Actually, it’s Tuesday afternoon and we have been out for the day, however, that’s another story. We have been without Internet for a few days but I when I wrote this pot I would say ”It’s Sunday afternoon and Easter here on Eluthra.” Then It would have been safe to say “Well, I guess that means that it’s Easter everywhere but this is where we are too.”
Ok, now that I have cleared all that up and you are clear on when I wrote this…
Actually, we are in a harbor, such as it is, called Rock Sound. While Rock Sound is large, several miles across, it’s fairly well protected from every direction except from the south and the distance across at that point is about 5 miles. Yes, the chop can build up with a strong wind but it’s not nearly as bad as if there was no protection.
I can say this with confidence as we are nearing the end of a of a frontal passage as I write this. The wind clocked from the southeast beginning yesterday, through the south and all the way around to the northwest, where it is now, a wind shift of 180 degrees in less than 24 hours. We knew that this front was coming and had decided to visit here knowing that the protection would be fairly good.
We left Fernandez Bay for the 70+ mile run to Rock Sound on the island of Eleuthra, before daybreak, very early on Friday morning, at 04:30 actually. Under the light of a nearly full moon, we pulled anchor and left the harbor. We had decided to make such a long run as the winds were favorable for sailing nearly the whole way. To motor for 10-12 hours in unfavorable conditions would have been a drag and would have used a good amount of fuel. Actually, to do it under power would have taken a lot longer, certainly longer than it took under sail. Happily, the run was uneventful, with a good breeze behind us, and we made good time, arriving here in Rock Sound about twelve hours later.
Much of the run was in the ocean and with wind running in the teens to twenty knots, the swells got pretty large and for part of the time, the wind driven waves that were following us from behind combined with some large ocean swells coming down from the North Atlantic. This made for some confused seas and Brenda wasn’t too comfortable. However, compared to past runs, Brenda did quite well. It’s interesting that she seems to be much less sensitive to motion than she was even a few years ago.
Shortly after we left Fernandez Bay we were treated to a beautiful sunrise off to the east.As we are getting into spring here in the Bahamas, many flowers are coming into bloom. There are very few flowers to pick here in the islands during the winter but as spring approaches, there are many wild flowers. This bush had a particularly dramatic display. Forgive the clash of colors with my shirt. I clearly wasn’t thinking of this photo op when I chose this shirt to wear yesterday.We didn’t see many seabirds last winter but there seem to be more this year. Perhaps it’s the particular islands that we are visiting. I tossed some moldy bread overboard and it attracted quite a lot of attention from the local avians.The sunset, with the weather associated with the front passing, made for a dramatic sunset in the western sky. “Bob, this one looks just the same as the last ten you posted”. Yes, yes, I know, lots of sunset photos in my blog but I like sunset photos. Besides, as you know, it’s my blog. So there!We also saw the most amazing clouds off to the east that were reflecting the sunset. I have not seen clouds like this before. The soft “pillows” in the sky were very dramatic.Early this morning we were treated to a fantastic thunderstorm. Fortunately, there were wasn’t much lightening as that can be a threat to electronics on a boat. We know of several boats that have been hit by lightning. The crew was fine but every piece of electronic equipment was toast. One couple we met this winter lost every electronic component on their boat and it took him two months of work to replace everything, and it’s still not quite right. That would not be the way I’d want to spend time aboard in the Bahamas.
Today we decided to visit a Methodist church here on the island. The wind was piping up pretty well so getting ashore in our Sunday best, a relative term compared with the finery worn by the rest of the congregation, was a bit challenging. We were rewarded by a wonderful experience at the Rock Sound Methodist Church. Rev. Gilbert Witcher and Brother Elton Symonette went out of their way, as did many in the congregation, to make us feel at home. We were introduced to the congregation and they even gave us a “prize” for being the very first visitors to arrive for worship, (we were actually afraid to be late) of a bottle of sparkling cider. We were thrilled.
Unlike Methodist churches in the states, where services are kept to one hour give or take, here in the Bahamas the starting time is a bit looser and they cram an amazing amount into a two hour service. It wasn’t over till it was over.
And there was plenty going on. There was a trumpeter. A wonderful dance number, lots of music and a lot of AMENs. Let’s say that the Bahamamian Methodists are a lot noisier than the more conservative suburban types we are used to. I liked it a lot. And, there was a booming sound system and even a projector that showed the words of the hymns on the wall above the cross for all to follow. Sorry, but no bouncing ball to show you when to sing.
Here we are with Brother Elton after the service. What an enthusiastic preacher he was. AMEN!!! No, not a great big smile from him here. I guess he used it all up a moment before. So much for “ok, one picture is fine”. And other parishioners mugging for the camera in their Easter finest.A very pretty if simple church. And perfectly well kept as are all churches here in the Bahamas.
After church we headed back aboard Pandora to prepare a picnic lunch and off to a local park, near a blue hole, a 600’ deep ocean hole right in the middle of town. What a beautiful spot, complete with tropical fish, for a picnic with Maureen and Bill of Kalunamoo. We had a great Easter feast complete with some mahi-mahi that Bill caught off of his boat. We were visited buy a very pretty bird that was hunting for lizards in the tree above us. He was really quite close, only a few feet away. Some of the locals were swimming in the ocean hole. It was a very popular spot for families to have an Easter outing. This spot is much like other swimming holes around the world except that it’s 600’ deep with near vertical walls from the edge to the bottom. Don’t fall in as it’s hard to get out if you aren’t near one of the ladders.All and all, a very relaxing Easter for me and Brenda. We miss family but it was nice to be here too. And, to look out of the church window and see palm trees… Quite a treat.
Since it’s Easter perhaps I’ll close with yet another church, one that we can see from Pandora’s cockpit as it’s located right on the beach, not 50′ from the water at high tide. Quite a beautiful building. Quite a beautiful day as well. Happy Easter and a fine “Eleuthrian” one at that.