February 12 – 15 Spanish Wells

We watched some beautiful sunrises here.

Spanish Wells was named because Spanish galleons stopped here to take on fresh water. There are still descendants of the early loyalist settlers living here. Seventy percent of the annual Bahamian lobster is harvested by the fishermen here. And they travel far and wide across the banks to get their catch. Speaking of catch, we saw this fishing boat tied up. Neat name, eh? The grouper is very tasty.

The island is 2 miles long and about a half a mile wide. Most of the lawns are manicured with colourful flowers, and the houses are brightly coloured. Most of the shops are closed on Wednesday afternoons and all day Sunday. And what do you think of the size of this cactus? Looks like it has been growing for a great any years and it sure had lots of blooms on it.

The main grocery store is called Food Fair and although not as nice and good prices as Maxwell’s in the Abacos, it is not too bad. Budda’s is a restaurant here in Spanish Wells and his cart was parked out front of the store. The sign about Walmart on it made us laugh.

On our way back to the boat one day, we walked past this tree. Actually, it looked kinda creepy to us.

Another day, when we were out walking, I stopped to take a couple photos, and Mike was waiting for me by the place where we had gotten our propane. A lady called him. She recognized him from her window in the store. She had been for lunch when another girl charged us for our propane a couple of days ago. The girl had overcharged us, not realizing the size of the tank. We got $16.12 back. Now, that is honesty and great service.

There are 3 churches on the Island and up until a few years ago, there was no liquor store on the island. The first church is the Methodist Church and the photo beside it is taken in their Sweetings Garden which has benches and beautiful plants, shrubs and flowers with Bible verses scattered in and around the gardens. There is also the Gospel Chapel and the People’s Community Church which is the one Ian attends.

There is one school on the Island and it is for all ages. The name on the school changed the day after we arrived and one mom commented to us that although she liked the name change, she wasn’t too happy that their uniforms would have to be changed and that would be expensive.

The lady I was just talking about is here in the picture. She was washing her golf cart and let me take her photo. The house was her great great grandfathers house and she lives there now with her uncle. The light mint green house was her great grandfather’s. Both houses have quite a view of the water and are still occupied by family descendants. Another uncle built this more modern house.

On Thursday morning, after groceries, we checked out of the marina and went around the corner in front of Russell Island and anchored there. Peace and Quiet and CK2, another boat were anchored there.
The next day, we finally met Greg and Debbie on Peace and Quiet. Greg made coffee and Debbie baked cinnamon muffins. They were delicious. They had made plans with Mark and Kay from CK2 to go beachcombing so we all went. Greg and Debbie met Mark and Kay in Staniel Cay and have been travelling with them. We enjoyed them all very much.

We met this lovely family (from Sudbury) on the beach who are renting an ocean-front cottage here for three weeks. They, too let me take their photo. When I asked the little girl how she liked it here. She replied “I don’t like it here, I love it here”.

After combing the beach and finding some treasures, we stopped into Budda’s for lunch. Neat looking place. Their are 2 old buses there. One serves as a take out. Also a house where the buns and rolls are all homemade. And the cook also cuts hair if she is not too busy. Kay wanted hers done but she couldn’t do it today. The liquor store is in the house as well. The tables and bar are all outside. They had it all decorated up for Valentine’s Day. The beer the couples are having in this photo is Sands. It is the beer the locals choose as it is made in the Bahamas.

That evening, we all got together for appies and drinks on Peace and Quiet before supper. Mark made conch fritters, Debbie made a pizza and I made the cream cheese salsa dip and brought torilla chips. It was a fun evening.
The next morning, Valentine’s Day, we went back to the beach again. Debbie and Greg came but Mark stayed on the boat making water with their water maker and Kay was waiting to get her hair cut by the cook at Budda’s. We found a few more shells and wandered around town and made a few FaceTime calls.

Greg and Debbie and Mark and Kay had reservations at The Shipyard. They thought we could probably get in too but figuring it would be very busy there, we opted out. We cooked fried chicken in our pressure cooker and it was really good. We watched a movie in the afternoon and another one after supper. Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your special valentine.

On Sunday morning, Mike uploaded a blog and after our showers, we dingied over to say goodbye to Peace and Quiet and CK2. We had hoped they would be here one more day but they decided early this morning that they would leave by noon to go back to Royal so they could get an early start from there tomorrow for Nassau. We will miss them. They are both anxious to get back to Florida and then get home. These couples did not get home for Christmas so are really missing their families. After the goodbyes, we dingied over to the dock and walked to church.

We were early so we sat in the gazebo by The Shipyard and watched the fishermen and enjoyed the view. The church was just around the corner from there.

Ian greeted us before we went in and told us that the building beside the church is to be their Life Centre. It was built by church members and volunteers and will have Sunday School classrooms, kitchen and large auditorium.

After the service, we walked to the Shipyard for lunch. It was really good. We made some calls and then when we took a dinghy ride down to the park that is under the bridge that joins Russell Island to Spanish Wells. This is definitely a one lane bridge! Lots of fishing boats along here too!

On our way back, we noticed the boat, Nelleke (Mike and Barb) at the marina. We had first met them in Shelburne and then again in Long Island. They along with other boats did the overnighter with us from NYC to Cape May. We met up with them again in Annapolis and hadn’t seen them since so we decided to go and see if they were on board. We had a great visit and it was good to get caught up. They arrived at the marina yesterday and will stay a few days here on the dock before heading to Exumas.

After supper, we watched a movie and then read in our guide book about some places to visit when the kids arrive.

Here is a gallery of photos of our time on Spanish Wells.

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