Black Point Settlement and the infamous Pig Beach

Who needs sunscreen when you have awesome looking UV rated clothes? Always looking great, Ann.

Black Point Settlement, population 414, is the home of Club Scorpio, serving the best rum drinks on the island.

Celebrating Pride Week, thanks Michael Gillespie for the rainbow umbrella. It provides good shade on the back porch.

Sunset special.

Another serene evening, Anchoring with Tonto’s Reward is so peaceful. Life is good!

Wild pigs – Big Major Cay

The feral pigs are said to have been dropped off on Big Major Cay by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them, but never returned. Another legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore. Others suggest that the pigs were part of a business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas. Given the number of shore excursions to the beach everyday, it appears to be a highly profitable venture for tour operators.

Swimming with the Piggies

Rick and Dale took Maddie on a dinghy ride to see the Pigs. Poor Little Maddie was completely terrified by the pigs, who aggressively tried to climb onto the boat. The plan to swim with the piggies was abruptly abandoned.

Don’t be fooled. These are not domestic pets. On the beach you will find more than 40 pigs, of all shapes and sizes. The pigs eat, swim, produce tootsie rolls, scrounge for more food, swim again, sleep, repeat.

Swim at your own risk. We stayed inside the boat.

Fowl Cay

We enjoyed a very Special dinner with Tonto’s Reward at the stunning Fowl Cay resort.

Rick, Mary, Gail, David, Ann and Dale.

Stunning view from Fowl Cay.

Thunderball Grotto – Staniel Cay

If you are an old school James Bond fan, you might recall the magnificent underwater caves. More amazing than we could have ever imagined, we snorkeled into the spectacular caves at low tide 🐟. Sorry we don’t have any pictures from inside. You have to experience this natural wonder!!

Surrounded by calm waters it was Paddle board time.

Thanks Steve Hunt.

Good night Piggies.

Happy birthday Joe Occhino. June 26

Happy anniversary Jamie and David. June 27

Today we are super sad to say goodbye to Ann and Dale. The concert was much too short.

Next stop: somewhere between here and there. Anchoring out in the Bahamas. Everything is good.

Great Exhuma Island

Scenic Emerald Bay

On Sunday you will rest. Translation – the stores and restaurants are closed. Closed. Closed.

Solution – Rent a car to explore the Island. Drive from Rokers Point to Georgetown – where there are more shops and restaurants – a lovely country drive, but everything is closed. Wait a minute – That parking lot is full. Yep, it’s the local church.

A tiny sign read “open”, but there were no cars.

Augusta Bay was open! Sunday special was a delicious lamb chop.

The church crowd arrived shortly after us, filling up the joint, and scarfing up the daily special. Sorry, Gail, it was delicious.

Conch Salad

The recipe for conch salad is … a secret. Or a mystery. We have experienced some really delicious versions, a few that were more than memorable. Key ingredient – fresh conch.

Conch man

Local beers. Cold and delicious.

Beautiful sunset. Repeat

Farmer’s Cay

While Dale was running the boat, Rick was enjoying the smooth seas.

Farmer’s Cay Yacht Club. Total slips = 4.

4 boats. The marina is full.

Ann and Dale. Time for a dinghy ride.

The conch men told us the island population is 46, maybe it was 55, they weren’t sure.

Remnants of yet another tropical storm.

Sunset. Spectacular.

Hello? hello? Anybody out there? Has anyone seen Maddie?

Dinner at the Farmers Cay Yacht Club was cooked by the dockmasters wife.

Dale and Ann went to bed. Maddie could NOT believe she was not invited.

Sad to say goodbye to Karen and Rick Smith, guests on Tonto’s Reward. So nice spending time with you.

Next Stop: Black Point Settlement, Great Guana Cay.

Cape Eleuthera and Cat Island

Abundant in Cape Eleuthera, Nurse Sharks are slow-moving bottom-dwellers and are, for the most part, harmless to humans. 

In the early 1970s the very tip of the Cape Eleuthera peninsula was a favoured playground of the Kennedys, boasting its own 6,500 ft-long airstrip that could facilitate them flying directly to and from New York. 

