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S: MEMORIES OF ELEUTHERA ~ AUGUST 9 - 16, 2010

FC: Memories of Eleuthera August 9 - 16, 2010

1: On August 9, 2010, we departed for Eleuthera via Miami at 6:00 a.m. Arriving at the North Eleuthera airport, we were met by a driver and car to be taken to the ferry to cross to Spanish Wells, an island 1 mile off the northwest coast of Eleuthera. Eleuthera means "freedom" in Greek and is located 60 mi. east of Nassau and 200 mi. southeast of Miami. The island which is long and skinny - 110 miles long and no wider than 2 miles - has about 10,000 people living on it. The Spanish Wells/Russell Island community has a population of about 1,600. Spanish Wells is about 2.5 miles long by 1/2 mile wide while Russell Island, joined to Spanish Wells by a short bridge, is larger at 4miles long and 2 miles wide. Most of the people living on Spanish Wells are descendants of the Eleutheran Adventurers who came to the Bahamas seeking religious freedom in 1648. The American War for Independence (1776-1783) caused another influx of immigrants to Eleuthera who wanted to remain loyal to Britain. Many brought their slaves with them. The people of Spanish Wells discouraged the use of slaves which is why the island today has a predominantly white population. Based on numerous travel reviews and because Spanish Wells is known as the lobster capital of the Bahamas, we chose the location for our family summer trip. Upon arriving at the Spanish Wells dock, we were met by James, the caretaker of the house we had rented. After renting 2 golf carts, the main mode of transportation, we headed to Seafront, The Blue House on Russell Island to begin what we thought would be the best vacation to-date with a lovely home on the beach and beautiful waters of Russell Island. What a surprise we received when we arrived at the house...

2: Pictures of Seafront, The Blue House on Russell Island, from VRBO - the website where we found the house which is owned by Justin _______ of England.

3: Uh oh... Seafront in person is not exactly what was pictured on the owner's advertisement. It certainly isn't a brand new secluded house set in mature orchards. Although we all agreed we could tough it out for a whole week, Rob graciously made the decision to relocate our vacation. After a few phone calls, we rented a house at the Sky Beach Club outside of Governors Harbour on Eleuthera to which we would move the next day.

4: Since we could not check in to the Sky Beach house until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, we decided to spend a little time at what Rob discovered was the beautiful and only beach on Spanish Wells and Russell Island.. The water was clear, warm, and very shallow but also home to many jellyfish.

7: Then it was back to the house for packing up to leave. Rob found 2 gorgeous starfish in the ocean out back while Kate & Mary took some photos seen on the next pages...

11: Goodbye Spanish Wells!!! | Our driver (same as upon arrival) picked us up from the Spanish Wells dock, loaded all of the luggage in the trunk, and drove us the approx. 1 hour to Sky Beach. Amazingly, the luggage never fell out even though the trunk could not be shut due to our 10 bags!

12: Views from the Glass Bridge - the narrowest part of Eleuthera and painted by Winslow Homer - which crosses a natural channel between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea

14: Lot No. 9 - our house at Sky Beach Club...4 bedrooms, 4 baths, infinity pool, 3,200 S.F., Viking appliances, breathtaking views... an ABSOLUTE DREAM VACATION HOUSE in which to stay!

16: An early morning walk on the beach at sunrise...

17: ...and some serious pool time... reading, relaxing, and enjoying the view...

21: Time for some snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea across the street from the Sky Beach Club

24: Back in the pool for some late afternoon fun...

25: The next day, Rob, Colleen, Kate & Anna took a back-road-very-bumpy-and-slightly-disconcerting ride to a secluded beach area called Twin Coves for some snorkeling and possible lobster fishing.

27: The scenery was much prettier than the snorkeling, although Rob found many sea urchin shells and the girls took some gorgeous photos... There is a privately owned, secluded house on one of the coves .

34: Meanwhile, Rob found a lobster under the rock ledges. He was not about to let that lobster get away either, diving down repeatedly, pulling off one of the tentacles, until finally...

35: HE GOT THE LOBSTER!!!!

