Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera

We came here in the hopes of hiding out for awhile and resting. It's an almost completely enclosed harbor with just a narrow cut to get in. It's fairly well protected from the 25kt winds we're having at the moment, with just a slight bit of rolling on the mooring ball. The wind was light enough this afternoon to head into the very small town and attend their "festival" which amounted to a series of live music bands and a few food and drink vendors. We spent the time before the festival touring the small town and had a chance to feel what, to us, is by far the most foreign country feeling place we've been to so far. This is a place of substantial poverty. Everywhere the homes are tiny and crumbling. Wrecked boats from hurricane Andrew in August of 1992 lie everywhere in varying stages of deterioration. Trash litters the yards, the beach, and the many empty lots. Yet, every person we met was once again smiling and courteous. We were walking through the town with some newly met friends, one of which has a beautiful white lab name Butter. The kids all over town came tumbling out of front doors to come pet him and he's a very friendly dog so he was quite pleased with all the attention. One young lady asked me to take her picture. Big smiles abound here. As you walk along the road that encircles the harbor, you have the feeling that this is the town that was forgotten. It's a beautiful bay capable of holding 30 or more cruising boats, yet there were only 10. No resorts like Treasure Cay, no bustling traffic like Marsh Harbour. Just local folks going about their daily business of trying to survive. I guess we fit right in.

Kintala on the mooring at Hatchet Bay
The Spot, a bar in Hatchet Bay. The palm leaf ceiling keeps the place cool, a welcome relief today.


Alex Rooker said...

when the ssurrvvey was done iin Novembber, both thee vhf radio and the Wessterbbeke tachommeter wworrked just fine. Diann and I left our slip at New Berrn NC for our secoondd time out on ourr Gemini yyessterdaay. Neigghter the vhf orr the tachmeter woorkked. Wee mmade do withh oour ear for rppms andd a haand heldd for tthe vhf. Thought you'dd loovee thhe Westebeke aaspect of the storyy.

EEither myy typiiingg hass ggone mad,, or the blog site is graabbbigg extra lettters. That''s they way our pastt 10 days havve bbeeen though while workingg on the bboaat!

Wayne Bicknell said...

y family lived in Hatchet Bay for about 13 years. Left (forced) when the Bahamas got their independence from UK.
When we were there, there was a thriving poultry and dairy business... all fell apart.
It is so sad to see a wonderful place like Hatchet Bay fall into decay.
I am happy that the locals still are in good spirits.

Deb said...

@Alex - I had that happen for awhile on blogger too. Weird. Good luck with the Gremlins. I believe that Westerbeke invented them.

@Wayne. I think that the poultry farm is still here, just not doing very well. You can still buy local, organic eggs at the store for $2.50 a dozen. I guess all the chickens got let free though - they are EVERYWHERE in the town and there are dozens of roosters that crow all night long

Wayne Bicknell said...

Deb, thank you.... It was my father that managed that poultry farm for many years..
Growing up in Hatchet Bay was a childhood I cherish everyday.
I hope to visit again...

david chiulli said...

Hello Captain and Crew, came across your blog and realized that I saw you in Hatchet Bay during your stay in April. My wife Anne and I own the 23' Oday sailboat moored in the harbor nearest the crab boats along the dock. We have a home in Rainbow Bay and have traveled to the island since the 70's. Enjoying reading about your experiences on cruising as we would like to do the same one day.

Deb said...

Hi David - I remember the Oday in the harbor. We really liked it there and could easily spend a month there. The locals were interesting and we enjoyed the time we spent with them. Maybe we'll see you there next year!

Maureen Welch said...

I spent a month on a sailboat in Hatchet Bay in the late '80s. i havent been back but it sounds like it hasnt changed. Everyone in town was truly wonderful.It was a great experience.