#34 Part 2 of 3 May 2011 Other Islands in Exuma Chain-- Staniel Cay, Shroud Cay; Eleuthera Spanish Wells, Harbor Island; Little Harbor, Abaco

It's time to reverse our course and head north where we anchored off Big Majors very near Staniel Cay. We fell in love with that little area and extended our stay even after our buddy boats continued north. The Staniel Cay Yacht Club's reputation preceded it so we passed several hours...several times...to make sure it was as fun as the proverbial 'they' said---and it was.

In the foreground to the left is a sea grape tree.

We used our dinghy to explore many of the little islands and beaches. One of our stops was Sampson Cay Yacht Club where we had lunch and delighted in chatting with the locals.

 The Famous Swimming Pigs off Big Majors and Staniel Cay

We can't elaborate on every single stop, although it probably seems like I have, but Shroud Cay was another place to which we had a difficult time saying goodbye. We took the dink to Norman's Cay to see the downed plane, a relic from the drug-running days. The story goes that it dipped its wing to far in preparation for landing and wound up in the drink instead of the landing strip. We look a lazy cruise down Sanctuary Creek en route to see Camp Driftwood. Again, from the druggie days, this was a look-out point for drug-carrying planes coming into Norman's. The view was breath taking from the top of the hill where Camp Driftwood is perched.

Cruise down
Sanctuary Creek led us to Camp Driftwood

Although the Bahamas is a chain of 700 islands, each exhibits its own distinct personality. It's now time to leave the Exuma chain of islands after spending several days in Spanish Wells, Eleuthera, where we did some long over-due house cleaning, provisioning, laundry, and sightseeing. This island, 110 miles long and 2 miles wide, is known as “The Land of Freedom”. Eleutherians who are a synthesis of various peoples and cultural dialects resulting from a blend of American,European, and Caribbean essence. We took the Fast Ferry to Harbor Island, known for their pink coral sand beaches, for a day to tour the little island.

View from Atop Camp Driftwood
We had a long day crossing from northern Eleuthera to southern tip of Abacos. We moored outside the famed Pete's Pub, Foundry, and Gallery. Pete, whose father was Randolph Johnston, a renown bronze sculpturer, makes prized gold jewelry and bronze sea-life pieces that are for sale in the gallery.

They don't often pour molten bronze but the morning we arrived they were preparing to cast. This lost-wax process is thousands of years old dating back to ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.

 It seemed a bit incongruous to see these sweaty artists peeling out of their asbestos safety gear with opera cranked as loud as it could play in the background. For more information http://www.petespubandgallery.com/.  The process is quite long and tedious in days and effort from start to finish.  We considered it a real treat to see these artisans at work.

We walked the little sandy path to the top of the hill enjoying the pristine beauty of the native sea grapes and coconut palm trees. To me, there is no tree more graceful than the coconut palm. Their beauty and gracefulness as they sway in the gentle breezes is such a visual tranquilizer.

As we continue to head north we'll keep you aprised on our adventures.

Bill and Laura
Little Harbor, Abaco


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