We bypassed some potential great little bays to get to Rock Sound for a reason that drives a lot of our decisions down here – weather!
With another blow coming up, Rock Sound offered great holding for our anchor as well as protection from high winds over a large portion of the compass. The largest settlement on Eleuthera, it is also home to great provisioning, a hardware store and some excellent Bahamian eateries!
The sail down from Governor’s Harbor was easy enough. We had 16 knots of wind and a following sea gently pushing us on our way, so we kept the mainsail in the bag and unfurled just the Genoa – our “lazy sailor” profile.
Still, we averaged about 5 knots the whole 5 hours, sailing right into the Sound before firing up our Volvos and positioning to drop the hook. As advertised, the holding here is awesome and our anchor stuck on the first try. We spent the first night aboard just in case, drinking, playing cards and making plans for our adventure the next day.
Cuisine and Culture
Our first visit to the settlement of Rock Sound the next morning was a memorable one! It was Sunday and we knew most businesses would be closed, so we ventured to Sammy’s – a highly rated, inexpensive eatery – for fish snacks and conch chowder. The food in the Bahamas has been incredible so far, and Sammy’s didn’t disappoint! Barbara’s fish snacks were – you guessed it – grouper! Big, juicy strips of grouper filet, lightly battered with salt, pepper and lime. AWESOME (yes, I “helped” her finish her lunch). My conch chowder was equally awesome, washed down with a Sands beer. Very satisfied with our lunch, our day was about to get even better!
Both Sands and Kalik claim the “Beer of the Bahamas” title. After trying both, I unequivocally award the title to Kalik. Our fridge is stocked with it now.Kalik was here first anyway. It’s kind of like the Yuengling of the Bahamas.
Walking back to our dinghy, we heard band music, followed the sound and walked up on a rare performance of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band here in Rock Sound. The RBPFB performs internationally, and makes local appearances throughout the islands. A small contingent performs here in Rock Sound once every three years, so this was, indeed, a privilege for Barbara and I to enjoy here! These guys are awesome too!
It was also kind of cool to see the next generation, as the Police Force Band Youth got a chance to perform too!
The next day was Monday and, with everything open, we took the dinghy over to the dock at Frigates (another great eatery) and walked to the local grocery and hardware store for some provisioning and motor oil. This local grocery is probably the most expensive we’ve run across in the Bahamas. Wow! Fritos were more than $7 a bag! Some things, though, cost less than in the states – cans of tuna are way less. Overall, we’ve been able to stay within the provisioning budget we set for ourselves – even with booze!
Barbara does a great job with our provisioning. She’s incredible! More about that in an upcoming “how to” post!
The blow we came here to weather – it came and went. In fact, it really wasn’t that bad, and we didn’t budge on our Rocna anchor. Still, it gave us the chance to enjoy much in this pleasant settlement at the southern tip of Eleuthera.
A Change in Plans
We soon discovered that Barbara’s lens isn’t here. It’s held up at customs in Nassau. After some discussion, we decided
Well, we’re retired. We were going to head to the Exumas from here anyway, let’s just go ahead and sail on through to Nassau for a couple of days. We can get your lens and pick up a filter I need for the dinghy outboard!
It’s awesome to not be on a schedule, although this is looking like it’ll be quite the process to get Barbara’s lens. She’ll owe a hefty VAT tax and will likely need a “broker” to get her item through customs so she can pick it up personally there in Nassau. I once had someone tell me “don’t go cruising to escape government bureaucracy, because you’ll only be setting yourself up to experience it even worse in other countries!” I can certainly see why. We were familiar with US government bureaucracy, since I worked for the government (the “kill bad guys and blow up their stuff” branch) for over 3 decades; but these are rules we haven’t yet encountered.
So we’re weighing anchor in Rock Sound and sailing west across Exuma Sound for Nassau. It’s a 12-hour trip, and we could make it in daylight if we leave early enough, but we’ll break it up into two day-sails so we have peak sunlight to spot those pesky coral heads and rocks along the way … and avoid them!
It was unplanned, but so many of our best adventures are! Next stop – a brief stay at anchor off of Ship Channel Cay then the Bahamian metropolis of Nassau!