On Wednesday 12th December, we squeezed out of Hatchet Bay and headed towards Rock Sound at the south of Eleuthera. We estimated a sail of around six hours – and it would have been if the wind hadn’t veered round towards the south. We didn’t fancy a few hours of motoring, especially not directly into the wind again. So, we changed course and headed to Governors Harbour instead.
The pilot books and Active Captain say that the holding here isn’t good. And there seems to be no consensus on where is best to drop the anchor. We were hoping that at least one other boat would be here to give us a clue, but the bay was deserted. So, with no other hints available, we selected a spot close to the dinghy dock and dropped the anchor in four metres of water. After letting out 35 metres of chain, we put Lady Jane’s engine into reverse and increased the revs until we heard the banging and rattling of the anchor trying to bury itself in the hard seabed. Eventually, the rumbling stopped, Lady Jane’s bow swung round and dipped; I increased the revs to simulate a low-category hurricane, and we didn’t move an inch after that.
What are the odds on this?
Safely secured to the seabed, we launched the dinghy and headed off to town. Our first stop was through the doors of the bright green police station. I explained to the police officer behind the counter that I had found the phone on the bike ride on the way back from the Glass Window, somewhere near Gregory Town. She said that her colleague in the back office lives in Gregory Town.
And when she showed him the photograph set as the phone’s screensaver, he said: “I know him. He is Janet’s (or something like that) sister-in-law’s son”. What are the chances of that, eh? I don’t think you would get that in the Met. The policewoman asked our names so that they could tell the phone’s owner who found it, then asked if we were on holiday. When we told her that we were on the only boat in the bay, she said she would keep a ”good eye’ on us and that we will be safe. I didn’t doubt it.
We heard of pink sand around these parts, so we set off up the hill to the Atlantic side of the island. And after a mile, arrived at the French Leave beach, which is indeed a fetching shade of pink. Maria and I walked along the water’s edge to the south side of the beach, where we found a road leading back to town. After walking along it for a few minutes, a car pulled up, and the driver asked if we needed a lift. Absolutely. The driver and passenger, on holiday from Austria, saved us twenty minutes of walking and for that, we were very grateful.
Back in town, we picked up some groceries, and some frozen chicken, at the bargain price of $17 for two kilos (its all relative) at the local supermarket – then headed back to Lady Jane for the last of the sunshine and the start of a magnificent sunset.
Later that evening, we heard Gospel songs wafting across the water from a Christmas concert outside the town hall. The all-female choir sung with the passion of true believers. This was followed by a sermon delivered with more fervour than a man possessed, then a drum and brass band took over until late in the evening.
The next morning we left the solitude of Governors Harbour and headed to Rock Sound towards the south of Eleuthera. The wind was in our favour and we managed to average 7 knots under sail until we reached the harbour entrance.
Rock Sound also didn’t have so many sailboats. We made it three.
Late afternoon we drove the dinghy around the harbour to take a look at the town, then parked it at the Frigate’s Bar dinghy dock. Walking left along the road from Frigate’s, we stumbled across a supermarket and – sadly this is a large part of our entertainment these days – went in to see what they had. And what they had was quite a lot. We came out of there with a couple of carrier bags full of groceries, then stopped at Frigate’s Bar on the way back. We were using their dinghy dock, so thought we had better give them something in return. I wish we hadn’t though. The cost of two cocktails was $22. We could have got two kilos of chicken and a bag of pasta for that.
We left the next day for the Exumas.