Spanish Wells


 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. 

Gorgeous beach and low tide sand bar for walking in Spanish Wells. 

 Papa Scoops ice cream serves 2 different flavors every night and was a 5 min walk from our marina. This was a good thing but also at times a bad thing. 

Kent working on our stern thruster. He ended up having to rebuild the whole thing (long story) but it is up and running again. 

Lunch out at The Sand Bar which is on neighboring Russell Island.  They had this very cool mural that welcomed you and a wonderful water view once inside the restaurant/bar. 

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). 

 We keep seeing this pattern every few days of  high winds and ugly seas then not enough time for it to calm down before the next front rolls through. 

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. 

Typical home seen in Spanish Wells – brightly painted and maintained. 

Flowers flowers everywhere. 

The main street in Spanish Wells. 

Penny never wants to leave here and enjoys her daily beach walk/swim. 

Clear clear waters. 

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. 

Laundry – a success when we do not lose an item in the wind. 

A couple of times we bought some local stone crab from the fishing boat down the dock from. These claws were huge, the size of a human hand sort of huge. Two of them will fill you up at dinner time. 

I had bought a big bag of masa in Florida thinking I’d try making corn tortillas on the boat if we ran out of bread and store bought tortillas. Leslie (Scaliwag) reminded me one day of the masa and so we gave it a try. Turns out homemade tortillas are easy and now we are not sure we can go back to store bought corn tortillas again. 

Another day of finding something to do and another use for the big bag of masa. Leslie is showing off our homemade pupusas. Pupusas are an El Salvadorian item where masa is stuffed with, beans, cheese and meat (we used less traditional leftovers of shredded BBQ pork). They may not have looked as pretty as the ones Kent and I enjoyed years ago in Central America but they were tasty. 

We taught Scaliwag (Parker& Leslie) the board game Catan, they re-taught us dominoes. We are a competitive group but games help pass the time in the evenings in a town that rolls up the streets early. 

Improvised wrapping paper. Kent had to go through opening several reusable grocery bags and dry bags before finding his birthday present. 

The day of Kent’s birthday the sport fishing boat at the dock across from us asked if Parker & Kent wanted to go out deep sea fishing. Of course they did! Snapper dinner, a wahoo that got away and a fantastic day out on the water is what they came back with. It was a great experience. And yes, the 2 fish on the right have some serious bugged out eyes from being caught in deep water and reeled up quickly. 

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. 

Day trip away from Spanish Wells. 

Fantastic lunch with Parker & Leslie at a popular place called Sip Sip. Kent had a huge tuna burger, I had a delicious bean salad, Leslie had stuffed eggplant and Parker went for the lobster quesadilla. It was the best/freshest meal we have had out in the Bahamas. 

Pink colored sands of Harbour Island. 

Rainbow came out to greet us while we stopped at the Pink Sands Hotel. Also, the pink colored sands show up a bit better in this pic. 

Cute fence in town. Pineapples are considered a sign of hospitality. 

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.