Continuing 47 miles south along the coast of Eleuthera we enjoyed a pleasant 6 hr cruise to Rock Sound, the largest town on the island and the most modern as far as finding services and provisions.
We did not find a laundrymat or wireleless internet although a couple of local businesses offered internet for the price of $12/hr. Rather than chance taking the laptop by dingy to shore and climbing the less than user-friendly dingy dock with it we decided to hold off until we reached Cape Eleuthera marina, which apparently offered this service.
The Rock Sound Harbour is enormous at 1 ¾ miles wide and 4 miles long. The holding is poor and we tried several times before finally setting our anchor. Three days later the wind changed direction and John noticed a couple of old mooring buoys drifting byas he sat out reading on the aft deck. I was napping downstairs when his "Don't panic or anything but our anchor is dragging" brought me quickly to life. It's sort of like saying "don't panic but the house is on fire".
We reset the anchor after several attempts and our little home was safe once again.
A dozen boats were anchored in the bay and we were invited to a happy hour get together on shore at the gazebo by Dingle Motors, a center for cruisers. We met some of the other boaters including a couple from outside Bracebridge, Ontario not far from our family cottage.
I ventured across the island one afternoon to visit Nort Side, a small resort and restaurant over on the Atlantic side of the island. The sign said 1 ¼ miles so off I went, although I should know better than to believe anything on a sign in the Bahamas. The Captain, who had looked at the map in our Cruising Guide and believed the distance to be more like 3 miles, kissed me goodbye and headed back out to the boat.
He had inquired at Gibson and Son Tailor's and Upholstery about having the stitching in our aft deck canvas resewn and received the low price of $15-$20. It turned out to be $30 but was still a great deal. So he returned to the boat with the canvas while I set off on my 1 ¼ mile (each way) walk. Nearing the top of the first hill, at least a mile away I was rewarded with a fabulous view of the coast, a good couple of miles away yet. Too stubborn to turn back and tell the Captain he was right, I carried on and before long a friendly woman pulled over and offered me a ride.
We joked about the sign and I shared my opinion that it was probably the owner of the restaurant who put the sign up, giving tourists the impression that it was just a short distance. She chuckled and introduced herself as Rose, the owner of Nort'side Restaurant. Her brother lived in England and he made the sign. They didn't really know how far it was so he just came up with a number.
I climbed into the back seat with six year old Shironeldine(the front passenger door wouldn't open) and she couldn't stop smiling at me. When the van stopped, she jumped out and told me she would show me the beach. Rose told me to look around, that she had to drive somewhere but would drive me back to town, a very generous offer. When the time came and we climbed the steep stairs to the house her son Ashley told me she would be back "soon". There is that word again "soon", which translated from Bahamian means sometime, whenever, later but usually not soon!
I was in no hurry, however so I enjoyed Shirondeldine's company for about an hour. We walked the beach, swung on the hammock, played ball and took lots of pictures. I shot some footage of her on my video camera and she squealed with delight when I showed her the film. Soon never did come but no problem, I got a ride back to town with my new friend's dad and all was well.
While in Rock Sound the Captain and I visited the famous Ocean Hole, about a mile east of town and fed pieces of our ice cream cones to the hundreds of fish. On our last day in town we went explored in the dingy and found some of the famous blue holes out in the bay. We could see lots of fishes through our magic bucket so we decided to move the big boat over and attempt to anchor so we were hanging over one of the holes. We positioned our anchor in just the perfect spot in 8-10 feet of water and spent the afternoon and evening fishing over the 50 deep hole. I caught a big white, snapper-like fish and after consulting our bible (fish guide) we decided that it was not a snapper but a margate. We still have tuna and wahoo in our freezer so we released the lovely, large white fish.