Weeks have passed since my last post….a combination of rough weather and lots of sailing has prevented me from keeping up here. I cannot use my computer when I am seasick, and I’ve been seasick a lot!
But that is not to say that I haven’t had some wonderful times during the past couple of weeks. We have had some great times on shore!
Today we are back in Staniel Cay in order to meet our son Rob and his girlfriend Kandice when they fly here tomorrow afternoon. The weather is finally settled and promises to be springlike for the next few days! …Although at this very moment the dark skies to the southwest are rapidly approaching, and I think we will get quite a violent squall any minute now! During squalls like these we have sometimes seen water spouts….I hope we won’t experience one!
We have lots of plans for things to do with Rob and Kandice, starting with seeing the pigs on Big Major’s Spot and snorkeling in the local grotto, named after the old James Bond movie “Thunderball” where the filming took place. We have not seen Rob and Kandice since early January, so we are really excited for their arrival!
Yesterday we sailed about 50 miles from Rock Sound, Eleuthera, to Pipe Cay in the Exumas. (Perhaps I should mention that just a week earlier I also endured a 70 mile ocean run from Thompson Bay, Long Island, to Rock Sound Eleuthera….go me!) While we were getting under way, Bob heard on the Cruiseheimers net (on sideband radio) that someone caught a big tuna, so he could not resist the temptation to try catching something himself. He put out a line and within an hour or so he had a mahi mahi giving him a good fight. As he got it closer to the boat we could see it was a whopper!
That fish yielded us over 8 lbs of filets! We had our friends Maureen and Bill (from Kalunamoo) over for dinner last night, and we have at least four more meals waiting in the freezer. We will definitely have it for dinner one night while Rob and Kandice are here.
And what a wonderful time we had on Eleuthera! This was our first visit there. Easter weekend was lovely in Rock Sound. We decided to visit the Methodist Church for Easter service, while Bill and Maureen went to the Catholic church….there were numerous other choices as well. As luck would have it, just before the service started Nancy and George from Trumpeter (Nancy taught me to make Bahamian coiled baskets last winter) came and sat next to us. They have attended this church every Easter for several years. The service was very festive, with lots of music, a liturgical dancer and plenty of enthusiasm in the congregation. We estimated that there were over 100 people in the congregation, about 40% white and 60% black. This Methodist Church is one of the oldest churches on the island, and has already celebrated its bicentennial. The sanctuary is deceptively modern, with an elaborate sound system and a power point projector. It was a hoot!
On Easter afternoon we met Bill and Maureen at the local blue hole, right in the center of the town park in Rock Sound, for our Easter dinner picnic. Maureen had baked some of their own frozen mahi mahi for us, along with freshly baked beer bread! This blue hole is quite impressive since it is only a few feet shallower than Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, which is the deepest blue hole in the world. And Rock Sound’s blue hole sits in the middle of a lovely park where we could have our picnic right at the edge of the water, in the shade of a big tree. It was a perfect afternoon!
We also rented a car for two days and toured the rest of Eleuthera with Maureen and Bill. We visited the Glass Window on a mild day and were very impressed with the force of the ocean even in calm conditions. Our photo does not show how much force the calm waters have when they hit the tiny isthmus here. It was dramatic! I can only imagine what that surging bit of the Atlantic must have looked like the day it moved the bridge about 12 feet. Yikes!
We drove north to a spot called Preacher’s Cave, a place where some English settlers found refuge after their ship was wrecked on the Devil’s Backbone (back in the late 1600s) at the northeastern side of Eleuthera near what is now Harbour Island. The cave is impressively big, so it’s easy to understand that it provided a wonderful refuge for those weary and distraught settlers.
Along the way on our 90-mile drive north we also stopped at the Queen’s Baths, another spot where the mighty Atlantic surges against the coast into a cave creating lots of foam and bubbles. Can you see Maureen and me picking our way across the far side of the Queen’s Baths?
Walking along these craggy shores is a lot harder than it looks in this photo. Here’s a close up to give an idea of how rough going it is! The rocks are some kind of very sharp limestone….lots of small (and sometimes large!) craters have formed in these rocks so getting a flat purchase for walking is virtually impossible!
The shopping and restaurant options on Eleuthera were quite a bit more civilized than we’ve experienced in the Exumas! We had a lovely lunch two days in a row. The first day we visited Rainbow Inn and sat on their upper deck overlooking Exuma Sound, and the second day we stopped at Tippi’s and sat in an open air dining room that overlooked the pink sand beach and the Atlantic.
And here is a shot of the pink sand beach at Tippi’s.
Eleuthera was so much more civilized than the Exumas that they even have a ‘camauflaged” cell tower. All through the islands we recognize the distinctive red and white towers of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (Batelco) and anchor nearby these towers whenever we can so that we can have cellular internet, such as now! But Eleuthera has a cell tower camauflaged as palm tree!
So now I am in the final stages of my winter away. I’m not certain now much more work I’ll get done on my various projects. Perhaps my tapestry will not be finished when I leave….sigh… but I do have two pairs of socks finished (one of them being those fun ‘skewed’ socks!), a fair isle sweater knitted up to the armholes waiting for inspiration on how to proceed for the upper body shaping, several small table embroideries from decades back now finished!….and the last project: Boo Knits “Sweet Dreams” shawl that I just started yesterday. Shawl knitting is quite addictive… I often find that I knit the whole thing in one go. I’m into the final lace area already, so I guess I would say this project is hard to put down. I’m using Verdant Gryphon “Mithral” in the colorway “Bathsheba,” which has lovely woodland shades of bronze/evergreen/burgundy that reminds me of fairies! Queen Mab would love this shawl!
We’ll spend the next 10 days with our kids traveling north through the Exumas. We hope to take the kids to Compass Cay to swim with the sharks and see the beautiful beach there, then to Warderick Wells for more swimming and snorkeling in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. Bob has stumbled into a wonderful connection with the manager of Over Yonder Cay, where we may get a private tour ….if it works out I will definitely give details!
By the end of the first weekend in May we must be back in Nassau for the kids and I to meet our flight back to the US. I will stop in Baltimore with Rob and Kandice for a visit at their house and some time with my favorite dog, Bosun! Bob’s crew will arrive the day I fly out with the kids, so he will begin his journey back to the US the slow way.
I am so excited to be headed home for a beautiful spring on the Connecticut River! I hope some of my bulbs will still be blooming, and I hope I have some Danish flag poppies in bloom from the seeds I planted last fall! On my first day home (if I can get one of the cars started!) I will be heading out to my local weaving guild meeting! Lots to look forward to!