Wednesday 15 Jan, BHS day 16: Continue down the west coast of Eleuthera.
It was a beautifully tranquil night tucked into Cove Bay in the north of Eleuthera Sound. We awake to very still conditions for once. Such a pleasant change. The sun is out and we are surrounded by the brightest turquoise water. After breakfast we just have to have a tootle in the dinghy along the shoreline that is alternative craggy limestone headlands and small bays with white beaches. It’s generally unspoiled by any large resorts but there is a lot of small scale construction starting. At one point we see a shark-like outline in the shallow water. As we steer towards it, it actually is a shark! A 5ft basking shark absolutely still on the sandy bottom. Even as we drift over it, it doesn’t budge an inch! Oh it’s so nice to be in these remote crystal waters full of life again. I really missed this.
After the dinghy trip we lift the anchor and motor just 1 mile south to the rather fancy looking The Cove resort. As we enter their main bay to anchor we are interrogated on VHF: “Cloudy Bay, you making a dinner reservation or just sightseeing?” Our reply of “coffee and maybe lunch” seems to be approved and they tell us clearly where to anchor.
After diving to check the anchor then just about ready to go ashore, we hear shouting next to us: “Cloudy Bay!” Two locals from the resort in a dinghy are telling us a seaplane is arriving and we need to move forward so it can safely taxi to the beach. So we have to re-anchor again.
Just as we are doing that (me on the helm, Oana on the bow) one of the two guys walks right passed me up to Oana! He just jumped on board without even asking! I shout to him we don’t need help, thank you. And Oana told him the same. But he doesn’t go, he just ambles back to the cockpit and tries to start chatting to me like it’s all perfectly normal to come aboard without permission. He is asking all sorts of annoying questions: How fast does it go? What size is your engine? And even: you got a spare one of those British flags I can have? That was it, with that I told him in no uncertain terms to get off the boat, which he did. What a cheek these people have! Oana’s blood was boiling, she doesn’t have much patience with such type of people.
We re-dropped the anchor exactly where they told us and once backed up we end up in exactly the same spot, but they tell us we are OK this time 🙂
Take 2: Ready to go ashore again when that damned dinghy reappears “Cloudy Bay, you gotta leave, we now have 2 float planes coming and they want you out of here”. So up comes the anchor again. This time we move two bays away. Shame, because their bay was beautiful, right in front of their pristine beach backed by green lawns and gardens. It would have made a very nice photo!
We dinghy ashore to their dock that I saw on google earth, only to find it’s in the middle of reconstruction … or in the middle of deconstruction! It is only piles and a frame with no boarding to walk on. After clambering up in her new dress, Oana says: “They are clearly telling us they don’t want visiting yachts”.
But once in the resort (finally!) it’s very picturesque. Green lawns over the rocky headlands and surrounding their cottage rooms which are all white. Even the roof tiles are painted white. We wander around as usual unchecked, clicking our photos. Not many guests it seems. Only a few on the beach and two people around the infinity pool. It seems to be a low part of the season everywhere. We have 2 very nice (but expensive) café latte as we sit on the pool chairs relaxing. Oh this is the life! We observe our surroundings and after a while we declare that if we still had high pressure jobs, as we used to, such a place would be nice for a week’s holiday. But these days such a quiet place would not be for us, no matter how pretty it was.
Back on the boat we decide to push on, continuing down the coast, which we do, staying just 100m offshore enabling us to get a good view of the shoreline. The coral limestone cliffs are now continuous with several houses perched on top of them, some with steps cut into the cliff face down to the water. It reminds us somehow of the south coast of Majorca (Spanish Balearic islands) excepting the properties are nowhere near as lavish.
As we pass Hatchet Bay Harbour we decide to have a peek inside. It’s renowned to be the safest place to anchor in all Eleuthera. It has a very narrow entrance directly through the cliffs, no more than 50ft wide! I’m a bit twitchy going somewhere where it’s impossible to turn the boat around. But once inside the water opens up into a huge sheltered harbour, and with surprisingly deep water. Several yachts are anchored inside. But the water looks green and the bottom likely muddy, and as we don’t need such shelter tonight we depart back out the narrow gap into Eleuthra Sound and continue south.
Just north of Governors Harbour is a small resort that caught my eye on google: Cocodimama. It’s in Alabaster Bay, which has a long beach backed by those tall evergreen trees with fine pine leaves that you so often see in these climates. Anyone know their name?
Cocodimama is a collection of colourful building in Bahamian style, but to our surprise not a soul in sight and not even chairs on the beach. I’d kind of hoped for some sundowners at their terrace bar, as had been mentioned in Active Captain cruising notes. But it looks like the whole place is deserted.
So we settle for sunset on board while having our late lunch (early dinner?). Tonight the sun sets right into the sea. No clouds obstructing it. We watch for the famous “green flash” but yet again we are foiled. It doesn’t happen, we instead get purple dots in our eyes from staring at the sun too hard!
Our evening is blog writing and video editing as the cooling breeze flows gently through the boat. Such a lovely temperature here this time of year. And no bugs …. yet. Long may that last.