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Dee Light - Cruise Log
Bahamas 2014- Log E
Harbour Island to Cape Eleuthera
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an afternoon on the Pink Sand Beach
 
photos albums - every day we post a daily photo album .. to view all of the photos for each day click on the small daily photo icon located in this column 
Thursday June 19th - Valentines at Harbour Island ..
June 19, 2014 - Thursday

after a leisurely morning and our regular breakfast routine of toast ( today coconut bread from Arthur's Bakery ) and fresh fruit we opted to keep our food options open and just graze our way thru the island today wherever and whenever we got the urge

a little after noon we packed up some towels, a couple of cold drinks and some snacks and headed for the beach .. it was an absolutely picture perfect day .. a beautiful gentle surf, brillant blue skies and a nice cool breeze off the water .. however shortly after arrived and settled into our lounge chairs we did have a little excitement as the beach attendant from the Pink Sands Resort came trotting briskly down the beach waving everyone back out of the water .. from her vantage point in the water sports concession shack she had spotted a very large ( 10 to 12 foot ) shark cruising about 25-50 feet off the shoreline and did a great job alerting everyone who then scrambled back to shore! .. she figured it was either a bull, reef or most likely a tiger shark .. luckily it didn't find anything interesting to chomp on and continued down the shore and finally out of sight ..

we spent the rest of the afternoon on the lounge chairs at the beach and walked up to the Blue Bar for a drink .. on our long trek back to the marina an ice cream stop was in order and because Carol was craving some fresh conch we made a side trip to the Queen Conch Shack on the wharf for a take-way order of some of best conch salad you will find anywhere in the islands ..

after showering and changing we finally we made it to the Sunset Grill at Romora Bay for conch fritters, Caeser salad and rum cake with ice cream before ending the evening watching the Japan vs Greece soccer match on the Valentine's bar TV .. ended 0-0 .. So boooorring - snooze! - give me American football any day!

on a side note .. on our last visit 2 years ago our golf cart disappeared from Valentine's parking area and then mysteriously reappeared at Sip Sip .. today when we returned to the Sip Sip parking area from the beach our cart was not parked where we had left it and we found a 1/2 empty can of Heineken beer in the cup holder .. Hmmmm?!
 
 
only in the Bahamas
 
Friday June 20th - Valentines at Harbour Island .
 
the marina at Valentine's has been pretty quiet all week but today the boats started arriving once again including 3 large mega-yachts .. today we were pleased to welcome another one of our Legacy Harbour Marina dock B neighbors David on the Viking sport fish Sweet Escape who had just arrived from the Abacos ..

a little shopping again today .. this time a couple nice shirts for Marv with a stop at Sip Sip for a mango daiquiri and pineapple ice cream accompanied by a brief rain shower on the beach .. note .. some visitors to Sip Sip wonder why the restaurant is named that  ..
 
Sip Sip is Bahamian slang for 'sit and talk for a spell' .. Sip Sip can also be translated as rumor, hearsay, talk, tweet, dish, scoop, buzz, tidbit, scuttlebutt, whisper, skinny, gossip, etc, etc .. Sip Sip is only open for lunch 11:30AM to 4:00PM

for dinner we decided to give The Landing another try since our last visit and made a reservation for 7:00PM .. they have a very tiny but very elegant and cozy bar where we met a foursome of guys from Toronto staying at a house right next to Valentine's Resort .. one of the gentleman's mother has owned the property since the mid-1950s and he has been visiting Harbour Island since childhood .. from several comments they made during our 'bar chatter' we got the impression they were in the entertainment business ( maybe film or TV? )

.. once seated at our window table the dining room filled up quickly and ended up to be very busy and quite noisy however the food and service was very good ..  just not quite up to the standards of the Rock House which so far remains our favorite ..
 
Valentine's

 

Saturday June 21st - Valentines at Harbour Island ..
 Happy Summer Solstice .. the first official day of summer and longest day of the year! .. spent another leisurely day at the dock at Valentine's Marina and Resort with a portion of the afternoon hours spent by the pool ..

we were looking forward to our dinner tonight at The Dunmore as it had been highly recommended by several of the charter boat captains and it certainly did not disappoint .. it is a beautifully landscaped and very stately and well-maintained property and reminded us very much of Useppa Island with its grand Collier Inn in Lee County  .. we began our evening with a cocktail in their 'living room' where we chatted and mingled with some of the other guests until we were escorted to our table on the tented veranda overlooking the water .. the food and service were exceptional and we finished off our evening back in their living room with coffee, an after-dinner drink and dessert ..
 
