Splashed to Spanish Wells

After we finished our boat yard marathon and ‘splashed’ it was easy sailing south to our first real adventure out of the Abacos and onto northern Eleuthera.

On our way to Eleuthera we stopped in Little Harbor for a few days.

You may remember Capt. Arno from the previous “Baby Steps” blog post. Would you believe we anchored right behind him near Little Harbor and he was sailing on the catamaran that we schooled on? Hadn’t seen him in about 6 years! Sailing makes a small world even smaller.

Pete’s Pub in Little Harbor has the quintessential island beach bar vibe. Paul’s camera is going screwy yet appropriately captured the dreamy quality of this place.

We finally left Great Abaco and went to a little fishing village called Spanish Wells on the island of St. George’s Cay and enjoyed some touring, the BEST paddle boarding I’ve ever experienced, and more great Bahamian food and hospitality. Here they’re responsible for providing the entire Bahamas with most of its lobster, the spiny kind. And Spanish colonials once upon a time built wells there that provided an easy source for when they stopped off to refill on their trips back and forth, ergo the name of the settlement.

Some pretty large cargo ships get into the narrow channel of Spanish Wells. We looked for solitude and anchored out.

When we went to visit the museum, we were directed to go and see the school librarian to let her know we wanted a tour. She’d be the one to schedule a time with and give us a tour. And we did just that. We also ate at the well-known local establishment called Buddha’s, after its owner, even though that’s not how he spelled it. He graciously gave us several rides in his golf cart and was kind enough to show us the family home where he was born in 1956. He served up some yummy grouper sandwiches and cold beers as well.

The Spanish Wells Museum provided local history over thousands of years.

The island is very small and most residents get around with golf carts and offer rides freely enough, but we did a fair share of walking as well, exploring coast to coast which was only a short walk.

St. George’s Cay, the island on which Spanish Wells is found, stretches only 2000 feet wide.

We did not pull into Spanish Wells proper and anchored about a mile away from the main town. We were anchored off an uninhabited island where one day the bay there was flat as glass and the water so calm it seemed I may as well have been snorkeling under water since I had such an amazing view from my paddle board. I could see anemone and hundreds of fish that had camouflage the color of the bright mustard coral they were swarmed around so you’d only see them clearly when something like me paddling above, or the tide, made them stir. There was bright purple anemone that would disappear from a full blossomed flower into a small little tube and then there was a mama-baby reef shark duo, to name a few highlights.

Working on getting a waterproof camera, until then, here’s a shot of one of the many sweet houses that lined the streets in Spanish Wells.

I could have paddled for another hour but rain and wind came rolling in and it changed conditions quickly. If it got any worse Paul was about to jump in the dinghy to come get me. But once he saw me pop out from around a corner and push hard tacking into the wind, he knew I’d make it in time. This sweet little cove was perfect for swimming even though you’d be surrounded by these tiny tubular little jellies. They seemed benign enough and we were not stung. In fact, we only could spot that they were jellies with a snorkel and mask, they were so small they looked like leaf debris in the water at first glance.

Though our time here was short and hurricane season was upon us, we enjoyed it. This is sunset over the little uninhabited island we were anchored off of, in a cove about a mile from downtown Spanish Wells. I paddled about a mile due south (Paul says the distance was more like 20 blood pressure points in his measurements). Good thing we had this sunset to calm him down.

Unfortunately, as I am about to publish this post, The Abacos are being pounded by Hurricane Dorian. There are few words, but I’ll try since you won’t hear me choking up with tears as I type. Mother Nature does what she will. This post is dedicated to all those in Dorian’s path-whether they be sailors or land lubbers, and the entire Community that has been working tirelessly to prepare, inform, and chip in to help a neighbor in need. It’s terribly frightening to be at the mercy of such a Force of Nature. It is a time of great worry and stress for all those in this Community and it’s palpable even from afar in our now safe port, hundreds of miles north.


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