We are anchored just outside the entrance to Hope Town Harbor on Elbow Cay. It’s a beautiful town, with pristinely maintained cottages and gardens…. a tropical version of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard.
The weather has turned hot and noticeably humid, so we have opted to stay outside the harbor where we can enjoy a little breeze when there is one. A strong blow is predicted for tomorrow, which has us debating the merits of moving into the harbor or staying out here.
Hope Town was settled by British loyalists near the end of the American Revolution, around 1783. They brought all their farming equipment, slaves, and livestock to establish a similar agricultural lifestyle on the island, but that was not supportable on Elbow Cay. The land was not nearly as arable as what they’d left behind, and there wasn’t even a drop of fresh water on this island. Life had to be unspeakably hard. They survived by fishing and by salvaging the oft-occurring shipwrecks. They rescued the crews from these wrecks, then commandeered the valuable supplies. Over time they built their lovely houses and made paved streets (barely wider than sidwalks) that get shared by pedestrians, cyclists, and golf cart drivers!
I enjoy listening to the speech of the descendants of these British settlers, which has a distinct sound. It has a twang like our American southern accent, yet is is decidedly British…a bit flatter than Australian. I could listen to the nuances of this accent for hours! But I am a long way from being able to imitate it!
Bob and I had drinks on this beautiful terrace as the sun set earlier this week. Then we moved inside to the elegantly appointed dining room of the Hope Town Harbor Lodge for a wonderful dinner. Another opportunity to eat spiny lobster!
As interesting as Hope Town is, we are enjoying the entertainment at our anchorage just as much! The 48′ catamaran Take Two is right next to us, and we are completely entranced watching the five children play all over the boat, swim in the water, bring up creatures from the deep (like lots and lots of cushion stars), take the dinghy into town with Mom as a passenger. They are an exuberant bunch, but also incredibly respectful of each other, well behaved in an out of control sort of fashion, and so curious and bright! I know that Tanya and Jay have their hands full as parents of these active youngsters (ranging in age from 11 down to 2!) over the five years that they have been out cruising, but what an incredible way to raise children. How many people of any age get an experience like this? Since children are so inquisitive, both intellectually and physically, I can only imagine that this is just the preface to a long life of adventures for each of these five children. Their blog is equally compelling to watching the family in action!