Vivid in color, Royal Poinciana trees line the rural roadways.

Ocean Hole

This world-renowned blue hole, an inland ocean/swimming hole, is located on the southern edge of Rock Sound.

A seemingly bottomless natural limestone formation, it is said to have been explored by Jacques Cousteau. 

Rock Sound

Rock sound international airport. That’s it. The whole airport.

Hello Ann and Dale!

Maddie. Sleeping with Dale. When he wasn’t feeling well she never left his side.

New Bight – Cat Island

Were you pondering, “What’s a bight?” Wikipedia says it’s a gentle curve in the coastline, with water more shallow than a sound.

Exhale anchored out with Tonto’s Reward and Rejoice at Cat Island.

Tonto’s Reward

Rejoice anchored at New Bight.

The Hermitage on Mt. Alvernia

Monsignor John Hawes, known to Cat Islanders as Father Jerome, was a skilled architect and sculptor. Using local stone, he built The Hermitage on the peak of Mt. Alvernia in 1939, a small medieval monastery where he could get away from the world.

Technically it should not be a “mount” since it is only 206 feet above sea level; the official sign reads Como Hill, the highest point in the Bahamas.

The way up the hill to the monastery is via a winding trail, terminating with a hand cut stone staircase on a steep rocky incline.

Thanks Gail B for introducing us to The Hermitage! Bucket list item checked. Well worth the walk in the sun, with Tonto’s Reward and Rejoice, all 10 of us survived the historic trek.

Ann and Dale

Capt Rick staying cool in the shade.

Conch Salad time – it’s doesn’t get any fresher. This Local vendor caught and prepared the Local delicacy.

Capt Rick is fishing for dinner. Life is good!

Happy Birthday Ann Hughes (June 22). You are our Star. Wondering, What’s for breakfast? Bahamian Coconut French Toast. 😎

Next Stop – Emerald Bay

Hatchet Bay and Governors Harbour

First, A friendly Hello from a visiting turtle.

Hatchet Bay

We anchored out at Hatchet Bay, a well protected “pond” that was opened up to sea – courtesy of tons of dynamite that blasted open a narrow cut in the limestone cliffs.

Maddie just wanted to know if she could have some of that well chilled arrival beer. Sorry little girl.

Governors Harbour

Eleuthera’s capital is a little village dominated by a Marriott signature resort, strategically situated with a magnificent view.

An enterprising mixologist from The 1648 Restaurant (a clever reference to the birthplace of the Bahamas, dating back to 1648) encouraged our three dinghy’s to dock, followed by a scenic visit to the stunning Marriott property.

According to David, once upon a time there was an up scale Club Med at this spot, enjoyed by Claude and JoAnn more than three decades ago. At some point the Club Med was abandoned. At this point in the story David shrugs his shoulders and says, “It is no surprise the beach is now called the French Leave.”

Note to self – if you let the Mixologist chose your cocktail you should not be surprised when the result is something you would not have ordered on your own. Although electric blue is one of my favorite colors – for house paint.

Another marine life visitor. A Giant Ray

A short dingy ride to shore with Be Glad, Governors Harbour consists of roughly five city blocks, easily walked by all.

The grounds of St Patrick’s Anglican church, dating back 170 years, were well maintained.

Hey Subject to Change, dogs are welcome here!

Thanks to Amanda, we now know Bahama mutts (randomly mixed dog breeds) are lovingly called Potcakes. http://littlehousebytheferry.com

A full moon over our anchorage, the “city lights” were shining bright. Sleep well boaters.

Happy birthday Heather Rutherford (June 15) – thanks for bravely leading the way.

Next Stop: Cape Eleuthera. See you soon Ann and Dale!

Harbour Island – Valentines Marina

Harbour Island in the Bahamas was originally inhabited by Arawak, a tribe of the Lucayan Indians. Shortly after Christopher Columbus discovered this area in the Bahamas’ Out islands the entire tribe of Lucayans was wiped-out by the Spanish Conquistadors. By the middle of the 16th century Harbour Island was desolate, it remained uninhabited for over 100 years.

