Ahoy from Governor's Harbor, Eleuthera!
This has to be one of the most beautiful anchorages that we've been at within the Bahamas. It's a very difficult place to get the anchor hold, but we were able to find a small piece of sand to drop our anchor and now we're enjoying a beautiful just S of Governor's Harbor. On top of that the weather has improved massively and the thunderstorms that were plaguing us are gone. It's still windy, but even that's improving.
Yesterday we made the 24 mile trip from Rock Sound to Governor's Harbor. Both of these locations are well shielded from wind and we were surprised at how much wind there was when we pulled out of the anchorage and headed almost due N to Governor's harbor. We had 20-30 kts of wind out of the NE, which meant that motor-sail into some pretty strong winds and seas. But we made good time and before we knew it we were pulling into the anchorage.
The charts and guide books describe the holding around Governor's Harbor as "poor". The only place that sounded like it was a possibility was in the NE corner of a cove on the S side of Cupid's Cay. It gets pretty shallow in there and we arrived at low tide, so we gingerly poked our nose in and tried to get the anchor to set. Well, it took 5 times, but we finally found a sand patch where the anchor dug in well. Unicorn definitely benefited as we could tell them exactly where to anchor and it only took them one attempt.
When we finally got to relax and look around, we discovered just how beautiful the anchorage is. We have Cupid's Cay with some delightful buildings on one side and in front of us we have the beautifully restored Governor's Harbor library and an Angelican church. The bay then sweeps around with high hills and cliffs leading to beaches. A few small cays are sprinkled in the bay. It's beautiful, but the winds need to stay out of the E or we could be blown onto the shallow sand near shore. The good news is that the winds are very consistent and there's not much chance of that happening.
Governor's harbor is a delightful town to walk around. The houses are impeccably maintained and many of the streets are lined with flowering trees. The landscaping at many of the houses is wonderful with an amazing amount of flowering plants. The hills rise up to 160' providing sweeping views of the area. It's really very lovely.
If there's an other side of the tracks around here, that would have to be Cupid's Cay, which is a small point of land which juts out into the bay just SW of Governor's Harbor. The commercial docks and associated buildings are located there and the houses are quite run down. If there wasn't such a contrast, it wouldn't be so noticeable.
We rented a car to explore Eleuthera. Eleuthera is a long and narrow and is shaped like a crescent moon. It's about 75 miles long and is typically less than a mile wide. The main road runs mode or less down the middle, making the less interesting than other islands where the roads run closer to the coast.
Probably the most interesting location is known as the Glass Window which originally was an 85' high natural rock bridge between the Atlantic ocean and bight of Eleuthera. It was washed away by a hurricane in 1926 and not replaced with a bridge until 1960, meaning that the island was cut in two for 34 years! In 1991 a rogue wave picked up the N end of the bridge and moved it 7 feet to the west. Imagine the forces necessary to move a cement/steel bridge that's 85' above the water! Today the bridge is torqued sideways and there are 6" gaps at either end of the bridge at the expansion joints. Clearly this bridge wouldn't be open in the US!
We went to the far end of the island and took a ferry to Spanish Wells. We're planning on going there in a few days and this allowed us to check it out. I'll save my report on Spanish Wells for when we get there, but it's quite different from any other place in the Bahamas...
Today we're headed 15 miles to the NW to Hatchet Bay.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
We're anchored in 6-7' of water to the S of bridge leading to Cupid's Cay. The pink library is directly in front of us.
We rented the car from Stanton Cooper for $70. His phone number is 242-359-7007.
Gas was an amazing $3.77 compared to the $5+ that we paid elsewhere.
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