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Published: January 13th 2010
at anchor in lovely water
We left the country club ambiance of Spanish Wells on Jan., 7 heading for Hatchet Bay. The Bay is Hatchet Bay, the anchorage is Hatchet Bay Pond and the town is Alice Town. This is one of the few all round protected anchorages on Eleuthera. We are able to see the remnants of the marina that once existed here, foundation walls old electrical plug ins on posts and that sort of thing. The large cement pier still operates as this is a landing spot for freighters, mail boats, ferries and larger local delivery vessels. There is often a party atmosphere on the pier when large vessels arrive.
Unlike many or perhaps most of the Bahamian Islands Eleuthera is hilly, this is partly what affords this anchorage protection from wind in any direction. The entrance is a narrow man made cut through the low cliffs, offering very little wave action once you are through. It is quite remarkable to watch the larger vessels make the sharp turn towards the pier once they have run the entrance. There is lots of water in here as long as you avoid the shoal Olive Island ( easy to do), and with the demise of
hatchet Bay Pond
view of entrance in evening
the marina the government has provided moorings, free of charge to visiting boaters.
There are caves to explore nearby, snorkeling spots are plentiful and a walk across with take you to the ocean side beach. Eleuthera is a spot surfers love to frequent. The harbour has no beaches being lined with rock ledges, but an even shorter walk will take you to several sandy beaches on the bank side of things for turquoise water activity.
The colourful homes and businesses of the settlement run along the east side in the hills rather than on the shore. You can find most things here, other items may be found at some other nearby settlements. No car?....no problem stand beside the road and make a motion like dribbling a basketball and nearly everyone will pick you up..police, pastors, elderly ladies, well you get the idea. On friendly fellow even offered to make the trip to Gregory Town on our behalf for something we were looking for! This would be an easy spot to stay for an extended visit, given the it's proximity to airports, ferry availability, protected harbour and friendly helpful residents.
I would be amiss if I did not mention boiling holes. These are spots on the sea floor that look like boiling water when the tide is running. They are very dangerous, if you fell into the water in those spots there would be no getting out, even a small boat caught there would have a difficult time. There is one present not to far from the dingy docks, residents are careful to remind visitors to stay clear. The stern of an old barge partially blocks access to them, so it would be work to put your dingy in harms way. The old barge is rusty with a manual crane and three Casaurina trees growing upon it. It clearly has been left behind by some previous venture.
This is a great stop for cruisers, and one often overlooked because of outdated information in guide books and chart books. If you are in the area check it out.
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