It was time to move on from the Abacos after a truly wonderful stay there. Eleuthera was to be the next stop and we had plans to make the passage with friends on Bernoulli when the weather allowed the 50nm open ocean passage. The ocean was currently being spirited with fairly large swell coming from the east while the Sea of Abaco was to get fairly strong winds from the northwest. Team Noodin made the decision to hide from the northwest winds in the “Bight of Old Robinson”, a large bay near the cut we would go through to get to Eleuthera. This ended up being a poor decision as some of the ocean swell made it through to our anchorage. Swell is not so bad if it comes from the direction of the wind but in this case it didn’t. Noodin pointed into the wind and the swell was hitting us on the beam (side) creating a miserable combination of pitching and rolling. Something I call random 3-dimensional motion. We spent 2 nights there and before we had left I started taking sea sickness meds which we don’t usually take even while at sea. Bernoulli joined is the 2nd night and the following morning it was out the Little Harbour Cut and off towards Eleuthera. Phebe got our fishing gear in the water as soon as we were through the cut and immediately hooked up with a nice little Mahi. The little ones are called “chickens” here but it tasted nothing like chicken.
Sailing conditions to Eleuthera were a bit of a mixed bag with good sailing wind much of the time only to be interrupted by lighter winds which made it necessary to motorsail. Fairly large swell would come and go making for some interesting visuals. Pictures never do waves justice so there aren’t any this time. We arrived at Royal Island Eleuthera well before dark and enjoyed a wonderful Mahi dinner with Matt and Bernice from Bernoulli. The next morning it was off early to get through Current Cut at the appropriate time and then on to our anchorage at the Glass Window Bridge where we would part ways with Bernoulli. It was not without a little sadness as we watched them sail away.
Team Noodin had been on a schedule last year because we had agreed to meet family in Georgetown. As wonderful as it is to have family and friends aboard, it does add to the stress when you have an airplane to meet somewhere. Traveling by water requires cooperative weather which can’t be counted on here in the Bahamas.This year Team Noodin has no commitments and we are literally free to go where the wind will take us. Last year we had a quick trip through Eleuthera and this year we took our time. We found a favorite little anchorage at a place called Ten Bay and hung out there a couple of different times for probably 10 days total. We snorkeled the rock ledges, played bocce, and enjoyed the company of people that we met on the beach. We especially enjoyed meeting Tom and Cathy, from Wichita, who were staying in a cottage on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. We were treated to a trip to their cottage and we took them sailing for a day. Beach bocce lessons were given but no money changed hands.
The local phone company had a promotion going that allowed us to stream the Superbowl aboard Noodin. The screen was small but the nachos and the IPA’s were great. The game was pretty good too!
We fish whenever we get the chance but definitely prefer deeper water to the banks. The deep water gives the opportunity for the bigger fish. Decent fish can be caught on the banks too but very often you’ll hook a barracuda. This one that we caught near Rock Sound was the biggest one so far.
Wehunkered down at Rock Sound for about 5 days while we waited out some windy weather. We enjoyed walking around the settlement and visiting with the friendly people. We saw more chickens roaming the streets of Rock Sound than any other settlement which is saying something. Phebe fished quite a bit but the only real luck was catching these crabs that were trying to steal her bait. From Eleuthera it would be on to the Exumas.