Meeks Patch, and arrival in Hatchet Bay

On December 2, we swung by a couple of Christmas markets in Spanish Wells before returning our golf cart. We picked up muffins and coffee at Savy Styles, a little one-person coffee and treats operation, run by Savannah Pinder (Pinder is a common name in these parts!) She also sells handmade swimwear and resin jewelry at the same location. I picked up a couple of her hair clips made with sand from the beach at Gregory Town on Eleuthera.* Back on the boat, we finished up the stockings, hung them up, and decorated the Christmas tree. Cecelia even made origami “ornaments” for the tree. Yay for celebrating the holidays on the boat!

*We have been pretty discerning about purchases/souvenirs, given limited space on the boat. These were too unique to pass up!

We dropped the mooring as the tide came up, and pulled up to the dock at Ron’s service center, after some thoughtful calculations about how not to smash into their concrete dock when arriving. (Yikes!) We talked with Ronnie while we filled our water tanks, and found out the water there is double RO (reverse osmosis), which was pretty neat. They also only charged us for 50 gallons, because their gauge wasn’t working properly. What a super nice team those guys were! Patrick also picked up some lobster tails to cook for dinner one night soon, and we managed to get off the concrete dock without incident, too.

We motored out to Meeks Patch, just outside Spanish Wells, and anchored in 11 ft at high tide. We wanted to do some snorkeling there, but the water was a bit wavier than we preferred (for comfort and for visibility) so we decided to wait until the morning, when it would likely be calmer.

We spent the rest of the day working on blog posts, reading, and airing out our cabins and cushions in the sunshine. Patrick wanted to jump in the water and scrub the bottom of the boat, but an overly friendly remora kept bothering him when he got in, so he gave up on that plan!

The next morning, we woke to a calm day. The water was also pretty clear, so we could see all the way down to the bottom. As we got ourselves and our snorkel stuff into the dinghy, we checked out that remora again, who seemed to have taken up residence under our boat! Apparently our boat would not be getting a bottom scrub today either. 🙂

We dinghied over to the south end of Meeks for some snorkeling. We spotted a huge sea star, lots of little fish and little sea stars, and some cool coral.

When we’d had our fill of snorkeling, we went back to the boat to wait for the tide, so we could transit Current Cut and head across the Bight of Eleuthera to Hatchet Bay. We filmed the remora with the GoPro, since he was still lounging under our boat when we got there.

After lunch, it was time to raise the anchor and head to Hatchet Bay. Patrick put out the fishing lines and a barracuda hit the cedar plug 5 minutes later. We weren’t about to take our chances with ciguatera, and who wants to mess with those chompy teeth anyway…so he went right back into the water.

To get into the Bight, we had to navigate through Current Cut, which was pretty narrow. Right after you head through it, there’s a 90-degree turn to the south, to keep enough depth for boats like ours. It was a little tense, but we got through it. You have to look at the charts, but mostly at the water itself, to make sure you are staying in the deepest water you can.

Then we motored for a few hours across the Bight.

The entrance to Hatchet Bay is actually carved through the cliffs, so that was interesting! It was even narrower than Current Cut, but it was deep right up to the cliffs, which was reassuring.

Once we were inside, we dropped anchor and dinghied to shore.

At the Boaters’ Haven, we met Emmett (he seems to be like the mayor around there; he runs the Boat Haven) and Alex (another local guy who plays music around Eleuthera). We enjoyed Emmett’s guitar playing and singing (Bob Marley was a favorite!), and had a few beers, while Cecelia made friends with a cat she named Lemur because of her ringed tail.

We had dinner back on the boat in the cockpit. It wasn’t as buggy here as it had been in other places, so it was nice to sit outside with our string lights up and enjoy the surroundings. Sunset wasn’t too bad, either!

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