SPANISH WELLS - A WONDERFUL PLACE TO WAIT OUT THE WEATHER 1.25.2018
Spanish Wells is a settlement on St. Georges Cay. It is a good size town with some shopping and lots of fishing boats. It is described in the cruising guide as a working man’s island. Prices are much more reasonable here in comparison to the more tourist oriented places: haircut $25, beer $3.23 (VAT added to the beer price) all day golf cart $40. Groceries remain a bit expensive – You have to remember that everything is brought in by boat. The marina, Spanish Wells Yacht Haven, is more expensive than many of the places we have been and it was empty when we arrived. We tried to get the monthly rate since we knew we were going to be here for a while but the owner was unwilling to compromise. It is only two years old and the grounds, pool and bathrooms are beautiful – plus it is very well situated. As the only marina within a 50 mile radius I guess they can charge whatever they want and people will pay it when they need to be securely tied when the weather fronts come through. Weather does control our lives.
We arrived on a Sunday and as Treadwell the dock master reminded us it was God’s day. Everything was closed. We chilled and had a great dinner at Wreckers, the marina restaurant. Next day we explored the Island. The Boys (Michael and Bill) and Guys (Dan and Ben) were on mooring balls and rented a golf cart, which they let us borrow while they had a drink at Budda’s.
We explored the town a bit and went to the grocery store to check it out and pick up a few things. We met them back at Budda’s which is a well-known local restaurant and bar - very rustic – no walls. The bartender, Virginia, has a sister who lives in Euclid, Ohio – what a small world.
Our first night in Spanish Wells was a sleepless one for me. The group was planning on going to Governor’s Harbor to wait out the bad weather that was on the way. I didn’t feel comfortable doing that as it meant spending an extended time on a mooring or anchoring in heavy winds and then continuing to anchor as we traveled down the Eluethera Islands. The Eluethera chain doesn’t have many marinas, and we don’t have enough water tank capacity to be more than four or five nights without replenishing. So, after a kayak trip around the harbor we had a planning meeting with Karen and Hugh and together decided there was more to do in Spanish Wells and the surrounding area we could visit by car so we agreed to wait out the weather here at the marina. Thankfully, the Boys agreed to wait here as well. The thought of breaking up the “family” was very upsetting to me.
The marina office helped us make arrangements to visit Harbor Island.
This is an Island that we wanted to see but couldn’t visit by boat unless we went via The Devils Backbone – there is a reason the area has that name. It is full of reefs and very shallow areas that shouldn’t be traveled unless you take a local guide on your boat with you. The cost of a guide is far in excess of the ferry boat fees (the other way to get to the island) for the entire group. The Island is beautiful with pink sand and lovely homes and resorts. The private yachts docked there are enormous.
The group with ferry captain, Kason.
All smiles on the ferry. We had an absolutely beautiful day for the trip.
We went by ferry from Spanish Wells to Gene Cay and then a taxi took us across Eluthera Island to a point where we boarded a second ferry to Harbor Island. The locals call it Biland-a shorter version of the two words. We rented a golf cart to see the Island and enjoyed the day seeing the homes, shops, pink beach and resorts of Biland. Most of the clothing stores were there to cater to the very wealthy visitor with tee shirts at $275, too rich for my blood. I did buy a new hat!
Allenicks on golf cart - Hugh was driving and the Boys were right behind!
Michael pointing the way!
Found this sign on the way - note the Hebrew. Where did that come from?
Walking on the pink beach.
Restaurants with carry out are called Take Aways.
The Lone Tree - where people come to take pictures. It looks dead but check out the green in the next picture. This picture was taken by Hugh.
The group sampled Island Company rum at the Island company clothing store. DELICIOUS!
Wednesday, Bob and I got up and started our “new Routine” of walking in the am. We found a lovely beauty shop and I made an appointment for a haircut – no small thing for me. I have not had my hair cut since I was home in October and it is getting bushy and difficult to tame. You probably noticed in the pictures. If next time you see me in pictures I’m only wearing a hat – you will know why.
In the afternoon we took the dinghy 3 miles over to Meeks Patch to see the so called “wild” pigs that are on the Island and tourists come to swim with and feed. This is a controversial topic in our group since Michael and Bill are vegetarians and are concerned about the treatment of all animals by humans. It really isn’t clear how well kept these pigs are. What was clear is that they were hungry and chased the people that were dangling out meat for them. They made me and Karen nervous but Bob petted them and found them friendly. We went on to a very good snorkeling spot and I had a chance to try out my new snorkel tube which doesn’t’ let water in. I LOVED IT. We saw lots of fish and coral. It reminded us why we are here. The day was perfect for a long dinghy ride, very little wind and virtually no current. With our somewhat small (6 horsepower) outboard engine, we were concerned at first about taking the dinghy all the way there and back - but it worked out fine. We had dinner with Christopher and Robin (Florida couple on a Catalina 45) and Karen and Hugh. Karen and I had a good time telling Robin all about our travels thus far. It was fun reliving all we have been through the past six months. Yes we have been away for six month – it is hard to believe.