Today is officially our last day in the Exumas. For this trip anyway. We have a 40 mile crossing of the big, bad Atlantic to get to our Eleuthera. Our next stop on the trip.
Start: Anchorage off of Black Point, Exumas, 0725
End: Anchorage, Rock Harbor Sound, Eleuthera Island, 1725
Total Distance: 58.9 nm
Average Speed: 5.9 kts
Did I mention how nice it is to be back in the land (or sea, really) of the unlimited horizon? When we were in Georgetown, everywhere we looked was land. Other than a teeny strip to the NW where the conch cut was located. But here in the Exumas, if you look west (if you are on the lee side of the islands), you can see forever. Wide open water. Gorgeous sunsets. And the stars are spectacular.
Which I noticed as I rolled out of bed at 0530. Sunrise isn’t for awhile, but there are things to do and people to see before we head out of here. Or rather, grass to be peed upon by Lucky, so he and I head into shore for the last time here at Black Point. Other than the damn roosters crowing, it is quiet. Back at the boat, Jan and I get everything packed up and see the sunrise with a cup of coffee in our hand. Not a bad way to begin a day.
We need to be out of the cut around 8am, which is high tide. And we make our goal, leaving our anchorage and putting up our sail by about 7:30. The cut is wide and we have the water to ourselves this morning. After 52 days1 in the Exumas/Georgetown, we are heading onto a different part of the Bahamas, Eleuthera. We are also changing chart books (of which there are three for the Bahamas) from Exumas to ’The Far Bahamas,’ which sounds a bit ominous. Fortunately, Eleuthera is not so far, or put another way, the closest of the far, and on our way back to Florida. To get there we need to cross the Exuma Sound, which is sexy speak for “Big Bad Atlantic Ocean.” 45ish miles across some deep blue water and we are there. Another opportunity to throw out our fishing line and catch weeds. Which is EXACTLY what we caught.
Eleuthera was the Bahamas’ first settlement and, earlier, the first settlement in the New World. The Far Bahamas include the island on which Mssr. Columbus landed long ago, though we aren’t heading that far east. Plan is to get to Rock Sound Harbor tonight, located on the souther part of Eleuthera Island and spend a couple days exploring. Then gradually work our way North and West as the wind/weather allow. No hurry.
Today the weather is pretty good. Wind from ENE (70 degrees) and we are heading north (10 degrees) with a speed of about 10 knots. We have the sails up but the speed isn’t great so we put one engine on and motor sail north. The Exuma Islands keep us company for two hours, hanging off our port side bow, but the fade off to the west, and we are in some big blue water. We aren’ the only ones moving–sailboats and power boats are crossing with us–it is a great day to be on the water.
At 1200 the call goes out. LAND HO! While we aren’t Chrissy Columbus, we were happy to see the southern part of our destination. Even though we were over five hours from stopping for the night, it was good to see land. But we had to keep going. At 3pm we rounded the southern point of Eleuthera and headed to the east. And we notice that this is much different than the Exumas. We tried for hours to put our finger on why. Maybe it was because we are looking at one island, not a string of small islands. Or that the land is relatively flat. Or that there are very few other boats. It feels like we are in a desolate place.
We arrive in Rock Sound Harbor after 10 hours and just under 60 miles. The terms rustic beauty come to mind. Or at least rustic, maybe not so much beauty. We anchor outside a small rocky beach in town and it turns out this beach is the ‘rock’ in Rock Sound Harbor. At 8pm the speakers cranked up and played that loud music until all hours of the night. A mix of electronic, hip-hop, rap, dance and dead animals. More tomorrow. Tonight we are too tired.
152 days! Which went by in a flash.