Thursday, 24 December 2015

Where have all the sailboats gone?

 As we travelled down the US East Coast this Fall we were preceded and accompanied by hundreds of like minded cruisers all heading to points south in their boats.  Now, many will reach Florida and happily stay there for the winter. But that leaves many many more who will continue on to the Bahamas and beyond.  Where have they all gone?  We are now in the Eleuthera chain of Islands and I can count on one hand the number of cruising sailors we have seen.  Hopefully we shall run into more cruisers as we head south.

A Google Earth map of our route from Miami to Spanish Wells, Eleuthera

   When checking in to the Bahamas at Spanish Wells the customs officer actually wanted to see the boat, a first for us. So we tied up at the marina and then ended up staying there for several days. The officer didn't look around the boat at all, just came on board ( dirty shoes and all) filled out the forms, took our money and we were legal.

 Spanish Wells is a small community of about 1500 friendly people. As we walked around we were offered rides many times. The Island is small enough to be easily walked end to end but the roads are busy with locals riding their golf carts.

Spanish Wells harbour. Home to a large fleet of fishing vessels. 

Christmas in the Bahamas.

Spanish Wells 

Google Earth map of our route. Spanish Wells to Dunmore Town

  To reach Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, boats have to pick their way thru the reefs of the Devils Backbone.  The guide books all advise the hiring of a local captain for a safe transit. We took that advice.  At one point the route takes you within three hundred yards of the rocky shore, the waves crashing upon them. Closer than one normally likes to be in a boat with those sea conditions.!

 Dunmore Town is a delightful, busy town, originally the Capital of the Bahamas. A bit more "upscale" than Spanish Wells. A short walk across the Island takes us to the beautiful three mile long pink sand beach, fabulous for walking on especially at low tide.  Again, we have found ourselves mostly staying in a Marina. It is SO easy to be able to walk off the boat and not have to bother with a wet dingy ride. Other advantages to this Marina stay are the use of their fresh water pool and loungers and umbrellas at the beach.Who could resist !!  Oh well, once we leave here we will have to toughen up, back to life on the hook ( anchor) for us.

Main street, Dunmore Town

side street, Dunmore Town

local grocery store

we got a selfie stick!  On the beach.

  It's now Christmas Eve. I have spent the last hour working on this blog while Ian has been watching awfully bad movies!  We are missing both Samantha and Ryan this year. Next year you two. Somewhere hot and sunny!!    We will Skype with family tomorrow and then walk the beach. No turkey dinner but life is pretty good!  

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