Legacy Sailing
Photo Gallery 74
Beyond the Exumas - Cat Island, Little San Salvador and Eleuthera
We departed Cambridge Cay in the Exumas and headed nearly due east to Cat Island. We anchored off the settlement of New Bight, renowned for the Hermitage, a mini-monastery retirement home built by Father Jerome.

We stayed at New Bight for two nights to give us time to tour the Hermitage and to visit with the grrlz special friends, Ed and Karen from Passages. We also took advantage of the lcal bakers and bought a coconut pie and fresh baked loaves of cinnamon and white bread.

Although the winds and seas were generally out of the northeast, our sailing along the west side of the islands was well protected from the worst effects. We sailed from New Bight to West Bay on the island of Little San Salvador.

Little San Salvador is privately owned by Holland America and they have turned West Bay, the only anchorage on the island, into a playground for cruise ship passengers. Three are water toys galore, horseback riding, thousands of lounge chairs, diving trips, bars, and food. We were fortunate that the night we arrived there had not been a cruise ship in, so it was sleepy and deserted. By the next morning ferries bringing more workers started arriving and they bustled like ants getting ready for the arrival of a ship.

We departed just as a ship was arriving and sailed north to Cape Eleuthera Marina where we hung out for a couple of days while a front passed through the area.

From Cape Eleuthera we motorsailed (at least when we weren't running out of fuel -- see the blog for details) to Governor's Harbor. Governor's Harbor is actually a pretty nice harbor and a lovely town. There is one problem however...the seabed in the anchorage is very hard and it is particularly difficult to get the anchor set. Governor's Harbor was the original capitol of the Bahamas and we enjoyed the attractive older buildings and homes.

From Governor's Harbor we sailed to Current Cut, one of the few places you can get from the shallow waters to the west of Eleuthera to the deeper waters of new Providence Channel. We slipped through the shallow and narrow cut and anchored just to the north in the Lee of Current Settlement.

We motorsailed from Current Cut to Nassau, again towing our fishing lures without success. We spent several days in Nassau waiting for the right weather conditions for our dash to Marathon which we broke up with a little shopping and sightseeing.
Cat Island - New Bight -- A Peak Experience!
The approach to New Bight is across several miles of shallow waters that get shallower as one approaches the community...just go in as far as you want and anchor. It's all lovely sand.
The highlight of any visit to New Bight is a visit to The Hermitage, Father Jerome's retirement home. It is on the highest point in the Bahamas, a bit over 200 feet. The Hermitage can been seen from far offshore and from most places in the community.
As we approached the base of the hill we encountered Father Jerome's original gate with a nice view of the summit.
The original route to the Hermitage climbs steps cut into the steep rocks leading to the summit. The ascent follows the stations of cross to the top.
Heather climbing the steep steps up the rocky ascent to the Hermitage.
Heather poses next to the chapel and bell tower of the Hermitage to give it scale. All of the structures are scaled for one person, so although the proportions make them look larger, the actual buildings are quite small.
Legacy in the anchorage at New Bight, Cat Island framed in the arch at the Hermitage.
A view of the fine workmanship and proportions of the Hermitage.
After the hot walk to the Hermitage, Kira and Minnow just wanted to lie in the shade of the arch.
Kira and Minnow pose with their good buddies Ed and Karen from Passages. Ed and Karen always carried dog biscuits in their pockets and spoiled the grrlz terribly.
The Hermitage seen from the easier path around the back side of the hill.
As we were walking long one of the roads near New Bight we encountered this traffic control device painted on the roadway...I wonder just how effective it really is?
On our walk to the last of Father Jerome's churches we passed a ruined Anglican church that had just recently been cleared of vegetation and debris and looked to be under renovation. We particularly liked the grace of this arched window.
Although the floor space of the ruined church was quite limited, the baptismal font took up a goodly part.
This church located a little north of New Bight was the last designed and built by Father Jerome.
We were charmed by the fish shaped water spouts flanking the entry into the church.
Father Jerome's churches are renowned for their stout masonry walls which are able to withstand the hurricanes which strike the Bahamas.
This portion of roadway along the New Bight waterfront was nicely shaded and cooled by gentle breezes. It was the most attractive roadway we've seen in the Bahamas.
Down the Rabbithole - Little San Salvador
West Bay on Little San Salvador (or as it is known to cruise ship passengers, Half Moon Bay) is a lovely anchorage in the right weather. Holland America bought the island and uses it for a day stop for cruise ships. The most prominent feature of the beach is this phoney looking "pirate ship" snack bar.
The lovely beach stretches for over a mile and is lined with stacks of beach lounges. Behind the treeline the roofs of stables and a large food service facility are visible.
Much of the beach is lined with swim area floats to keep the jetskis away from the people. Behind the beach is an artificial harbor with room for some pretty large ferries, workboats, and tour boats to haul the cruise ship passengers about.
In the morning as we were preparing to depart this Carnival ship appeared and made for the anchorage to disgorge its many passengers for a day of beach activities.
Governor's Harbor, Eleuthera
After leaving Little San Salvador we were soon in the lee of Eleuthera. Only about 10 miles from the Holland America island we encountered this cruise ship anchored offshore and saw beaches packed with passengers and lots of water toys in use.
Chris keeping a watch as we motor north past another sailboat in the lee of Eleuthera approaching Cape Eleuthera Marina.
Along the waterfront in Governor's Harbor the prominent pink building is the main Government Office. It's park like setting includes statuary, a small bandstand, and a free potable water tap in a tiled niche on the lawn.
This long narrow graveyard behind the waterfront seemed to go back to the founding of the settlement.
Associated with the graveyard was this handsome Anglican church. We pulled into the harbor on Sunday afternoon at about 2pm and they were still going strong at about 6pm!
This fleet of small boats arrayed on the sand in front of town (including Optis, sunfish, and assorted other boats) were labeled as belonging to the Governor's Harbor Sailing Club.
Chris and the grrlz waiting outside the handsome town library. Inside the rooms were high ceilinged and airy.
Also along the waterfront is the baseball field which is graced by this lovely flower garden and sign.
The side of the baseball field that faces the water is lined with trees onto which have been attached colorful benches for spectators.
Up the hill from downtown many of the historical homes of the early gentry and elite of the Bahamas have been nicely preserved. (We noted that one of them was available for $13,000 per week.)
The grounds of many of the old estates were decorated with attractive gardens and bushes.
At the top of the hill we enjoyed the view of the Atlantic and of this sign...talk about world cuisine...Bahamian Chinese. Do you suppose this means they offer General Tso's conch?
In addition to the grander estates on the hillside, there were also more modest homes from the same era.
I guess if you are going to have a classic house in the Bahamas you ought to also have a classic car like this Morris Mini.
Coming down the steep lane from the top of the hill we caught this nice view of Legacy at anchor in Governor's Harbor.  
Nassau Again!
Returning to the Nassau harbor we were greeted by this wall of cruise ships at the terminal in front of downtown.
In the government area of downtown Nassau we found this attractive statue of Queen Victoria in front of a building bearing the crest of the Bahamas.
Also in downtown Nassau we visited this attractive Anglican church. We were particularly impressed by the artful trusses spanning the nave.
This small garden alongside the Anglican Church was visible through the fence seperating it from the street.
This large sign, prominently displayed on a government building in downtown Nassau speaks well about Bahamian's willingness to speak clearly.  
Updated 3/21/2011