When last we left you, we had pulled into Hatchet Bay to escape from some weather. Three days we spent in the town. A tourist trap, this is not.
The sign from the road states that Hatchet Bay is the home of the most protected harbor in the Bahamas. Rumor has it that Hurricane Andrew disproved that assertion and not in a terribly good way for some boat owners. Fortunately we were not escaping a hurricane, merely waiting out a day or two as the wind clocked around from E-S-W and finally north, when we can leave. Should be two days, three max.
Let’s start with the harbor. It is lovely. And good enough for our purpose. When we arrived there were eight boats in the bay, by Thursday morning, there were 19 boats escaping the west wind. We were all the way to the west side, all alone in our four feet of water. And we were protected pretty darn well as the winds clocked around. No dragging, no fuss. Just a view of mangroves and banks of coral outside our back door.
The town that is adjacent to Hatchet bay is Alicetown. Just like every other place we have been, this one has its own personality. Tourist town? Nope. Boutique barrio? Not so much. Kitch county? Guess again. It is a very small town. And the people are some of the nicest that we have met along the trip. But not a lot of effort goes into the upkeep or maintenance of the town. One of the three major restaurants looks like a chicken coop. Though, we heard, the food was quite delicious.
The dinghy dock that welcomes the boaters is quite lovely–a gazebo adorns the end of the dock and there are actual functional ladders to get you into town. And there are community garbage cans, a water point and a grocery store, so our big three needs are covered. There area also a ton of dogs running the streets, apparently in search of a meal or a home. And a ton of chickens as well which is surprising given the number of dogs! The homes themselves look like they have had hard lives and some have given up the fight and went ahead and fallen down.
There are some things to explore and we headed out to see some of them. We spent Wednesday afternoon hiking 1.5 miles over to the ocean side beaches where AJ and Grace swam while Jan and I looked feverishly for shells. Or rather, Jan looked feverishly and I wandered aimlessly across the beach trying not to get my feet wet. We spent a day exploring the town, including getting lunch at a nice restaurant over looking the water. The day we went was the day the supply boat was due, which meant it was a week since the last supply boat. So the ‘menu’ was really the best case. We were more in the worst case and what they had left was fish and chicken, so that is what we got and it was delicious. And AJ went with the crew of S/V Schole over to snorkel in a pond close to our hide hole that was rumored to have sea horses at which you could gaze. If you could calmly and slowly work your way through the water so as not to startle the sea horses. So AJ was out.
And, of course, we had school, meeting the other boaters, hosting kids on our boat and, alternatively, dumping our kid on another boat. And marveling at the weather. We have noticed that when the wind comes from the south it brings a ton of heat and humidity. So much so that our screens act as a filter, collecting the humidity and dumping it on our beds. Then when the wind swings to the north, it drops the heat and the humidity leaving us scrambling for our sweatshirts. Which is where we were at on Thursday morning when it came time to leave. North wind. Cold. For the Bahamas anyway. And reaching for the sweatshirts as we headed out the bay.