Devils Cay and Spanish Wells

Published: January 7th 2010
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We are planning our next leg(s) trying to dodge the persistent high winds that seem to be plaguing the area this past week or so. There appears to be a window on Thursday, followed by a cold front with more high winds. We will be able to leave here, but the next few anchorages are less than ideal for frontal passages or high winds. Hatchet Bay seems likely as a spot to wait bad weather out. Most of the rest seem suspect. Odd names such as Poison Channel are around, and on the ocean side there is of course the Devil's Backbone. A large Barrier Reef with a passage that one needs to negotiate in sunlight in relatively calm weather WITH a guide. It would be foolish to attempt this passage any other way.
We thoroughly enjoyed our anchorage at Devil's Cay. There are lots of little cays and beaches to explore, a multitude of colours in the water. New Years Eve featured a lovely party on a beach with other boaters. We were treated to food from each boat, a bonfire and of course good company. Chester from Flo's conch bar joined us. He lives on another cay, and maintains that little beach with a table a garbage can and fire pit for the cruisers. The out islanders get very little support from the main government, it is nice to support them in some small way, by patronizing them whenever possible.
Spanish Wells is a very orderly place, with colourful houses, trees, flowers and very narrow streets. The main mode of transportation seems to be the golf cart. The cemetery is loaded with flowers on neatly tended graves. Orange, lemon, papaya, banana and of course the coconut abounds. Coconuts come in the American and Bahamian variety.
The marina here was largely wiped out by a hurricane a number of years ago, the foundations of the previous building are present. The bar, the restaurant, motel and swimming pool were all demolished, as were the numerous showers. As a result the island is dry. One can take a short ferry ride to a parking lot on Eleuthera that has a shipping container set up as a liquor store.
As late as 1982 Spanish Wells did not allow black people to stay overnight on the Cay! The community here remains mostly white, an oddity in the Bahamas, at least the places we have been.
More soon. Happy 2010, how odd it seems to writing that date.


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