Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1st - Spanish Wells, Bahamas

Lat: 25 32.5N Long: 76 45W

Yesterday we arrived in Spanish Wells on the extreme north tip of Eluthera, about 40 nautical miles ENE of Nassau.
I'm going to start this one off with a quiz .... the answer will be at the end of this update.

How many of these does it take to fill your garbage can and get very expensive to get rid of at $25 per bag after the first two small ones ???

On Friday we made the crossing from Nassau to a beautiful and fully protected anchorage in Royal Island (Lat 25 30.6N Long 76 50.8W).
The crossing was superb with ESE winds at 10-12 knots ... it was sail all the way. It's really funny how you're travelling along in 8-10 THOUSAND feet of true blue coloured water then all of a sudden your sounder starts counting down quickly from 100 feet to 13 feet over a run of about 200 feet.
The wall would be fantastic for diving on.

Along the way we passed a small island that would be perfectly suited for Gilligan's Island .... or Survivor Bahamas. Not much shelter though.

Yesterday, we motored around to Spanish Wells, on the extreme north tip of Eluthera. What a pleasant day it was. Here's an example of the nav aids over here ...

The bird is facing EAST so this must be a starboard handbuoy.....
Actually, if you look very close with binoculars you can see a small "use to be" red triangle to indicate starboard. There's actually a light on this one too.

Spanish Wells is a very "unique" town that is very prosperous due to the hard working ethics of the fishing community here.
Once inside the entrance to this little village you quickly see how the fishing industry and hard work ethics have turned this small village into a thriving community. This sure doesn't look like anywhere else we've seen in the Bahamas so far.

A man told me yesterday that within 6 months of being flattened by a wall of water thrown at them by Hurricane Andrew in 2002, this community had completely rebuilt and restored Spanish Wells to its former quaintness and beauty.
This place is a very "white" village and it's quite noticeable when all the blacks return home to Eluthera Island on the government ferry around 5 o'clock each day.
You have to give them credit for their use of their resources.
Here you see the local car ferry powered by one large Evinrude outboard.

After securing on our mooring to the east of Charles Island it was time to do some exploring by dingy. The inside passage along Spanish Wells is very sheltered from the outside sea in all direction and has been dredged to provide for more canals. Towards the east end we encountered this little cottage .... and look ... the Nova Scotia flag.

We had to drop in and say hi and after a short chat we discovered that it belonged to Avard & Sandy Bishop, owners of Noggins Corner Farm Ltd in Wolfville, NS. Their daughter was with them and told us that she and her husband own the Noggins Farm Corn Maze. The world is getting smaller.

Passing back along the waterfront we passed by R & B Boatyard where, although it didn't look like much, they had a complete marine railway for hauling out large boats.

Word here is that 57% of Spanish Wesians own a small cottage here that is for rent. They are quaint and brightly painted. Most have small white fences around the property. These are two of my favourites and are located right across from the mooring field.
You can see the narrow street in between the two cottages and every street on this small island is paved.
The entire waterfront is lined with a cement wall to make it useful for the fishing industry and the many small boats here.

Like I said, the fishing industry is thriving here and the boats, some large and some small are very neatly kept.

Last night, when I went ashore to do some "interneting" I was told by a gentleman that this town, while very prosperous remains dry .... NO BARS ... NO BOOZE but after speaking to the girl in the Golf car Rental store, she told me that on saturday nights they get together at someones house for an evening of socializing ... Bring your own booze.

You must wonder how we are able to get emails out to you. Well, this is our lifeline. A small Alpha trasmiter that has taken the place of our broken RadioLabs antennae that we purchased in December.

We hang it from a wire twist tie that is sewn into the underside of the dodger and held together by black electrical tape ... but hey .... it works!!!

Soooooo, getting back to the quiz at the beginning ....

If you dispose of these gallon water jugs the way most people do, you only get about 5 or 6 into one bag.
Down here, where space is limited you take out the scissors and cut it up into many small pieces. That way you can get about 100 into one bag.

They don't recycle down here so this is as best as it gets.

On that note ..... Wind Warrior 1 rests on her mooring ball at the east end of Spanish Wells. On Tuesday we're going to take the inside route over Harbour Island about 2 hours from here to view the touristy town of Dunmore Town and see the pink sand beach on the Atlantic side of the island. We'll stay a couple days then head north to the Abacos about 60 miles north of here.

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