the boat I did something to my lower back, a very sharp pain. It seems that I have a pinched nerve that is giving me a lot of trouble.
Sunday was forecast for gale force winds and they delivered. The winds were out of the west and our little island did a great job of protecting us from the waves but did not do much at blocking the wind. At one point I saw a reading of 38.8 knots (45 mph) and that may not have been the highest. This continued into the night with the velocity dropping as the winds clocked around to the north. Monday morning we had winds in the upper teens out of the north, time to get a move on. We and our traveling partners pulled anchors and started off eventually joined by four others all going the same way. We wanted to see more of Eleuthera and to get there we had to go down to a location called Current Cut and maneuver through a small break between islands. It is called Current Cut because of the strong current. We timed our passage for high tide when the current would be at its least. We all formed up into a single file line and motored through. Once clear we again hoisted the sails and had a near perfect day of sailing until we arrived at a spot called The Glass Window.
This is where the ocean has carved an opening through a narrow part of the island and while standing on the bridge you can see the contrast between the dark blue of the ocean and the light colors of the sound. Once we were anchored we took the dinghy to shore and walked up the road to the bridge first stopping at a Bahamian Heritage Site. Not knowing what to expect we went to check it out. It turned out we were at a site referred to as The Queens Bath. It is on the ocean side and is an area where the shore has been eroded back and there is a series of hollowed out pools leading up to a cave with calm water filling the pools at low tide. It is pretty impressive. From there we went back to the road to walk to the bridge. Just before the bridge we heard an odd sound and sight. There was a blowhole next to the road. This is a hole about six inches wide that is connected to a cave below. As the waves force water into the cave air and water are shot out of the hole like a small geyser. It was amazing to watch. I tried to shoot some video of it; we will see how it turns out.
We finally got to the bridge. The view was just as described and the contrast of the colors is spectacular along with the waves crashing into the opening.
Back on the boat Cori set to work on fixing dinner since she had invited the others over for dinner. We all had a great day with the exception of Phil on Sea Ya. While leaving Meeks Patch he reached up to wave at another boat going by and got his hand caught in the wind generator getting a serious cut on his hand. The other boat, Cookie, has a nurse on board and she offered to check it out when we all got anchored. Once at anchor Les and Kim on Willamia took them over to have it looked at. Traveling with Cookie is the boat Good Morning Vietnam and it happens that she is a surgeon. After 22 stitches and a helping of pain medication and antibiotics Phil was all patched up. He is healing nicely but is having trouble trying to not use that hand.
We had thought of staying for another day before moving down-island but the weather forecasts were not looking good. Another front was coming through in a few days so we had to move on if we were to be in a safe harbor for the storm. Tuesday morning we pulled anchor and had another near perfect day of sailing. Our destination this day was Governors Harbor. This was the original capital of the Bahamas and the guide books had a lot of good to say about it. Unfortunately they also have a lot of bad to say about the anchorage. The harbor is exposed to all but east winds and has a hard bottom with poor holding. We scouted out several options and finally decided on a spot just around Cupids Cay where there were some patches of sand that held the anchor solidly.
Wednesday morning we all took our dinghies to town. High on the list was the bakery with fresh pastries for breakfast then checking out several other shops, especially the fishing supply shop. From there it was a trip to the beach on the ocean side. This is the former location of a Club Med and it is obvious to see why they located here. It is one of the prettiest beaches I have seen with very fine grain sand with a light pink color.
We walked the beach with intentions of going to Tippies restaurant. We just didn’t realize how long of a walk that would be. Once there it proved to be worth the walk, the fish tacos were excellent. After lunch Cori found us rides back to town saving us from another long walk. Once back in town some provisions were purchased and everyone went back to their boats to relax.
After a quiet night at anchor we were up and pulled the anchor by 7:30 am. Our next stop was going to be Rock Sound Harbor to hunker down for the blow. The winds were too light for sailing so we motored down there, about 25 miles. Rock Sound Harbor is a large anchorage that is protected from all sides, a good spot to hole up. We chose to anchor in the northwest part of the harbor leaving us with about a mile of open water to the east but close to the western shore. The winds in the afternoon and evening were out of the northeast and it was a bit bumpy but the real winds were forecast to clock around to the west when the storm arrived. By anchoring here we eliminated having to pull the anchor to relocate when the wind shifted. In the evening we all got together on Exit Stage Left for pot luck dinner to celebrate Theresa on Sea Ya’s birthday.
Friday is windy and rainy again. The wind has shifted around and has gone from east to southeast then south and now southwest, just as forecast. We have about a dozen boats here waiting for the big show to arrive, west winds in the 30-40 knot range with higher gusts in the squalls. Cori is staying busy with reorganizing the V-berth so that I can access the water-maker. The generator is charging the batteries since the solar panels are not putting out in this weather and I have the water-maker running filling our tank. In the evening the wind shifted to the west but the velocity dropped. Later in the evening it started p as foretasted, overnight it blew in the 20’s but didn’t get as high as they had thought. It seemed that north and south of up the wind was higher so we evidently got lucky.
Today, Saturday, it is partly cloudy but the winds are still blowing in the 20’s but we are protected from higher waves by the west shore. So far everyone’s anchors have held so we just need to be patient and let it blow itself out. Cori had gotten the sewing machine out and is making some bags from old sails and I have been lounging with a book and babying my hip hoping it gets better.