We have arrived in Eleuthera Bahamas…anchored briefly just South of Spanish Wells awaiting tide to go into the Yacht Haven Marina to explore town since we are apparently too big to fit in the mooring field-go figure!
The trip from Lenard Cay, Abacos to Spanish Wells was a overnight motor-sail as winds were on the nose and light (under 10 knots). The sky was beautiful and the water (at times) was over 10,000 feet…makes you feel kind of small. We chose this period since we expected stiff trades to fill in early, giving us a beam reach South to Eleuthera but that just didn’t happen. Our early evening departure from the Abaco Sea was through North Bar Cut…a 800 ft opening to the Atlantic that deserves respect and should only be passed in calm conditions as breakers and swell are significant across the channel in windy or surge tide conditions. We had an easy time of it in 8 knots of wind and a slack low tide. Once through the cut, it was an easy ride South.
Once into open ocean, sails were set; the Mahi gear went out; the auto pilot was turned on and we motor-sailed into a beautiful sunset. The crew sorted out their passage shifts while Steve stayed present on deck and slept a bit in the cockpit since it was only a 17 hour passage. We started early evening to arrive in high sun at Spanish Wells to read the shallows. Well…no favorable wind and no Mahi hit the lure but the night sky was breath taking and the cruise ship traffic in North Providence Channel was busy… Brandon counted seven of the crossing our course line between midnight and 5 AM….thank goodness for AIS and radar!
Arrival at the West end of Little Egg Island came at sunrise and, with Kimberly at the helm, we made our final turn and approach toward Spanish Wells with the kind escort of a lone dolphin that briefly greeted our bow and zoomed away. After hailing the local mooring guy (Bandit) we discovered that we couldn’t use his moorings for being too big.
We anchored just NE of Meeks Patch Island (about two miles from Spanish Wells). No other anchorages were suitable for us and soon, several other big boats filled in around us – including a super-yacht from NZ. There is a sad little “island pig” attraction at Meeks Patch Island but they charge bucks to land there and there is a little guy waiting to take your money…save your effort for Staniel Cay (Exumas) or Piggyville (Abacos) on No Name Cay…it’s free! The snorkeling up against Meeks Patch is beautiful with live coral a d fish but w didn’t see a single lobster or conch…they must be hiding elsewhere?
We did meet an acquaintance in the anchorage…Jim and Meryl From MV Kokomo were there upon our arrival. We encountered Kokomo on a leg between Charleston and Jacksonville when they hailed us and offered to photograph SV Take Me There as e had just put sails up. The cruising world, as big as it is, can be a small place. Most of the other boats in the anchorage were Canadians appearing to be traveling in small groups of 2 or 3 boats.
Since the wind will blow pretty stiffly over the next few days, we will slip into Spanish Wells to a marina; pinch the wallet and take a slip to explore on land a bit. There appears to be lots to see?