 Wesley Methodist Church
Sunday June 22nd - Valentines at Harbour Island ..
 
Sunday morning started with a couple of brief but pretty substantial rain showers moving thru again .. we got ready to attend the 11:00AM service at the Wesley Methodist Church again today .. this time we were asked as visitors to stand up and introduce ourselves .. along with us were a young couple from Los Angeles and the Pastor's daughter and grandson also visiting .. during the 'meet and greet' (where the entire congregation including the children walk around the entire church hugging and greeting one another ) Pastor Gallo told us he had been with the United Methodist Church in Fort Myers for a time .. another small world connection

also yesterday we received an email from some new boaters who arrived yesterday .. upon entering the marina their youngest son noticed our hailing port of Eau Claire, WI on the stern .. seems they are also from Eau Claire .. Mom googled Dee Light - found our website and sent us a message to say hello! .. touched base with Dad and daughter on the dock after returning from church .. they keep the boat in a Palm Springs, FL

Oops!  .. sometimes the internet is your friend and other times not!  .. got an email last week from BB Mann Performing Arts Hall that tickets for the Oct 19th show with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band would go on sale this weekend  .. when I got around to ordering we kept getting bumped off line which was very annoying to say the least and completely frustrating because we reaaallly wanted to get some decent seats! .. long story short .. after numerous attempts I finally received confirmation that we now are the proud owners of 4 really good seats for this concert!  .. anybody wish to join us? ..

our Sunday evening ended at the Romora Bay Sunset Grill to listen to the music of  Brilanders again and even ended up dancing on the pool deck patio .. as we passed the Rooster's Tail at Valentine's it was 3 deep at the bar and standing room only with people watching the World Cup Soccer match between the USA and Portugal .. they have 7 TV screens at Valentine's and only 1 at Romora but we managed to watch the finish anyway .. ended in a 2-2 tie with Portugal scoring the tieing goooaaallll in the last 30 seconds!

we also enjoyed meeting up again with Bill and Laura from Scottsdale AZ who are renting a house for a month on the island .. they used the VBRO website to find and book their accommodations which is a site we have also used with great results when we have visited Key West in the past and were looking for a place to stay they accepts pets .. we highly recommend it .. www.vrbo.com
 
 
 a great day to play with the toys
M/V Island Cowboy
 
 
 
 
 
Ma Ruby home of the Jimmy Buffet 'cheeseburger in paradise'
 
Monday June 23rd - Valentines at Harbour Island ..
 
awoke to rain showers again this morning but the skies cleared up nicely by mid-morning .. took note of all the vacated slips again as many of the boats have moved on to other destinations .. spent the morning and early afternoon catching up with some boat chores including 3 loads of laundry .. we prefer to make water on a rising / incoming tide so we turned on the watermaker to do its thing .. also was able to call BB Mann to cancel our double order of tickets for the Ringo Starr concert .. sure glad we have an account on file with BB Mann as she was able to bring up the orders right away!

today is also the BIG election day for the government Parliament seats thru-out the Commonwealth of the Bahamas with this election being only held once every three years .. on Election Day NO Alcohol is served on the ANY of the islands in the Bahamas between the hours of 8AM and 6PM .. quite civilized and proper I'd say!

we have heard a lot about the famous cheeseburgers at Ma Ruby's in Tingum Village which is a small older boutique hotel property on the island .. the rumour has it that this is the ORIGINAL restaurant where Jimmy Buffet wrote his well-known (and much overplayed) song Cheeseburger in Paradise .. but we have also heard that claim to fame about at least another 100 island restaurants from Cabbage Key in Lee County to Trinidad so we will remain skeptical .. not that we cared as we were going to try it anyway .. the property is a bit shabby around edges and could use some painting and updating but the host was very welcoming and charming .. the cheeseburger (which we split) was huge and more than enough for two, very filling and cooked to perfection as were the tempura style onion rings .. the highlight however was the obviously homemade key lime pie which we decided was as good or better any we have ever had!

tonight we had another of those 'small boating world moments' again .. after returning from Ma Ruby's we were met on the dock by the young couple who are full-time crew on an 80 foot Sunseeker the M/Y Full Circle out of Fort Lauderdale .. he had just noticed our hailing port of Eau Claire on our stern and our GB Packer flag today .. turns out they hail from Eau Claire also!
 
