As I mentioned in the previous blog, we didn’t plan to arrive in Rock Sound as quickly as we did. Poor holding in anchorages forced us to move on south to Rock Sound where there was a protected anchorage with good holding. We had hoped to time our arrival with the Homecoming event that occurred Easter weekend. Homecoming is the tradition where persons born in the islands, or who have island roots, return for a reunion with family and friends that still reside there. People come from the main land of New Providence (the capital), and in some cases the United States, to join in the festivities. Since we arrived 1.5 weeks early we tried to fill our time with activities in a town of only 1100. Here are a few highlights of our stay:
Ocean Hole – A blue hole of 600′ deep brackish water in the center of town that is purported to have been explored by Jacque Cousteau when he was a winter resident of Eleuthera. There are hundreds of salt water fish that come to the top to eat bread and crackers. The Blue Tangs were beautiful. Since it was not very clear water we did not get in.
Palmetto Point – We tried desperately to rent an SUV to take to the Light House Beach but it didn’t work out. We did however, rent a small mini-van and drove for 2 days. We devoured the soft, iced cinnamon rolls at Eleuthera Island Farms in Palmetto Point and purchased several fresh vegetables. The owner recommended that we check out the secluded beach, Poponi, which was on the Atlantic side. It was very nice and had the typical pink sand of beaches on the eastern side of Eleuthera.
Governor’s Harbor – Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is an accredited botanic garden and a real jewel. We learned all about the medicinal and poisonous plants of the Bahamas. We were hoping to see some of the indigenous birds but we hardly even heard a bird sing. We did, however, hear goats! We had a nice lunch on the beach at Tippy’s. Governor’s Harbor was our favorite town in Eleuthera: clean, not too crowded or commercial, a very nice community, pretty, and good restaurants!
Cape Eleuthera Marina – We checked out a lovely marina at the southwestern tip of Eleuthera. I even got Scott to relax and read at the beach for about 25 minutes. He was quite distracted the entire day though as winds were shifting and he was worried about Unforgettable. We had discovered that morning that the anchor had dragged during the previous wind shift and Unforgettable is always on his mind. (Some say Georgia is always on their mind!)
Scott’s 73rd birthday – I know, he doesn’t look, nor act 73! It was a low key day and we celebrated with vegan sweet potato chocolate cake and icing! It was so good, you would never know it wasn’t bad for you!
Church – We enjoyed attending church at the local Methodist Church on Palm and Easter Sundays. On Palm Sunday we didn’t just walk down the aisle with a single palm leaf we walked around a few blocks with our entire palm frond. We were moved by the joy in the Easter service and the sermon by a church member. We’ve never attended a church where the members showed such sincere pleasure to meet us and have us in attendance. It has been a pleasure attending churches in different cities and countries to observe the similarities and differences in worship practices.
Homecoming – First attempt: too windy to use the dinghy. Second attempt: we thought we had a weather window between storms to go into town and take part in the Homecoming festivities. Wouldn’t you know it…a big storm appeared that wasn’t forecasted. Third attempt: We went after church and it was closed. Fourth attempt: We went on Monday afternoon and it was just some music and a handful of people with no food. I would say it was super loud music but that would make me sound like an old person!!! We were able to enjoy the music every night from the boat. This was a huge disappointment as we had planning to attend this event since mid February!
There were several days that we did not leave the boat as the winds/waves made raising and lowering the dinghy challenging, maybe even a little dangerous. We started to get a stir crazy especially after watching the long term weather forecast and realized that it might be a week or more until we could cross north to the Abacos in fairly calm seas. Scott often says he wants us to slow down in one place for awhile. Since we started full-time cruising last June we have rarely stayed in one place a full week. Even Scott has become antsy so tomorrow we will say farewell to Rock Sound and head north.