May 2, 2013 by Last Star blog
Back through the straw…or the day of narrow cuts!
We spent a night in Hatchet bay to break up a very long day exiting Eleuthera back to Spanish Wells. Just as we were leaving Hatchet bay (a very narrow entrance- 90 feet wide) we turned North and looked back to see this tall ship against the hills. It was beautiful and I am sorry the picture doesn’t do it justice. The sun was just high enough to paint the water silver. It was a six hour trip and the winds were blowing enough to give us almost 8 knots of speed, very lovely! Here is a boat we passed headed south, you can see he is slightly heeled and so were we. No water in the scuppers and good speed–a great sailing day. I know we talked about the Current Cut on our trip down, it is a narrow cut (about 300 feet) between the northern tip of Eleuthra and Current. There is a massive amount of water that flows through the cut from the Exuma Sound in and out of the Atlantic Ocean so people say it is like being sucked through a soda straw. We had over 10 knots going through the cut! About 7 knots of boat speed and an extra 3 of tide…of course, we could go through mid tide and maybe get more. It wasn’t exactly Busch Gardens Alpengeist but it is exciting for those of us on the water!
You can see the narrow cut off the bow and Cooper is having a moment of…”it’s windy” while reading our cruising guide.
He often looks longingly at the land photos in the guide and when we are close to shore he sits on the coping and sniffs the air.
About an hour later we approach Spanish Wells and you can see, here is yet another narrow entrance, about 60 feet across and shallow.
In the basin here, it is very narrow so you have to take a mooring ball. As you can see, we are a weee bit close to the reeds.
Between the heeling, the wind, the cut, the narrow entrances, the shallow water…I would have been a wreck 6 months ago! Just another example of: it’s all relative. These moments used to make me nervous as hell but now I am a woman with nerves of steel.
Spanish Wells is a very industrious fishing village. I think we told you last time how they supply all the spiny lobster to Red Lobsters in the states. The village is very old school original colonists mentality. There is no tourist attraction here, we have never seen anyone on the beach on the Atlantic side. Most people drive golf carts and are not particularly friendly like most of the other Bahamian settlements. Maybe because everyone here is hard at work, am not sure. We did get a ride back from the grocery store yesterday from an elderly man in his golf cart. He has never been to Texas (poor soul) and really, has never left the island. I did say elderly, right? I think that is the general consensus here. There are about three last names on the island.
It is a lovely village! We enjoy walking around and walking on the beach. The beach is easily 2 miles of pure sand and a very shallow basin, you have to walk out about a mile before it reaches above your knee caps. The grocery store is most excellent here, but about a mile and a half walk from where we dock our dingy. We are usually happy for a lift back to the harbor side-only because it’s hot and usually close to happy hour.