 
 
Tuesday June 24th - Valentines at Harbour Island ..
 
a number of years ago we fell in love with the work of a certain artist here on Harbour Island .. the restaurant that featured a number of his pieces has since closed so we set out to find his studio / gallery which we finally managed to do after a couple of inquiries to the locals .. we found Briland Arts where his two daughters were manning the shop .. unfortunately none of the pieces displayed (though very nice) were not exactly what we were looking for and we explained what we wanted to the girls and they said they would to let their father know ..

after we left Briland Arts we stopped at Da Dilly Dally and then The Blue Rooster which Laura had recommended for both their selection and prices .. found a couple of great bargains on the sale rack on the front porch and while chatting with the nice young women who waited on us we found out her mother and sister live in Sarasota .. she comes to FL to about once a month and really enjoys visiting our gulf coast area .. it is always a pleasant surprise to find their is such a 'connection' between the Bahamians and Floridians .. seems everyone you talk with knows not only the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area but also a great deal about the gulf coast of Florida

another quick stop on the wharf at Tropical Daquiri ( basically an ice cream parlor on wheels ) for a mango smoothie and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream ..

the island power has been on and off most of the weekend .. most of the restaurants and many of the local merchants have generators so business pretty much goes on as usual .. however because of the power outages the wifi signal at Valentine's has not been strong enough to reach the docks .. so the past 2 mornings Marv has had to share the Rooster' Tail Bar with the mosquitos and noseeum in the wee hours of the morning when he sends out his daily bouy reports  UFFDAA .. hopefully the signal will be reset when the IT guy gets here ..

our favorite restaurant on Harbour Island continues to remain the Rock House so we decided to have dinner one more time before we leave the island on Thursday .. it proved to be another delightful evening starting with drinks on the patio, dinner in the dining area and then a quiet and relaxing finish to the night with coffee and dessert back on the patio ..
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we love it at Harbour Island
the only Manatee in the Bahamas
 'Slim Shady'
 Mark and Dana
Wednesday June 25th - Valentines at Harbour Island ..
 
our last full day at Valentine's Marina and Resort so we took Autumn with us for a 'buggy ride' in the golf cart down to Romora Bay and ordered drinks and some conch strips at the Sunset Grill .. while we were finishing our drinks the bartender and waitress pointed out the manatee under the marina dock and yelled to the boys washing a golf cart to give her some fresh water .. seems she is spotted frequently as she hangs around the docks regularly .. we also hear she is the ONE and ONLY manatee in the Bahamas .. it certainly was a first for us ..
 
later that afternoon we went to Briland Arts to look at the piece of art work that Maxcine Wilson had prepared for us .. uh oh .. the piece turned out to be much larger than we anticipated and we weren't sure we had enough space to mount it properly .. we told the girls we would go back to Dee Light with the measurements and get back to them .. we ended making a deal and plan to mount it in our master stateroom .. it's time to update the stateroom decor anyway!
we were just going to grab a bite to eat at the Valentine's Boathouse restaurant but decided to spurge by going back to The Dunmore for our last evening .. we are glad we did as we had a wonderful time with the staff greeting us warmly .. during our conversation with our waitress on our previous visit the 'Slim Shady' comment in Nassau was brought up and she got a kick out that .. imagine Marv's surprise when he saw the dessert she brought to him tonight with 'Slim Shady' written in an elegant chocolate sauce script right on his plate!

on our way back to the boat we stopped at the bar at Valentine's and chatted with Mark and Dana the young couple from Eau Claire, WI who crew on the yacht Full Circle .. we exchanged boat cards with them and wished them much success with their yachting careers .. and Carol left her handbag in the bar again .. nothing of value in it .. maybe it's just an unconscious sign of reluctance to leave Harbor Island?!
 
