Saturday, March 17, 2018

Exploring Eleuthera

By Kathy

We were getting pretty anxious to continue down the island of Eleuthera so we left Spanish Wells on February 22nd. We almost didn’t make it out of the Spanish Wells channel when a big cargo ship decided to dock across the whole channel. Luckily, it was high tide and we were able to take an alternate way out. 

The cargo ship blocking our exit out of Spanish Wells. 

We did a lot of route planning while we were in Spanish Wells and knew that we had a tricky cut to make it through to get to the main island of Eleuthera. It was called Current Cut. If you hit the tide at a certain time people say it feels like you are getting sucked through a straw. To avoid this we had to time the arrival at the cut right at slack tide. It ended up being a beautiful cut and no problems at all. Right before we arrived at the cut we were greeted by a few dolphin. No matter how many times we see dolphin they still seem so  amazing. A group of six of them swam around the boat and one kept swimming in circles to look at the kids. He would turn his head every time he passed them.  Once we started going again they played in the wake of the boat for a few minutes before saying farewell.

The friendly dolphin that swam back and forth looking at the kids.

Dolphin sightings never get old. Always amazing!

The infamous Current Cut. It was timed just right and was very pretty when we went through.

After Current Cut,  we experienced the roughest ride we have had so far on the trip. It was choppy waves and their timing was very close together. We were beating into the waves so it was a uncomfortable for a few hours. We arrived at Hatchet Bay after Dan masterfully navigated the narrow rocky entrance into the harbor.

The narrow entrance to Hatchet Bay.

We had a few things on the list to do while we were in Hatchet Bay waiting for a good weather window. We wanted to rent a car to see the whole island of Eleuthera. We ended up doing this on Saturday and Emma just posted a blog entry about what we found when we went exploring by car. But I will tell you one thing that happened while we were out and about that the kids were not really aware of when it happened. When we think about the things we will see on this adventure we are hoping to see beautiful islands, cool fish, and great people but there have been a few surprises. We had to make a new category called “I was never expecting to see that”.  We had learned from another cruiser that Lenny Kravitz has a house just south of the Glass Window Bridge. We just said ok and didn’t really think much about it. On our way back to Hatchet Bay at the end of our day we saw two guys riding bikes down a road with no shoulder and barely a 2-lane road. The guy in the front had the traditional Lenny hair and Dan said “Hey I bet that is Lenny Kravitz .” I said that there was little chance he would be riding down a narrow road like this basically in the middle of nowhere. The bikes were not anything special, their clothes were not anything special and the road was pretty dangerous for biking.  I chalked it up to the fact we had Lenny on our brain after hearing he had a house on the island. We stopped at a little bar near the Glass Window Bridge and low and behold the people there said they had seen Lenny riding his bike down the road. By this time he was on his way back towards the restaurant and when he passed by he turned and waved. It really was Lenny!

Our "I was never expecting to see that" list:
1. A performance from the Princeton University a cappella group.
2. Concerts from various Nashville songwriters and Mike Mills from R.E.M.
3. Lenny Kravitz on a bike. 

While we were in Hatchet Bay we had a day of boat chores that needed to be done before heading over to the Exumas. Dan worked on fixing hatch screens and sealing Emma’s emergency hatch and I worked on that little sail bag issue that we decided to fix ourselves so we could go to the Songwriters In Paradise instead of getting it fixed in the Abacos.

Sail bag repair. My sewing projects have definitely taken on a new spin!

We could see a great weather window for making the passage to the Exumas so after 4 days in Hatchet Bay we took off to Rock Harbor at the south end of Eleuthera. This would be our last stop at a grocery store for a couple of weeks so we headed into the settlement and arrived at the store with one minute to spare before closing and did the fastest grocery shopping ever! We had a good dinner at a local restaurant before heading back for an early departure for the Exumas!!! 

Beautiful sunset at Frigate's Bar and Grill.

This is our last dinner out for a while. It will be 2 weeks until we see another restaurant.

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