Wednesday, 11 February 2009
The ruins of the W.P. Stewart home, Royal Island, Eleuthera
Abandoned years ago.
Our first stop on the island of Eleuthera is Royal Island. There is no town center near the anchorage, only signs of construction and demolition around the small, protected harbour. We are told that a golf resort is being built, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club! In the process, the ruins of what must have once been a beautiful home, the W.P. Stewart home built in the 1930's, are being demolished.
From Royal we make our way through the Current Cut (very appropriately named!). With the engine revving at 3000rpms and our speed at 6.5 knots, speed over ground is a miserly 2.9 knots due to the opposing current in the cut.
Approaching Current Cut, we follow the deeper water around and through the channel. It looks like just a narrow strip of water - and it is just that.
Glass Window. A number of people have been washed away when huge waves have crashed over the bridge. The bridge has even shifted but remains the crossing point from one end of Eleuthera to the other.
We get in a little sailing past Glass Window - well, we beat into the wind at around 25 knots, and anchor off the palm-fringed beach at Mutton Fish Point with no other boat in sight.
Bristol Rose anchored off the beach, Mutton Fish Point, Eleuthera
After six and a half hours sailing, or rather, beating into the wind again and tacking back and forth, we anchor at Governor's Harbour, a comparatively "bustling" town settled in 1648 by the Eleuthera Adverturers who came from Bermuda.
Tiny Cupid's Cay is joined to Governor's by a land bridge. One of our "discoveries" on Cupid's is what appears to be a road cut four to six inches into the rock and leading up and around the headland. Twisted, searching roots cut the rock here and there. The trees lining the road are leafless and sun-bleached, indicating those roots were not very successful in their search for any long-term sustenance! It's a harsh, dry landscape and we find ourselves often making comparisons with Australia.
Aussie import, the Casuarina (soil erosion preventer) is listed as one of the five most undesirable plants in the Bahamas due to the ability to "cramp" native species of plants.
Posted at the museum in Hope Town, Abaco.
We found this block (approx. 2'x2'x3') of rubber on the ocean-side beach of Rock Sound
Mr. Horton talks with Robert and Randy about the efforts to build a garden of native flora around the site of the blue hole in Rock Sound. He volunteers his time to the project.
The people of Rock Sound are very industrious and despite the fact that folks in the Bahamas have as difficult a time as you can imagine in the current financial times, they are warm and friendly and extremely welcoming.
The narrow entrance to Davis Harbour
Bristol Rose is among some truly beautiful pleasure fishing boats in Davis Harbour Marina
Davis Harbour is our last stop in Eleuthera, before we cross to the Exumas. While Homewood Bound heads north to the Abacos, Bristol Rose, Step Two, and Sand Castle all leave Rock Sound together, heading for Davis Harbour to stage for various points south.
We don't mess with Barracuda of any size. Teeth aside, the possibility of ciguaterra poisoning is not worth the risk.
www.eleuthera.com is a good resource if you're interested in more about the island.