Eleuthera: Glass Window, Queen’s Bath, Current Cut, and Egg Island
I’ll say it again, some of the best anchorages we found were in Eleuthera. And one of the worst…
Despite some high winds to the south east (14-18kts), we left the narrow harbor at Hatchet Bay and sailed north to the incredibly impressive Glass Window. To miss that would have been a travesty. After a short sail, we chose a spot closer to the beach area to set anchor. However, neither mother nature nor the grassy bottom would have any of it. It would take 4 tries in 4 different spots before our anchor would finally bite down. And of course, each failed attempt was witnessed by other cruisers there for the day, with their coffees in hand, making no effort to pretend they weren’t enjoying the show. Even tossing out some helpful advice like “good spot over there, the last boat had no trouble holding…”
I might have given up and continued on to Current Cut if it weren’t for the fact that Glass Window is a world’s wonder. And no wonder why, the narrowest strip of land between two great bodies of water come together here. Hence the name: Glass Window…
To the east is the deep blue waters of the Atlantic and to the west is the bight of Eleuthera with its turquoise green water. Stunning, spectacular, jaw-dropping, are just a few benign adjectives to describe the beauty one can easily see just a short hike from the beach.
We took the drone with us to capture some footage and see it from its gimbaled eye. Three letters: wow. Long before violent storms ravaged this coastline, there was a natural stone arch which gave the location its name, from which you could see from one side to the other. And although the bridge that now connects these two bodies of water repeatedly gets washed away by hurricanes and rebuilt, its name continues to draw many visitors to its spot.
First, it was a good hike, second, it’s a beautiful site, and third, it’s close to the Queen’s Bath. The hike to Queen’s Bath is about a half mile from the Glass Window Bridge, and while mostly unmarked, it was easy for us to find and hike into. The natural pools that are formed by the Atlantic and fed by its tide are warmed by the tropical heat and make for an incredibly interesting experience. Heeding advice of others, we did not attempt to visit Queen’s Bath after mid-high tide, and were able to hike down into some of the lower pools and even took a quick dip.
But our time at Glass Window and the Queen’s Bath would be a short one, as we needed to get back on the road as it were to ride in with the stiff current at none other than Current Cut. The cut itself is a narrow 100 yards across, and the eddy favors the starboard, even if it looks like you will run straight into land. Timing our arrival with the ebbing current, and slowing motors down, we still had almost 2 knots in our favor and flew through the cut at 6.5 knots.
Sunset was nearing so we made way to an absolutely gorgeous anchorage just east of the cut and poured ourselves a cocktail. Sometimes at sea, you lose (or forget) just how peaceful life is, but after a glorious day of sailing, hiking, witnessing God’s beauty, and enjoying a sundowner, what more can you ask for?
The Green Flash!! We didn’t ask for it, and I actually didn’t even know there was such a thing, but it is real, I saw it, and still recall the rush of seeing it. What is it you ask: Well, when there are no clouds at the horizon line to obscure a western facing sunset and a calm sea, and you squint your eyes just as the sun reaches the horizon, you might just see the light refract and reflect the merge between yellow and blue – and for a brief 1-2 seconds of pure amazement, you will have witnessed a very rare sight indeed.
The next morning we took off for Egg Island, which is a brief sail to the north west. With winds coming from the south east, we took protection just to the south of the cut, and proceeded to drop the dinghy and race off to Egg Reef for some amazing snorkeling. The water was crystal clear, and we saw so many beautiful corals and tropical fish. But alas, our time in Eleuthera was coming to a close: the window north to the Abacos was calling our name, my vacation was almost over, and it was time for a long sail.
Next up: Sailing the Abacos, and hiding from multiple spring storms