I'd usually start with mentioning now many nights we spent at a stop but this stop in Spanish Wells keeps ticking forward. At the moment we are at 16 nights. Ideally 3 nights would have been enough as we stopped here last year and there are so many other places we have also wanted to stop this year. In reality we have another week or so here before weather (wind) break and that means we are running out of time to get to some of the other places we had hoped for this winter. Some days if feels as if we will never get back to Florida. Even the locals agree with us – the wind this winter has been incredible.
The good thing about being stuck in one place –
Spanish Wells is a decent place to be "stuck". It has a few restaurants, an exceptional beach to walk, a US size grocery store that is restocked every week and an ice cream stand a short walk away.
We are bored enough to get a few adult like things done that had been lingering ex. tax documents were sent off to our tax guy and we signed up for new health insurance because our Cobra coverage was set to expire at the end of February.
Boat repairs were completed, more specifically Kent got our stern thruster fixed.
The not so good about being stuck in one place:
The fronts are passing through quickly which bring high winds, cooler temps and even a few rainy days.
Being at a marina for so long is not kind on the budget.
Spanish Wells is small so we explored most of it in the first several days.
The weather is constantly a topic for us, we thought we might have a one day window to head to Grand Harbour (northern tip of the Berry Islands) but we quickly backed out of that plan when the report came back expecting 6-8' waves on the beam – no thank you. There have been a few days where travel south is doable, unfortunately we are now heading north (back to Florida).
So where is Spanish Wells? It is on St George's Cay which is just slightly north and west of the tip of Eleuthera. It is home to ~1500 residents. Due to the small size of the island (2 mi long, 1/2 mi wide) most residents use golf carts to travel around. It is almost a pure white town in a predominately black country. I mention this only because it is very noticeable when you arrive. The island was originally a Puritan settlement and the Pinder family name is very dominant today with streets named after them, they own a grocery store/the gas station etc. It seems as if at least a quarter of the residents go by the Pinder surname. You can also distinguish who the residents are (Pinder or not) as their dialect is quite unique.
Spanish Wells have built a very successful lobster and fishing industry and do not go out of their way to promote tourism so the town retains its smallish town charm. Neighborhoods consist of brightly painted houses with well maintained yards and blooming flowers. It would be difficult to find a piece of trash in the street here it is that clean (which is not something to be said for all of the other Bahamian islands). This island is the most US feeling island we have been to in the Bahamas, for example you can pop into the grocery store and see organic produce as well as a many American frozen meals/convenience foods. The beach side of the island is down right spectacular. One of our favorite things to do is walk out on the sand bar at low tide, it is just beautiful.
Time is taken up with some of the basics – laundry, cooking meals, meeting the locals, game night and talking about the weather with other boaters. Kent never thought we would still be in Spanish Wells for his birthday but we got to celebrate him here.
As mentioned, Spanish Wells is pretty small so we escaped one day over to Harbour Island. This involved a water taxi from Spanish Wells to N Eleuthera, a taxi 15 mi south and then another water taxi to Harbour Island. The island was much more touristy and busier than Spanish Wells but it was something new to go do/see. Harbour Island is known for it's pink sand. There are some gorgeous pictures online of the pink sand and either we did not have the right light to see it or those pictures online are very enhanced.
As we sit in Spanish Wells for at least another week we are trying to make sure to hit the beach every day and just enjoy where we are. Once back in Florida it is almost a guarantee that we will wish we were back in the Bahamas. Stay tuned.