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Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Amy
After exploring the Northern Exumas on our sailboat, we sailed up to the very north end of Eleuthera to a small island called Spanish Wells. My parents flew in to North Eleuthera airport for a visit.
Coming from the south, it was most convenient to pass through Current Cut, a very narrow area between Current Island and Eleuthera Island. We used the Explorer Charts to plan making the pass. As many boats aim for the appropriate tide, we had some VHF chatter and several boats coming in and out of the pass, reporting their success (and depth readings).
The Bluff Settlement
For meeting my parents, we anchored on the eastern side of the bay, off of The Bluff Settlement, a small town. Not many boats stop in here, because the bottom is quite shallow and the shore access is a big fisherman’s wharf. We rented a car from Wendell & Son Car Rental (+1 242 468 6620) and drove to provision at North Eleuthera Shopping Center before picking my parents up at the airport.
Road Trip to Governor’s Harbour
With my parents, we drove down to Governor’s Harbour. This is one of the biggest towns on Eleuthera, and the administrative capital.
Now, driving down there was kind of a mistake: we didn’t have as much time as I planned thanks to long lines at the airport and the drive taking longer than I thought it would. But, we made three fun stops and the drive was beautiful.
Glass Window Bridge
The narrowest part of the island is a must-stop. At Glass Window Bridge, you can easily see the amazing differences between the light blue Bight of Eleuthera and the dark blue Atlantic Ocean. There’s room to part and information boards.
Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve
This was really fun stop, especially for my mom. We arrived about an hour before closing, unfortauntely, but the staff at the park said we could stay a little late, which was really nice of them. There are lots of walking trails, a tower to overlook the island, and the thing my mom was most excited about – birds! Mom is an avid birder so she had a really good time here. I wish we could have stayed longer, but the staff was very knowledgeable and there were a lot of nice brochures no only for this part, but for others on the island and brochures about common species of birds and bugs.
Coco + Cream
After walking around the park in mid afternoon we were hot and sweaty. As frequent readers know, we love a good ice cream stop, so we pulled in to Coco + Cream for a cold treat!
Back on the boat, we took advantage of a more westerly wind and moved to the east side of Meeks Patch.
This is a popular anchorage (and the west side is popular in an east wind!) so we had quite a few other boats with us. There are also regular day trips coming in to enjoy the beach. The west side is home to a beach bar and a family of pigs. There is a fee to visit.
I took my parents snorkeling around some of the small islands just to the south of the anchorage. We did see plenty of cool things like starfish, small coral heads, and conch.
Spanish Wells Anchorage
Our last stop was anchoring just south of the eastern tip of Russel Island, right by the channel to Spanish Wells proper. There were pros and cons to this location: there was quite a bit of traffic coming in and out of the channel, but we were also very close and could easily dinghy into town.
We spent two days in town. The first day we walked to the north side of the island, taking the street with the softball field to cut through, and enjoyed the beach. It is a really beautiful beach, white and fine sand. We also walked to the Food Fair, about mid-way down the island, which is a very well-stocked grocery store.
Our second day we rented a golf cart. This is the best way to get around Spanish Wells and the neighboring Russel Island, which is connected via a small bridge. We drove out to visit the Great White Shirt (a prank on tourist by the locals), had lunch at Sandbar (it was very good) and enjoyed the public park that’s on the Russell Island side of the bridge.
We ate dinner at The Shipyard, which was fine but Sandbar was better!
Transport to/from Spanish Wells
We arranged transportation for my parents to get to the airport from Spanish Wells. Pinder’s Supermarket takes reservations for the ferry + bus service. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets you there.
We got a pretty good tour of Spanish Wells, but there’s a lot to see over on Eleuthera. Next time, I hope we can stop in with Starry Horizons at Governor’s Harbour.
After my parents left, we had a weather window to leave the Bahamas. Spanish Wells is an easy clearance port, so we visited the Customs and Immigration office and departed the next day, sailing north and ending the 2021-2022 cruising season!