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Monday, June 30, 2008

Leaving Eleuthera

We are finally on our way! The plan was to leave Spanish Wells on Wednesday, heading to Little Harbor, Abaco. This would have been great had it not been for the thunderstorm and high winds that arrived unexpectedly at 7:45am. "Ole’ Pot," a pilot boat captain, was hired to take us out the back channel of Spanish Wells and across the infamous, uncharted "Devil's Backbone Reef." Going across the reef would save us 4 hours of travel time and $40.00 worth of fuel. We had arranged with him to leave at 8:00am, but due to the storm, we left 35 minutes later and were very wet!

With the rain over, we followed Ole' Pot out of Spanish Wells Harbour and out the north channel past Gun Point. Ole' Pot seemd to know where he was going, even though the water was cloudy from the rain, churning from the wind and there were no visible landmarks. It was truly amazing to watch the way he navigated the reef by instinct alone. As promised, however, we were soon through the shallow coral reef, although the water under our boat was never less than 8' in depth, and with a final wave good bye, Ole' Pot was gone and we were on our way to the Abaco Islands.

The crossing to Little Harbor was fairly uneventful, although Jeremy would disagree!! We were barely outside of Spanish Wells and he became sick...I mean really sick. The seas were 4’ to 6’ in height and Jeremy stayed below, in the forward cabin, in the dark, the whole trip!!! We got to Little Harbor around 3:00pm and, once we were in calmer waters, Jeremy started to feel much better.

Once inside Little Harbour, we hooked onto a mooring ball and made the boat ready to spend the night. Then, we all went ashore and checked out "Pete's Pub." Not much new, but the mosquitoes were horrendous! We counted 22 bites on Havyn today! Andie, Gordon, and Jeremy spent an hour killing them in the cabin before we could call it a night.

I was awakened at 4:30am with mosquitoes back in force and buzzing all around my head. I went below and got 2 Bounce dryer sheets, rubbed one around my head, the other on my legs. Then, I laid one sheet on my chest and the other between my toes and the mosquitoes stopped biting! The dryer sheets really worked and I managed 4 more hours of sleep!!

The next morning, we pulled anchor at 8:00am and three and a half hours later, we were tied up to the dock in Hope Town, at the Club Soliel Marina!! The marina lies underneath the famous Hope Town Lighthouse, which was built in 1864 and still operates to this day. After a tour of the lighthouse, we got into the dinghy, headed across the harbor to the town and had an early dinner at “Captain Jack’s”. It’s still one of the most reasonably priced meals you can get in the Bahamas! Havyn and Andie enjoyed their fish, while the rest of us had the cracked conch. Still can’t get over $4.00 beers and $2.00 cokes though!!

Tonight, we will all enjoy the AC and get a good night’s sleep, except for Andie, who says it’s too cold!! (Schooner sure likes it!!) Tomorrow, it’s a ride on the local ferry and a trip to Marsh Harbour for a day of sightseeing.

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