 
Devils Backbone
Thursday June 26th - Harbour Island to Spanish Wells ..
 
the time to move on has come .. A-1 our pilot for the Devil's Backbone arrived at Dee Light before 8:30AM .. as we had already checked out with Marcus, the dockmaster and the office and we were ready to go we left the dock before 9:00AM .. usually the pilots will take the helm on your boat and tow their guide boat behind but A-1 has been nursing a bad ankle that was quite swollen today so he asked that we follow in the wake of his boat instead .. it was a beautiful calm sunny morning and we traveled around 15-17 knots almost the entire way with A-1 actually complimenting the Captain on his driving skills when we reached the bay at Spanish Wells ..

we planned to stop at the fuel dock to top off our tanks before going to our slip at Yacht Haven .. we ended up going to the eastern end fuel dock as the very looonnng G&G Cargo Ship was blocking most of the entrance to the harbor when we arrived .. while fueling the attendant told us his mother has four Shih Tzu dogs so we asked where she had them groomed and he gave us an idea where to find a groomer for Autumn .. 

we finished fueling about 10:30AM and 'slid' past the cargo ship with barely 6 feet of clearance off its stern .. thank goodness the tide was up!  .. at Yacht Haven we docked in the same slip as our last visit and after checking us in they called the dog groomer and we made arrangements to get Autumn to the beauty parlor at 4:00PM

before leaving Harbour Island we noticed the starboard engine  'dragging' upon starting up and suspect we need new batteries .. dockmaster Leroy called the shop to get us four new batteries and they will stop by the boat in the morning to check out exactly what we need ..

since a visit to the groomer is definitely NOT on Autumn's list of favorite activities ..
( mostly it is sleeping, treats and docktails ) we decided to go with her to the groomer's house before leaving her for her haircut .. 2+ hours in the care of Lea with K-9 Cuts .. 242-333-4901
( and with her able assistant holding Autumn ) she looked absolutely beautiful with a new kerchief around her neck and even a bow in her hair!  .. they told us Autumn actually started to fall asleep while working on her! .. also with the hot summer weather we know she will be much more comfortable and this cut should hold her over until we return to Fort Myers and her regular beauty parlor Groomingdale's ..

by the time we got back to the boat with Autumn it was almost 7:00PM so we left Autumn for a well-deserved nap and went to have dinner on the outdoor patio of The Shipyard overlooking the water, a beautiful sunset and a lovely breeze that actually turned cool after the sun went down and the evening set in .. our final stop of the evening was .. of course .. Papa Scoops ice cream stand for a large serving of coffee and french vanilla swirl and we even brought Autumn along for a special treat for being such a good girl today!
 
 
 start up batteries for Dee Light
Friday June 27th - Spanish Wells Yacht Haven at Spanish Wells ..
Friday morning the 'battery crew' from Pinder's Tune-up Ltd. 242-333-4262 started the job of replacing our four 24-volt startup and bow thruster batteries .. turns out they really were on were on their last leg and no longer capable of holding a full charge to continue to do the job of starting the engines .. in no time flat they had replaced all the batteries and re-hooked everything back up .. Leroy told us he had use for the old batteries so they were left on the dock for him to pick up later ..

after stopping at Pinder's Tune-up office at the filling station to settle up our invoice for the new batteries we headed to the Food Fair Grocery for a few items .. Marv's sweet tooth was craving some sweet treats amd we we found a nice selection (sort of like a church bake sale) .. we also picked up a few 'healthier' options .. some romaine lettuce, baby carrots, and cucumbers to make some refrigerator pickles with the vidala onions we purchased earlier ..

we swung by The Budda Snack Shack to pick up some more wine at their teeny but well-stocked liquor store and ended up staying for onion rings with an ice cold Kalik and diet coke .. when we sat down at the picnic table the couple next to us told us they live on their boat and were from Minnesota!  .. we ended up having a great conversation with Rich and Linda from Ely, MN who have cruised their catamaran as far south as Trinidad and as far north as Maine .. they are staying in Spanish Wells while having their props replaced along with some other boat work done ..

during our visit here we have been pleasantly surprised at the number of construction projects both at Spanish Wells and Harbour Island this year .. the Shipyard restaurant has only been open for a year and business has been so good they are already expanding with an addition to the second floor with a new deck .. the Budda Snack Shack is also undergoing expansion with a new deck and covered gazebo for dining in their backyard and here at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven the construction of their new office facility and vacation villas is well on the way to being completed .. we have also heard that development of Royal Island just to the west is getting ready to start again with a big investment group coming in with plans for a new upscale resort facility ..

after we left the Budda the thunderheads looked to be moving our way so we headed back to the boat with our purchases before the first rain drops fell ..
 
we stopped by The Shipyard for happy hour - 2 for 1 drinks .. and then to the Snack Bar for a lite dinner and our usual ice cream stop before calling it an early evening as we would be traveling in the morning
 
 
arrived at 12:40 pm today
 
 
 
dock hands 
Saturday June 28th - Spanish Wells to Cape Eleuthera ..
 
