When we last left you, we had just reinstalled our mainsail and were looking forward to using it to head south, towards Eleuthera. I am happy to report that the main is working great! So far, at least.
We rose early to leave Little Harbor early on Friday morning, January 21. Alas, about 45 minutes into our trip, once we were away from land and pointed in the right direction, Andy called me up to the helm. We were making a miserable 2.3 knots (just about a third of our normal speed), beating directly into the wind and the waves. The chartplotter estimated our trip taking 23 hours, arriving at 7 a.m. the following day.
Um, no thank you.
So we bit the bullet and turned back, re-anchoring outside of Little Harbor. The weather wasn’t terrible – we just needed winds that were friendlier, not blowing directly on our nose. And if you have to get stuck waiting for fair winds, Little Harbor is not a bad place to do it. We used our time to finish rigging the mainsail and getting everything back in its place.
We only had to wait till Sunday morning for winds on our beam (about a 90 degree angle) and waves on our stern. What a difference! Now we were making a smooth 6 knots and estimating a 4 pm arrival time outside of Spanish Wells. That’s more like it. We journeyed a whole degree of latitude south.
We had been to Spanish Wells once before, tying up on a mooring ball with a local proprietor named Bandit. This was very early in our sailing journey – the story is here. We were really looking forward to doing so again, to (hopefully) see how much more proficient we’ve become. Sadly, Bandit’s only mooring spot big enough for our boat was already taken by a long-term renter. So we anchored outside of town. We didn’t stay long – mainly we just wanted to revisit a couple of favorite restaurants and hit the grocery store to restock the fridge.
Our bigger goal was to see the main island of Eleuthera, which we missed our last go-round in the Bahamas. It did not disappoint. Here’s a photo journey of the highlights.
While we were in the vicinity of the bridge, we also visited an area on the Atlantic side called Queen’s Baths. They were spectacular! A short walk from the road down a sandy path leads to a rocky shoreline, where you can scramble down to some tide pools featuring lots of crashing waves when the tide is high.
The final treasure Eleuthera offered us was a safe harbor in a storm. Okay, not a storm exactly, but remember when the northeastern US was experiencing tornado-like cold winds in late January 2022? That storm brought a day of high winds to the Bahamas that pinned down every boater, from the Abacos through the Exumas. Everyone had to seek shelter, and we found ours in Rock Sound, Eleuthera. Rock Sound is very big, with room for dozens of vessels, and very protected, with a great sand bottom for solid anchoring. We felt very secure while we rode out the storm. And, in the midst of some rain clouds that day, we captured this shot of a boat anchored nearby.