Presently, it appears there are more chickens on the island than people. Population as of census 2010: 1,762 residents. Number of chickens: growing daily.

The Marina office provided a good introduction to the colorful island, the six foot metalwork is a fitting tribute to the abundance of roosters wandering aimlessly through the streets.

Pink Sands

Today, the island is a wedding destination, known for the long pink sand beaches stretching along its eastern shore. 

Remote Island Life

Cargo for the island arrives by miniature commercial ships.

Resourceful recycling – these repurposed wine bottles now serve as a retaining wall.

Yes, Mike Gillespie, you would have enjoyed the hot dogs on the beach.

Narrow winding streets are the island standard since the main mode of transit is a golf cart.

Tourists hale from far and wide. Can you find your home state plate?

Local pubs are the best!

Stairs to a waterfront pub, where the electrical work is “creative”. This photo is for Dale and Ann. Can’t wait to see you on the 19th!

It’s raining again, but Maddie doesn’t seem to mind too much.

Another glorious sunset.

Next stop: Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera

Lynyard Cay and Spanish Wells.

We anchored out at Lynyard Cay.

In a protected cove, joined by Rejoice and Tonto.

Photo of the Week by Rick G.

This boat should be called Darwinian. The passengers are drinking and swimming in those underwater blue lights. Potential Shark Bait?

Reminiscent of our trip on the Great Loop, we pulled up anchor at the break of dawn, for an early morning departure. With roughly nine hours running ahead of us we were greeted by a spectacular sunrise. This sea day was completely surrounded by water, with no land in sight. The water was gentle, with slow rolling waves, and, we arrived in full light.

Spanish Wells

Starbucks served here.

Sashimi courtesy of Rick C.

He caught A Rainbow Runner!

Spanish Wells is an adorable seaside village.

Now that’s a great boat name, Radar Love.

Bandit

To navigate the Devils Backbone it is local tradition to hire a “pilot” to lead your boat through the windy route, well known for shoaling. It turns out, with modern charts and gps you could safely navigate the route on your own, but we were happy to support the beloved local grand daddy, aptly named Bandit.

Bandit leads the way for Tonto’s Reward, followed closely by Exhale and Rejoice.

Next stop: Valentines Harbor and Marina.

Happy Birthday Cousin Debra McGhan.

Parrot Cay, Marsh Harbour, and Tilloo Cay

Originally named Pirate Cay, after female pirate Anne Bonny from the 1720’s, the island was renamed “Parrot Cay” so it would not frighten away tourists. Hey – Ho! Wait a minute, that’s the story of the island in Turks and Caicos.

But we did see a pirate ship

With three little boats in tow, bounty perhaps??

Marsh Harbour

Marsh Harbour was a good place to get provisions, once the rain let up. A free boat wash. You would be proud, Rodger, we walked to and from the grocery store. Got our steps in!

Dinner at Wally’s with RickC, Deedy and Linda was exceptional. The bread pudding, shared by all, got a 10 from Rick C, not to be taken lightly. We were very thankful for the magic of this small sterno can, since the flies disappear immediately.

The Conch Marina in Marsh Harbour was a good stop, excellent staff and a delightful stay.

Tilloo Cay Anchorage

This “Chain silencer” was invented by Loopers, Reality. Thanks 🙏 so much Rodger and Lorrie.

We enjoy anchoring.

Maddie was exhausted from another day in Paradise

Scout and Inhale explored Tahiti Beach again, finding Thirsty Cuda buzzing with activity.

At Cavern Cay we found a castle, the dock said “Far Side”, we are on the lookout for Gary Larson.

Maddie was happy to visit Cracker Ps, another dog friendly bar.

At anchor with Tonto’s Reward, Exhale hosted a relaxing dinner with the Bernstein’s.

We were sorry to say goodbye to Linda Moynahan, Rick Crossland’s sister.

Happy Birthday Finny!

Next Stop: Lynyard Cay, anchoring out with Rejoice and Tonto’s Reward.