New places for all of us!

January 10, 2010

Royal Island, Eleuthera

Obviously this is not January 10, nor are we still in Royal Island – no internet access there.  So we are posting this in Spanish Wells or in Harbour Island, playing catch-up with blogs as we go.

Picture by Julian!

To start, some pictures.  Highlights include the Hub of Abaco, Little Harbour, and Cherokee Sound.  Missing pictures are of family and friends – we were too busy playing with them to take pictures.  So so sorry!  Maybe the Lennarz crew and Chapman crew can send along shots we can post at some point.  I also finally put together some videos – I’ll inset the links when they have uploaded.

Maddie showing off Calypso's plaque at Allan's Pensacola

Maddie made her own marker!

We had a glorious sail south from Cherokee Sound (once we could leave), blazing along at over 6 knots for the entire passage. 

One favorite sign in Hope Town

Captures the Bahamas, perfectly

Family picture to start the new year!

The smaller one we saw gave me claustrophobia

Cherokee Point is well worth a visit!

Kids were having fun but FREEZING!

Sailing smacks - an old way of life

This is the longest dock in the Bahamas! 700 feet long . . .

gorgeous house, in ruins

Most . . . couldn't get it all in!

Merry Christmas from Anik to Jeremy - good memories of the cruise!

I love this slogan!

Royal Island anchorage

Sunsets are glorious here

We saw 7s and 8s on the knot meter (the one on the GPS too . . .), and even 9s a handful of the time.  Not too bad for a 28’ boat sailing under reefed main and jib!  Anchor to anchor we did 60 miles in 9.5 hours.   The only bummer was that we didn’t catch any edible fish (the 2 barracuda do NOT count).  And now we are in territory none of us, crew or boat, has seen before.

I am not sure Royal Island counts as Eleuthera, but I’ll post it as such.  The island is perhaps a microcosm of development in the Bahamas.  Before Andrew (hurricane, 1992) came along, there was at least a thriving (?) club of sorts here, with moorings and some services.  Andrew demolished Eleuthera, not sparing Royal Island.  There are the ruins of a gorgeous house ashore.  There are trailers (like for construction headquarters) and lot markers all over the island, and evidence of some hard work started to create a beach and a golf course.  Right now there is nothing going on.  Other cruisers who have been here annually for the past 5 or more years told us that they have watched development start and stop here, some years not being able to go ashore and other times having almost free access.

We have been holed up here (did a quick day trip to Spanish Wells to get propane and fuel, groceries and boat parts) to escape the fierce north winds – our hope is that by Tuesday we will make our way along the Devil’s Backbone to Harbour Island (we’ll have good pictures to post of THAT trip!) for a quick visit before zipping along Eleuthera’s west coast and on to our beloved Exumas.  Must restock before leaving Eleuthera on all things fresh and anything else we may need, as the Exumas are quite remote (like the first set of islands we explored in the Abacos).

Being in the Abacos and Eleuthera and doing American history, particularly the Revolutionary War, with the kids is interesting given where so many of the European settlers came from here.  This is a hint, Meriwether readers – check it out!

Stay warm.  And would you do us a favor, please, and STOP sending nasty cold fronts our direction?  We have islands to explore!

January 12, 2010

Quick update

Anchored outside Spanish Wells, where we will get last things and hopefully head over to Harbour Island.  Mom and Dad, Jeff and Marion – we are going to Harbour Island!

Met the first set of cruisers since Green Turtle Cay this trip last night as we went over to Grateful Attitudes for a cocktail gathering.  Met Dave and Beth, Dennis and Gail, and Tim and had a grand time.  Dave and Beth, Dennis and Gail are refugees from the cold of Michigan; Tim spends his summers in Annapolis.  Ric and Sharon, if you are reading this – Tim says hello (he did the wiring on Desperado for you!)

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