07:00AM and we were up and at 'em .. Leroy showed up promptly at 8:00AM to take our electric reading, Autumn did her business on shore and we were off the dock at 08:15AM .. took almost exactly an hour to navigate thru Current Cut before continuing on over the bank to Tarpum Bay and Powell Point where Cape Eleuthera is located .. Current Cut is always an interesting experience as it's not named Current Cut for nothing! .. this was the first time we had traveled through the cut in this direction .. in the past we had always come up from the south on the way to Spanish Wells .. although the sun was not in a position to be able to 'read the water' very well it was still fairly easy to see where the current was running and the location of the deep water channel which is 25-30 feet deep and we just took it easy until we were well beyond the rocky (and close!) shoreline

we had a great easy run from then on .. Rich and Linda on Side By Side had mentioned to us that on their last trip doing this route they had encountered some crab? trap buoys off Gregory Town and sure enough there they were were!  .. fortunately they were very infrequent and spaced very wide apart and pretty easy to spot in the less than one foot seas .. certainly nothing like the mine fields we are accustomed to maneuvering around on our trips in the Gulf of Mexico down to the FL Keys ..

we rounded Kemps Point and down Davis Channel to the marina entrance and were docked at Cape Eleuthera Marina before 01:00PM .. the first drops of rain were just beginning to hit the deck as we finished tieing up and hooking up our power .. after getting settled the skies opened up with a torrential downpour and visibility was nil!  .. no lightening just a good soaking 2 hour rain shower but it is always nice to leave early and try to arrive and get tied up before the heavy afternoon summer rains arrive ..
 
by the time we were ready to have dinner the skies had cleared nicely and we walked over to the small restaurant Pasqual's located just on the other side of the marina .. after a goombay smash and a very nice crispy flatbread pizza we were treated to a truly spectacular sunset and were happy to call it a night and head back to Dee Light for the evening and another day of great cruising in the beautiful Bahamian waters
 
 
the crabs of Cape Eleuthera
 
 
 
our new headboard project is almost completed
 
Sunday June 29th - Cape Eleuthera Marina ..
 
Crabs crabs crabs and more crabs .. holy moly! .. can you eat these crabs?! .. this morning there must have been over a thousand of all sizes .. itty bitty ones to one
really big guy lying on a fender .. and they were 'sidling' all over the place .. covering the concrete dock, up and down the pilings .. yikes! .. over and up and down on the dock lines .. one even had the audacity to crawl onto the boat deck .. ooey! .. now what? .. get out the mop? .. luckily for us .. except for the lone renegade who jumped ship pretty quickly when he saw us .. none of the rest seemed much interested in getting onto the boat so we just let them be and went about our business as they eventually headed for the bushes again as the sun got higher and hotter .. even though Carol's astrological sign is Cancer the Crab it was a bit over the top and made for quite an unnerving sight to be greeted with first thing in the morning!

we had no wheels today since we decided to wait until Monday to rent a car so we spent the day catching up on some boat chores .. laundered the sheets and towels and while the bed was stripped we mounted and secured the art piece we recently purchased in Harbour Island to the back wall in the master stateroom .. we like the new look and are looking forward to picking out some new pillows, lamps and other accessories to coordinate with it .. we plan to keep an eye out both here on Eleuthera and when we return to Nassau for ideas ..
 
we called over to Pascal's to see if they were offering any pasta specials tonight and she told us the chef would prepare whatever pasta dish we wanted so we again took the walk to the other side of the marina .. the breezes had picked up considerably during the day so we elected to have our dinner outside on the patio which turned out to be very comfortable and pleasant .. unfortunately tonight we were not treated to the colorful sunset we enjoyed yesterday
 
 
road trip to Rock Sound
 
Monday June 30th - Cape Eleuthera Marina ..
 
