After our lovely stay in Royal Island, we pulled up our anchor and headed for Governor’s Harbor on the island of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Following the inward track we made on our plotter, we motored out the same way knowing that we’d avoid all the rocks and shallows. Once we were clear of obstructions, we pulled out the sail and enjoyed the quietness and freedom that our sailboat provides. (Note: the Sailing The Bahamas Governors Harbour Video is down below)
One of the best parts of sailing is when the engine goes off, the winches are done doing their job and the boat moves effortlessly slicing through the waves. There’s the sound of seafoam spraying from the hull and the wind propelling the sail.
And in The Bahamas, the most noticeable attribute is the amazing variety of blue waters that can be seen in every direction. Gradients from a dark blue, green-blue and baby blue line the horizon. As my eyes soak in the colors, I smile and feel as if some sort of mental therapy is being conducted unconsciously.
For five hours we sailed comfortably.
Once we turned east, however, the wind was on our nose and we were hitting the waves head-on. For an hour we motored but the wind changed in our favor and we eventually managed to get the sail back out. After ten hours we pulled into Governor’s Harbour, the old Capital city.
Upon closer inspection, we discovered five mooring balls. We tried to ring the marina listed in our charts but failed to get a response. Considering that the area had ‘poor holding’ we decided to grab a ball. There have been several times that we’ve failed to find a contact for a mooring ball. What we usually do is tie onto the ball, drop our dinghy and then visit boats next to us to find out who to contact and whether or not the ball is private or public.
In other parts of the world, it’s common for mooring balls to have a phone number, or VHF channel, on them so you can contact the owner.
In Governor’s Harbour, we sent Andrew, our volunteer crew member, over to a Canadian boat to get the scoop. Upon his return, we discovered that the Canadians were also having trouble getting in touch with the marina. We assumed we were okay to stay so we headed to town for Wifi, dinner and some drinks.
While walking through the town we discovered colorful homes and businesses in addition to a variety of churches.
Fodor’s Travel website offers a nice description of the town:
Governor’s Harbour, the capital of Eleuthera and home to government offices, is the largest town on the island and one of the prettiest. Victorian-era houses were built on Buccaneer Hill, which overlooks the harbor, bordered on the south by a narrow peninsula and Cupid’s Cay at the tip. To fully understand its appeal, you have to settle in for a few days and explore on foot—if you don’t mind the steep climb up the narrow lanes.
The town is a step into a gentler, more genteel time.
Everyone says hello, and entertainment means wading into the harbor to cast a line. Or taking a painting class at the 19th-century pink library on Monday mornings. You can see a current movie at the balconied Globe Princess. It is the only theater on the island and also serves the best hamburgers in town. Or swim at the gorgeous beaches on either side of town, which stretch from the pink sands of the ocean to the white sands of the Bight of Eleuthera. There are three banks, a few grocery stores, and some of the island’s wealthiest residents, who prefer the quiet of Eleuthera to the fashionable party scene of Harbour Island. Source: Fodor’s Travel
Simon, Sienna, Andrew and I walked to a restaurant, enjoyed fish curry and spent some time on the Internet. While eating our waiter told us about a Junkanoo starting at 7 pm. Not knowing what a Junkanoo was, we followed the sound of loud music to find a festival.
There were arts, crafts, street food, and drinks.
To our delight, we then watched a parade, similar to a Caribbean Carnival. There were groups, or bands, displaying incredible costumes, expressive dance moves, and hypnotic beats.
We returned to the boat and started planning our passage from Governor’s Harbour to Pig Beach. After hearing so many stories about the wild pigs we were excited to have a go!
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Sailing The Bahamas Governors Harbour Video
Enjoy our Sailing The Bahamas articles and video episodes here:
- Previous article/video in the Sailing Bahamas series: Sailing The Bahamas Governors Harbour
- Next article/video in the Sailing Bahamas series: Swimming With Pigs In The Bahamas
- Click here for an overview of our full Sailing The Bahamas trip
If you enjoyed this article & video, check out these from our previous season:
- 1. Sailing to Florida – Amelia Island
- 2. Sailing Florida – St Augustine
- 3. Sailing Florida – Cape Canaveral
- 4. Sailing Florida – West Palm Beach
- 5. 10 Reasons to sail down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)
- 6. Sailboat Windlass Woes
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