We missed this amenity the first time we made the trek to Harbour Island: Eleuthera
! (Believe it or not, some people think Eleuthera is Harbour Island
.) Of course, we knew Eleuthera existed given you typically fly into North Eleuthera if you want to get to "Briland." Eleuthera had been dismissed because we thought Governors Harbour and Club Med beach
was the hot set there. Driving to those destinations and spending any amount of time there pretty much soaks a full day, 3+ hours of which is driving. And we eventually did that... Was it worth it? Absolutely!
But since then, we've had an opportunity to poke around the northern shores of Eleuthera and found any number of choice spots that can be driven to in less than an hour from the Harbour Island ferry dock
. You can arrange to have a car rental meet you there and spend a half day discovering a few of the treasures North Eleuthera has to offer without feeling like you just did the marathon.
One of our favorite spots to visit is Preachers Cave
. This historical site recently produced some archaeological finds dating back to the Arawaks in the 1500s. If you do a little reading about William Sayle and the Eleutheran Adventurers before you go, it makes for a better experience. When there, you can get a feel for the hardships these founders endured. Yet here they were surrounded by some of the most beautiful beachfront and island landscape in the Bahamas!
And that leads us to the other feature of visiting Preacher's Cave: checking out the adjoining Tay Bay Beach just off Devil's Backbone
. Let's keep it simple: Wow! This is arguably one of the nicest beaches on North Eleuthera -- a very long broad beach with nice rock outcroppings on either end to give it character and grace. If you're there long enough, you'll invariably see a few boats come through the treacherous Devils Backbone, many times being led by a guide boat to avoid wrecking their hulls on the coral reefs.
Another excellent destination when embarking on an Eleuthera Road Trip is Current Cut
and Current Settlement
. Current Cut, popular with divers all over the world, is a narrow channel of water that flushes back and forth with the tides between Current Island
and Eleuthera. Whether you dive or not, seeing the dark blue ocean water rushing through like a river is quite a visual. And the visit to peaceful and sedate Current Settlement gives you a real feel for "tiny town Bahamas." But before we muse about how far removed Current Settlement is, a newly renovated library there provides high speed Internet access to the rest of the world -- and your email if you must. Don't forget to check out that area of Current Settlement where the old dock is. This entire area is "camera ready."
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention of a few of the beaches and points of interest in North Eleuthera. Check out my satellite map of Eleuthera
and look for Ridley Head, Salt Kettle Beach, Ben Bay Beach and Current Bay Beach. I'm not going to fib, though. These aren't necessarily the easiest places to find unless you either have good instructions or you are good with a map, and probably both. Just be sure to have extra water with you in case you get stuck somewhere. Some of these locations are off the beaten path and there are few if any signs. Probably the easiest of these Eleuthera beaches
to find is Tay Bay Beach next to Preachers Cave. Once you are on the right path, there are signs along the way and you shouldn't have any problems with the roads or the navigation. Just be sure to tell someone where you're going and what time you expect to be back.
So if you're looking for something extra to do when visiting Harbour Island, hop on a water taxi and head towards Eleuthera. See what it feels like to be an Eleutheran Adventurer.
"Eleuthera road trip!"Music to my ears...
pjVisit Harbour Island Bahamas
©2009 Perry Joseph
Labels: eleuthera, harbour island, harbour island bahamas vacation