Mid afternoon we went to the office to inquire about a rental car .. 5 minutes later they had a car waiting out front and handed us the keys .. Autumn wanted to stay on the boat so we packed up some cold drinks and set out for Rock Sound .. the roads on Eleuthera are very driver friendly, well paved and in excellent condition for an out island .. we also had a great map!

we stopped at the Davis Harbour Marina which had been on the itinerary of an RPYC cruise in 2005 which Dee Light had stayed at that time .. that was our last visit to this facility and we found it has not changed any in the 9+ succeeding years except it looks a little more run-down and in need of some general sprucing up .. nobody was manning the office - no amenities - not even a ship's store and the boats at their docks looked to be just stored there with no activity on the docks .. however they they did have a very plush 'boater's lounge?' that looked to be a sales office for an upscale housing development called Cotton Bay but again no one in sight! .. we concluded it was not somewhere we would want to make a special effort to come back to visit ..

back in the van and on to Rock Sound .. the nice young lady at The Blue Rooster in Harbour Island recommended we stop at Sammy's Restaurant and we finally were able to find it .. since it is not on the 'main drag' it required a couple of lefts and rights to locate which we managed .. this was also the first car we have driven since leaving Fort Myers on May 2nd .. have a feeling we will probably have the urge to drive on the left side of the road when we return to the States

since we got a late start today we decided to head back to the marina before dark and since we will have the car again tomorrow we intend to get an early start to take a longer trip up the north end of the island .. when we returned to the boat we had a new neighbor - a large power catamaran docked behind us .. up to now ( except for a few sport fishing boats docked at the condos across the harbor ) we have been the only transient boat here at Cape Eleuthera Marina .. it was nice to have company ( besides the crabs ) and walked over with Autumn to say welcome and hello ..

after our late afternoon meal of Sammy's mahi sandwiches, coleslaw with diced tomatoes and an order of baked mac 'n cheese we had no desire for a big dinner so we settled in for a relaxing night of TV with ice cream sundaes in the aft stateroom ..
 
 
road trip north to Governors Harbour
 
Tuesday July 01st - Cape Eleuthera Marina ..
 
after 120 minutes of high drama on the field .. when the day was done the USA team are out! .. out of the 2014 World Cup Soccer Finals tournament that is .. we caught the last half of the game when we returned to the boat after our afternoon tour of Eleuthera

around 11:00AM we loaded up a few items in the car including Autumn and left the marina .. we made it all the up to Governors Harbour before the funky look of the approaching weather convinced us to head back to Cape Eleuthera .. no rain yet but the skies have been overcast all day with blustery winds and it certainly feels like it might rain at any moment ..

we have found the landscape of Eleuthera pretty remote, hilly and very rugged, the beaches are mostly rocky and the terrain is either scrub or very dense tropical foliage .. however the roads are in fairly good condition, the traffic is light and it is fairly easy to get around ( except for staying on the lookout for the occasional herd of billy goats! ).. passing thru the settlements we didn't notice any shops that enticed us to stop and we didn't see any restaurants beside the occasional native 'take away' shack ..

we found the settlement of Tarpum Bay interesting .. the tour map says it is a fishing village and the buildings ( again although a bit rundown ) had the look of a New England coastal village and .. one property of particular interest was the MacMillan Castle .. the only info online we could find was on the UK Tripadvisor .. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/VacationRentalReview-g147428-d4064430-Castle_Macmillan_Hughes-Eleuthera_Out_Islands_Bahamas.html .. and was one of the homes of an American Irish artist named Lord Gordon MacMillian Hughes ..

the highlight of our afternoon turned out to be our stop for lunch at the Sky Beach Club Resort located just south of Governors Harbour .. the Sky Beach Club is located on the Atlantic side of the island and when we pulled off the main road and started up the hill to the property it was obvious that it was another development that had fallen victim to the hard times of the recent recession .. however when we wound our way thru the maze of rubble strewn roads we soon arrived at a very lovely pool side restaurant and bar sitting on a bluff with a great view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean .. also turns out this is another restaurant independently operated by Pascal's who also operate the restaurant at Cape Eleuthera .. the food and service was first class and we enjoyed a great breeze off the water while we ate our lunch .. feeling rejuvenated we were back in the car and since we decided we had seen our fill of Eleuthera for the day we headed south for our marina before the rains came  ..

