Glass Window Bridge, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day One: Arrival in North Eleuthera. Board near the Glass Window Bridge. This is an area of virtually lunar landscapes from lava flows. Nearby are the Queens Baths, little holes that the eastern tides fill with swirling water. The best aspect of the Queens Baths is if sea urchin roe is liked, this is a place to send the crew harvesting, as there are hundreds of sea urchins in the Queens Baths.
Serene colonial villages and rolling acres of pineapple plantations make Eleuthera an island of the most casual sophistication. The cool laziness of Eleutheran life and dusty-yet-drenched colors of the island give it a dream-like quality. Much of the island’s architecture and way of life were influenced by Loyalist settlers that first arrived from Bermuda on the northern end of Eleuthera in the late 1600’s.
To really see the beauty of the Bahamian waters, head ashore at the Glass Window Bridge where one can see the dark blue of the Atlantic Ocean easily on the eastern side of Eleuthera Island, and the beautiful green blue waters of the Bight of Eleuthera on the western side, separated by a strip of rock just 30 feet wide.
Cruise, after boarding, to a lovely anchorage near Gregory Town for swimming and relaxing. Late afternoon, take the ship’s tender to Gregory Town for a visit. Gregory Town, known as “Pineapple City,” due to the annual pineapple festival, was named after Governor John Gregory, who was Governor of the Bahamas in the 1950’s. Gregory Town is home to a little more than 400 people, residing in small houses on a hillside that slides down to the sea. There is a good shop called Island Made Gift Shop of all things Bahamian from jams and jewelry to clothing, and basketry. Have dinner on board, overnight on anchor.
Governor’s Harbour, Bahamas
Day Two: Sail in the morning towards Casuarina Bay, stopping in at Hatchet Bay to anchor for lunch and swimming in these beautiful calm very protected waters. So called because of the hatchet shape of the bay, this was once home to a large agricultural farm that supplied much of the Bahamas with food. Today all that is left are two big silos. Built in the 1930’s, these silos (stone cylindrical structures) have withstood many hurricanes. They are what remain of an agricultural history where the Hatchet Bay Plantation provided poultry products for the entire Bahamas. The silos were owned by the Plantation and used for storing food for the animals until the early 1980’s. Today, they just simply stand out against the skyline like quiet giants or are used as an excellent demarcation for captains when steering their boats into the Hatchet Bay harbor.
Enjoy swimming and relaxing in the very calm waters of Hatchet Bay and have lunch on board. After lunch head into Governors Harbour to explore this little village before moving on for the evening to Casuarina Bay.
Governor’s Harbour, the capital of Eleuthera and home to government offices, is the largest town on Eleuthera and considered one of the prettiest. Victorian-era houses line Buccaneer Hill, which overlooks the harbor, and is bordered on the south by a narrow peninsula and by Cupid’s Cay at the tip. The town is a step into a gentler, more genteel time where everyone says hello, and entertainment means wading into the harbor to cast a line. Cruise to Casuarina Bay to overnight on anchor.
Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day Three: in the morning after breakfast perhaps take a trip ashore to the Leon Levy Plant Preserve, a 30-acre botanical garden, managed by The Bahamas National Trust which is the first and only national park on the island of Eleuthera. The Preserve is the fulfilment of the vision of longtime residents Leon Levy and Shelby White, who loved the natural environment and way of life on Eleuthera. Shelby White founded The Preserve in 2003. At the 30-acre garden, Bahamians visitors can walk a myriad of different trails through native habitat, view beautiful endemic plants, and learn about the food, medicinal, and hardwood plants that have played an important role in the history of The Bahamas.
Return to the yacht for lunch and after cruise to Ten Bay Beach to anchor for the night and enjoy swimming and relaxing. This beach is considered one of the best beaches in the Bahamas with sparkling turquoise water and a wide expanse of soft, white sand. Overnight on anchor.
Ten Bay Beach, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day Four: After Breakfast, enjoy an exhilarating sail from Ten Bay Beach to Cape Eleuthera on the southern end of Eleuthera Island stopping in at the Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina for a walk around.
Have lunch on board, before continuing to a lovely well-protected area at the foot of Eleuthera Island tucked into an outer Cay line, which protects a little bay on which sits the tiny area of Freetown with 100 villagers. Tucked inside the little bay is Gully Hole, an almost perfectly round blue hole, a coastal blue hole with beautiful clear water and stone walls on three sides.
The word ‘free’ once held a particularly special place in the hearts of black people across the Bahama Islands, during the nearly two hundred years of slavery under British rule. From the first slaves brought over with William Sayle and the Eleutheran Adventurers in 1648 that first took cover in Preacher’s Cave in northern Eleuthera, to the abolition of slavery in 1834, the word ‘free’ became synonyms with hope and dignity. Thus, was established Freetown, amongst several other Freetown’s in the Bahamas. As this Freetown has only 100 villagers, this is considered an area, as opposed to a settlement or village.
There are many lovely locations within this protected bay and perhaps a quick visit ashore before dinner might be in order. Overnight on anchor.
Lighthouse Beach, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day Five: Sail along the foot of Eleuthera to Bannerman Town, located on the southern end of Eleuthera, which was named after Governor Alexander Bannerman, a Scotsman who was Governor of The Bahamas during the 1850’s. This settlement, though quiet and undeveloped, is rich in history. Residents live among the ruins of the once extensive Miller Plantation.
This end of Eleuthera Island is also home to the only lighthouse in Eleuthera, atop one of the most beautiful and virtually undiscovered pink sand beaches in The Bahamas called Lighthouse Beach. The lighthouse here is more of a shack with crumbling walls and exposed wiring but the snorkeling at Lighthouse Beach is excellent. This beach is very difficult to get to by land, so there will be long deserted stretches. Overnight on anchor.
Cruise to Bannerman Town, explore ashore, and then sail to beautiful Lighthouse Beach to overnight on anchor.
Bahamas Sea Turtle Swimming
Day Six: Cruise back to Plum Creek Beach stopping along the way to explore the little villages of Wemyss Bight, named after Lord Gordon Wemyss, a 17th-century Scottish slave owner, and Waterford.
At Plum Creek Beach, where there is a creek, the water is both shallow and sandy for quite a distance offshore, making it an ideal place to splash and play in the water and look for shells. Overnight on anchor.
Cathedral Cave, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day Seven: Sail around the tip of Cape Eleuthera to the area known as Deep Hole to anchor in any one of the beautiful, protected beach locations. Shoreside is an old graveyard from a cholera epidemic in the 1760’s.
This is an excellent location for a beach setup for a barbecue lunch.
In the afternoon sail to Rock Sound and stop for a peek at Cathedral Cave. A Guide can be arranged for this cave where rays of sunlight filtering through the roof and illuminating the cave interior create a magical atmosphere. This is a large cave with many areas, and there are wooden steps with handrails down to the underground cavern, making it easy for anyone.
Boiling Hole is right in front of Cathedral Cave, a blue hole that is part of the cave system.
In the evening pop into Rock Sound village, the location for disembarking the next day.
One of Eleuthera’s largest settlements, the village of Rock Sound consists of Front Street, the main thoroughfare, which runs along the seashore, where fishing boats are tied up. Walk down the street to see the pretty, whitewashed St. Luke’s Anglican Church, a lovely contrast to the deep-blue and green houses nearby, with colorful gardens full of poinsettia, hibiscus, and marigolds.
Overnight around Whiteland Beach on anchor.
Rock Sound Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day Eight: Disembark in Rock Sound, and either take a small flight to Nassau or a luxury van to the Northern Eleuthera Airport for a jet flight home.