Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pineapple Town

We are anchored in a cove just north of Governors Harbour (map). It's not named on my chart, but it is protected just to the west by a small cay called Levi Island. A shallow bar between the cay and Eleuthera itself provides protection to the north. It's a beautiful spot, and we are once again getting a sporadic WiFi signal.

Vector anchored in our snug cove, with the setting sun highlighting clouds over the Atlantic.

We had a very short cruise yesterday from South Palmetto Point to Governors Harbour, just about an hour. We had read that holding in the harbor was terrible, with just a few inches of sand over hard rock, but we thought we'd give it a try, to see if we could anchor closer to town. But after four attempts to set the hook in four different spots, none holding against even mild astern propulsion, we gave up and came here, where we knew there would be deeper sand.

View to the north. Levi Island on the left, and the lighter color is the bar.

That meant a mile and a half tender ride to town, where we arrived just after low spring tide. We tried to make it to the beach, which is really the closest access to the shops and restaurants and the usual place for cruisers to land in this settlement with no dinghy dock. The reason there is no sand in the harbor is because it all pushes up to the beach area; depths go from 10' to 4' in a heartbeat, and then it's a gradual slope all the way in. At dead low, we grounded while still a hundred yards from shore.

I wore a bit more paint off the prop extricating ourselves, and we went over to the enormous concrete government dock to see if we could tuck in someplace without interfering with the ferry or mailboat. At low tide the dock was over our heads, with no ladders, but we found a spot on the side, close to shore and a set of slippery, deteriorating, and sloped concrete steps. We had to line in the last five feet, as the prop was millimeters from the rocky bottom, but we knew it was just going to get deeper from there.

A tight squeeze and tricky dismount.

A few minutes of acrobatics and we were off the boat and had it tied alongside, just inches from a center console that took up most of the dock. I nearly went in the drink while getting squared away, slipping on the aforementioned steps, but I had a firm grip on a dock line and managed to stay dry.

Cupid Cay as seen from our deck. The rest of the harbor is hidden behind the hill to the left.

The government dock is actually on Cupid Cay, connected to town by a narrow spit of land. We had about a half mile walk to town, and, once there, made a big loop to check out the two grocery stores and find a restaurant. We were very happy to end up at the Buccaneer Club, where we had an excellent Bahamian meal on the pleasant deck.

The Buccaneer Club.

This rooster came by while I was having chicken for dinner. The settlement is full of them, along with feral cats.

Just before dessert came we agreed to move inside to make room for a party of 35. These turned out to be high school students (maybe the entire school) from, of all places, Rock Sound, who were there with three adult chaperones to celebrate we know not what. The proprietress was apologetic that we'd be subjected to a noisy group of teenagers, however we found them to be anything but. All were well dressed, well behaved, and clearly happy to be there, and we mused they were not at all like a group of American high school students on the same sort of outing.

High school group from Rock Sound.

We ended our shore leave with a stop at one of the stores to pick up some fresh fruit. The tender had come up nearly a foot while we were on the island, and we had a bit of an easier time departing than arriving.

The pineapple theme pervades Governors Harbour, such as in this picket fence, or the La Pina deli we passed along the way.

There is enough in Governors Harbour to hold our attention for a few days, including the remains of the island's famous pineapple plantations, and the abandoned ruins of the Club Med on the Atlantic side, destroyed by Hurricane Floyd, but still sporting one of the nicest pink sand beaches in all the Bahamas. But getting ashore here is so difficult that it's not really worthwhile. Instead this morning we will continue north along the west coast of the island.

1 comment:

  1. We ran into many organized groups of teenagers in our RVing winters in Mexico. They were always friendly, cheerful encounters with them practicing their English and us our Spanish. It is hard to imagine a similar encounter in either the US or Canada.


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