on the way back we noticed a sign for Wild Orchids .. a waterfront restaurant in Rock Sound .. we recognized the place from 5 years ago when we stopped for a drink with our friends on Carleigh .. Rita Kay and Clay .. over the ensuing years they have really improved the property and were very impressed with what they have done .. while we had a drink we checked out the menu which also looked very nice

by the time we reached Dee Light Autumn was totally tuckered out and after water and a treat it was nap time .. after watching the end of the heart-breaking soccer match we took a road trip to Pascal's restaurant for a lite bite of cracked conch bites and a side of good old fashioned french fries .. over dinner we looked over the most recent weather and bouy reports in anticipation for our next travel leg and were pleased to see a bright crescent moon and stars shining through the clouds as we left the restaurant!

.. as a side note .. as of 5:00PM tonight the tropical depression off the northern coast of Florida is now TS Arthur .. the first Atlantic named storm of the 2014 hurricane season ..
 
 
 Cape Eleuthera Institute and Island School
 
 
 
 Carol and Hailey
 
 
 
 
Lion Fish
 
 
 
 
Alexandra and Avi
Wednesday July 02nd - Cape Eleuthera Marina ..
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although it is still fairly windy the skies this morning are showing more blue and sunshine then yesterday  .. after breakfast we went to the office to turn in the car and said we would like to visit and take a tour of the Cape Eleuthera Institute and Island School .. Shanell said just keep the keys and use the car for the short drive up the road ..

we had visited the Institute on our last visit 5 years ago and were anxious to see what they had done in the ensuing years .. when we arrived at the reception office we were met by Eric who promptly went to get us an intern to take us on a tour .. imagine our surprise when the attractive young blonde lady who showed up was wearing a Sanibel t-shirt! .. as we got acquainted she told us she had worked in marine habitat research on Sanibel and then taught bio ?something? in Key West for about a year and now had been working at the Institute since September in the study and research of bonefish habitats .. she will be leaving soon to attend the University of Illinois to work on her masters degree .. although she is looking forward to her studies she told us she is not sure she is ready for the cold weather after living in the tropics for so long! .. one of the many fascinating things Hailey showed us was a shelled creature they have found in the Atlantic at depths of over 1,000 meters .. it is being presently being classified as a new species and if you look closely it could sort of resemble an alien!

we were amazed how far along they have come and the new buildings they have added to their campus .. the Island School began in 1999 with their 'pioneering semester program in which high school students from across the globe come to experience academic and personal growth while learning environmental research, leadership, community service and global citizenship' .. adjacent to the school campus is the Cape Eleuthera Institue (CEI) a world class research station which hosts numerous visiting scientists and researchers both local and worldwide .. in addition to their research, education and conservation efforts CEI remains dedicated to the advancement of creating sustainable ecosystems thru their outreach programs .. their website contains a wealth of fascinating information .. www.ceibahamas.org .. and be sure to watch the video trailer!

after our visit to CEI we stopped at the office for a cold drink .. the past couple of days there has been a large fishing trawler at the end of our dock filled with old appliances and other 'junk' .. because they have been doing road and other work we just assumed it was a work barge loaded with construction and other debris .. Shanell told us it was a Haitian vessel that had come into the marina 'under distress' with a non-working engine but they had finally been able to get it out of the marina this morning .. it is comforting to know that the marina security is tight here in the marina and that the resident manager lives right across the driveway from our dock!
 
one of the most enjoyable parts of our trek thru the Bahamian islands is the interesting people you meet and have an opportunity to interact with .. a sailing catameran S/V Agave had arrived on the docks with a younger couple and 2 boys aboard and we met up with them while on our tour of Cape Eleuthera Institute ..

we had a chance to talk with them when they showed up at the restaurant and we invited them to join us ..  Alex is from originally from France and Avi from India but now reside in Maryland .. they purchased their boat a couple of years ago with no prior boating experience and last year set off for an adventure with their 2 boys (ages 11 and 9)  sailing all the way down the Caribbean island chain and now are making their way back to Maryland! .. Avi is still a working Dad in the IT field .. we asked if the boys were being home schooled while on their trip and they both shrugged and said 'oh not really - they will catch up when we get back' .. and we are just betting they will! .. and while Mom and Dad enjoyed a night out the boys were happy on the boat with a pizza from Pascal's and a movie  .. a really neat family and really enjoyed meeting and spending a little time with them ..
 
 
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