Alabaster Bay offered a nice white beach for walking and an abandoned Navy Facility for exploring.
The facility has an interesting history. Short story is it was opened in 1957, housed 150 officers and enlisted men. It part of the Air Force Missile Test Center’s Atlantic Missile Range, which was used for long-range monitoring of rocket and guided missile launches among other things). The base was closed in 1980. More information and an interactive map can be found here: http://www.projecteleuthera.org/ruins#TOC-NAVFAC-Eleuthera-Eleuthera-AAFB
Hatchet Bay claims to be the safest harbor in the Bahamas. There is a narrow (90’) man made entrance cut into the limestone cliffs into what is then basically a completely protected lake. We happen to enter with a bit of chop but got in just fine (as you can see in the video).
With a cold front and strong North winds predicted for the next several days we could stay in Hatchet or make our way to Spanish Wells for protection. The small town of Alice Town (which is where Hatchet Bay is) did not have much to offer so we headed out the following day for Spanish Wells knowing there would be more there to keep us busy.
Due to the weather we spent several days at a marina in Spanish Wells. Spanish Wells is a town of ~2,000 people and lived up to the high expectations we had heard from other cruisers. By the time we will have left we feel as though we explored the entire island, including a wonderful private tour of the local museum to help us understand the island’s history.
The first day here we spent walking around with golf carts whizzing by us on the narrow streets. The next day we broke out our bikes. We have not had a chance to use them much in the Bahamas and they have been taking a beating from the sun and salt water. I used a half can of WD40 and still had to hammer out the seized/rusty chains and various other bike components. It was worth it as having the bikes gave us the ability to explore all of the streets on Spanish Wells as well as ride out to nearby Russell Island. The bikes also meant we could whiz by the golf carts if we wanted to.
One of the days while still in Spanish Wells we decided to explore Eleuthera by land. We took a ferry over to N Eleuthera and rented a car from one of the locals, who happened to be a police Sergeant. We felt fairly certain that if we got into any trouble we could just drop her name but we also knew we better bring the car back in the same condition as it was lent to us! With the car we drove a good portion of the 90 mile island, seeing a lot of what we felt we missed by boat.
From Spanish Wells we are now waiting for the weather to allow us to cross the ~55 miles north to Abacos.
Not sure where the places are that we are writing about? Do not forget you can easily find out where we are (and where we have been) by clicking on the “Track Us” button at the top of the blog.