37: Victorious, Rob emerges from the ocean with his spiny crayfish (Bahamian lobster) to take home for dinner.

38: Before our surf and turf dinner that included Rob's catch of the day, Kate tried a new hairstyle on Anna in honor of Rob's first lobster catch.

40: The last afternoon at Sky Beach, Rob and Colleen set off to a snorkeling area recommended by Curtis, the general manager of Sky Beach. After a long bumpy ride on a dirt path in the van rented from McLean Tender, Rob settled on this spot - not what Curtis recommended, but close. Rob found a massive lobster - about 18 inches - under some rocks and attempted to catch the lobster with his hands and a large stick. Unfortunately, the lobster won, and all Rob was able to catch was one of the lobster's tentacles.

42: That same afternoon, it was Mary's turn at a hairstyle a la Kate.

44: Our last night at Sky Beach Club... sadly, the house was only available through Friday night, so we moved to The Cove, which is on the Caribbean side of Eleuthera, for Saturday and Sunday nights.

45: Our final sunrise at Sky Beach. As the sun rose, our bird friend who came several times to sip from the pool, came to quench his thirst.

46: Goodbye Sky Beach...

47: Hello The Cove, a 26 cottage resort in Gregory Town owned by Kirk Aulin and his wife. Kirk played in the NHL before retiring to Eleuthera. Gregory Town is the locale in which Lenny Kravitz has a house and likes to go to blend in and "just be himself." If in town, Lenny jams at the local bars.

48: Upon arrival, we ate a delicious lunch then hit the beach just steps from our cottage for snorkeling and hanging out. Unfortunately, the photos from snorkeling did not develop, although Anne, Kate, Rob and Colleen did see the famous lionfish, a fierce but small, poisonous predator in the Bahamas. Lionfish, which are popular exotic aquarium fish, are native to Asia and have no known natural predator in the Bahamas. The starfish were numerous, and all spotted numerous large fish around the point. The 60lb grouper that inhabits the point was hidden. We snorkeled both coves - the best snorkeling we experienced on Eleuthera although Rob did not see any lobsters.

49: On Sunday morning, we woke up to our first day of overcast skies. After a delicious breakfast, Rob announced we were heading over to Harbour Island to check it out. Harbour Island is an upscale very small island off of the northwest coast of Eleuthera - just a 5 minute ferry ride across. It is also home to and visited by many celebrities and well-known wealthy Americans. Shops are closed on Sundays although we did enjoy the famous pink sand beaches and a delicious lunch at the Coral Sands Resort. The island has wild roosters that inhabit the island and are heard and seen everywhere.

50: A dip in the ocean off of the Atlantic side of Harbour Island with pink sand beaches and calm clear waters....

51: Lunch at Coral Sands Beach Club which has a nice pool area although the restaurant overlooking the ocean needs ceiling fans - a cool clapboard house - and the shot departing on the ferry

52: Late that afternoon, it was time for a dip in the ocean just steps from our cottage. After resisting for 24+ hours, Rob finally caved and checked out the lobster cage on the beach. Rob also searched for sand dollars in the cove and hauled in around 30!

53: Rob shows his sand dollar stash to Kate...

54: A trip to the beach in front of our cottage after dinner on our last night - sadly, the invisible bugs biting drove us inside...

56: After breakfast the morning of departure, Rob went for one last snorkel to look for the elusive lobster and 60lb grouper at the Cove...

57: The final departing shots of Eleuthera, including the North Eleuthera airport... until next time...

58: During our 7 hour layover in Miami, we made a trip to South Beach for lunch and a little shopping!

59: Thank you to Rob for the most LOVELY, WONDERFUL, and SPECTACULARLY MEMORABLE vacation in the summer of 2010 and for very graciously giving us a happy ending to the unexpected beginning in Spanish Wells. CHEERS to Mary for coming along even though she was still recuperating from surgery, and CONGRATS to Rob for catching his first lobster! Once again, BRAVE Anna challenged Rob on his daring dives to retrieve the sea's treasures while Kate provided her happiness and tranquility to all! When are we going back? Love to all... Colleen 8-31-2010

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  • By: Colleen J.
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