April 17 & 18 — Hanging with the Locals

Everywhere we can go on the island of Eleuthera. So far we have been through the Current and to the Glass Window Bridge.

Gregory Town

Greg is a magnet for small boys and cats. Perhaps it is his broad shoulders and six-foot stature combined with a friendly demeanor and soft voice. Or maybe it is because he doesn’t talk down to children (or cats). What ever it is, they connect with him almost immediately.

Wednesday morning we left the Glass Window for Gregory Town. We found a nice pleasant anchorage in a cozy cove bordered by houses. We were able to get pretty close to the shore. It felt like anchoring in someone’s backyard swimming pool.

After a short trip into town to buy supplies we were back aboard Blue Wing. I was below making dinner when I heard Greg talking to someone up top. Two young Bahamian boys on a kayak had anchored their boat with a line tied to a rock along side ours and were hanging on to Blue Wing’s toe rail. Greg chatted with them about school, their kayak rental business and fishing. They looked through Greg’s fish book and indentified the ones they had seen before. Soon another boy showed up in a kayak and the smallest boy from the first kayak stepped on to it like he was stepping off the curve to cross the street. After a bit he stepped back on to the first kayak. They hung around for quite a while, but soon dinner was done, so we politely shooed them away. They paddled back to the beach where they played and fished until sunset.

View of the Bight of Eleuthera from Alice Town.

Hatchet Bay

That night our peaceful little anchorage went bad. Blue Wing rocked back and forth. At first light we dressed and weighed anchor. We raised sail and had a leisurely three hour trip to Hatchet Bay.

Cute planter in front of the cute shop where Greg got his fishing lures.

The anchorage at Hatchet Bay is protected on all sides. You enter it through a narrow channel 80 feet wide between two large cliffs of rock. It was just wonderful. The water was the most calm and settled water we had been in for a while. We motored around in the west part of the bay looking for a suitable place to drop the hook. The bottom was uneven, with sudden deep drop offs. It wasn’t a good place to anchor.

We headed over to the east side of the harbor and decided to catch a mooring ball. Usually they cost money, but here they are free. Tying up to a mooring ball was a first for us. It went smoothly and soon we were settled again.

After a late breakfast/early lunch, we hit the town. The little village, Alice Town, was at times a little run down, but was also dotted with charming buildings and bright Bahamian colors. We stopped into several shops and bought fishing supplies and antifreeze. Greg chatted up the shopkeepers. Each of the major political parties, the PLP and the DNM both have headquarters here in houses painted with each party’s distinctive colors.

A happening place, Dr. Spott Bar & Grill.

On the way back to Blue Wing, the mighty forces of Kalik pulled us into Dr. Spott Bar and Grill, an open air establishment full of locals enjoying the afternoon, many with the help of a half pint bottle and a mixer. As we sat down were given a warm welcome by a gregarious fellow at the end of the bar. Greg struck up a conversation with the gentleman sitting beside him about fishing and Bahamian politics (the man wore a PLP cap). Lively soca music played loudly in the background. One of the half-pinters, an older guy, got up to dance. Our gregarious friend looked at us and said, “No offense, but he does the white man’s dance.” We laughed showing him no offense had been taken as we watched the dancer’s moves and grooves. The dancing guy settled down after a few songs, but was but up and back at it again soon enough. Greg decided he needed to show them what the “white man’s dance” really looked like and joined our dancing friend. This totally endeared to everyone in the bar. Our gregarious friend bought us a round of drinks.

Eventually, for us, the fun had to come to an end and we headed back to Blue Wing.

Later that evening we heard the honking of car horns. From the boat we could see a procession of 25 cars with PLP banners. The election is just a few weeks away. We are planning to possibly be back in Abaco that day or maybe en route. I think I would rather be at Dr. Spott, caught up in the excitement with our new friends, prepared to celebrate their victory with the “white man’s dance.”

Greg mixing it up with the locals.

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