A Day at the Hole

It was one of those days…the kind where things just aren’t going quite right and all I’d wanted to do was crawl into a dark hole and come out once again to start over.  Brian and I were NOT catching a break on weather windows although we were preparing the boat and  itching to move!  That afternoon my wishes were granted, thanks to our friends Shiv and Emily.  I crawled right into an enormous, dark, and yet brilliantly beautiful hole only to emerge refreshed!

Welcome to Dean’s Blue Hole!  This gem is located on the southern end of Long Island, Bahamas near Clarence Town.  Dean’s Blue Hole is said to be the deepest blue hole in the world, reaching a depth of 663 feet (203 meters).  It is well known to freedivers who travel to Dean’s Blue Hole to train and compete. Our friend, Shiv, is currently training.  If you’d like to learn more about freediving, let the experts Ren and Ashley at Evolve Freediving teach you.  It was Ren and Ashley who introduced us to Dean’s Blue Hole and shared with us a glimpse of their freediving world. IMG_7984Brian and I paused on the beach for a sobering moment as we observed Dean’s Blue Hole for only the second time.  We thought of Nick, whom we were so fortunate to have met during our travels.  Nick gave his life to his passion of freediving; he died during a dive competition at Dean’s Blue Hole this past November.IMG_7989

That afternoon we spent in good company while we snorkeled, dove, jumped off cliffs, flew a kite, and threw a frisbee at Dean’s Blue Hole.  We caught up with Shiv and enjoyed getting to know Emily.  We met fellow travelers, Justin and Anna.

IMG_7974IMG_7980At the end of the day we re-fuled at the Flying Fish Marina in Clarence Town.  Good eats and many laughs at the Outer Edge Grill!

IMG_7990

Shiv & Emily

Shiv & Emily

Justin & Anna
Justin & Anna

 

 

Salt Pond Farmers’ Market

One of the many highlights of Long Island is the abundance of fresh, green produce – a rare find in the Bahamas! Each Saturday morning, the local farmers and artisans gather to share their crops and crafts. The market attracts locals and cruisers for quite the social event! This year’s crops were not disturbed by hurricanes; it was a mild season. There have been rain showers that have unusually extended through January which have also contributed to the crops’ production. Brian and I are very appreciative of the farmers’ and happy to buy locally here in Long Island.

20140126-142612.jpg

The selection includes: sweet potatoes, sour oranges, coconut water, collard greens, calilu greens, basil, thyme, rosemary, green peppers, okra, pigeon peas, sweet corn, bananas, papayas, plantains, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, watermelons, and fresh eggs.

20140126-142653.jpg

20140126-142708.jpg

20140126-142721.jpg

We bought a bit of everything. Now if we only had some fish to add to the table…while Brian is off hunting I’ll be juicing sour oranges for a tasty orangeade.

Indian Hole Point, Long Island

Brian and I have finally recuperated from our on-the-go travels and guests. We were blessed with excellent weather with which to leave Georgetown, Great Exuma and sail to Thompson Bay, Long Island. Ahhhhh…it now feels as though we are really in the Bahamas! At Thompson Bay and nearby Salt Pond we’ve reunited with dear friends, John & Penny of p/h (private home) Fairhaven, as well as several other familiar and friendly Long Island dwellers. It’s great to be back at this home away from home!

20140126-140016.jpg

Our first few days at Long Island were cloudy, breezy, cool and rainy (I’ll refrain from the word “cold” because I know family and friends who are experiencing actual “COLD” back in the Polar Vortex we once called the Northeastern United States). We hunkered down for two days of rain and set to work creating a checklist to prepare for our next venture toward Panama. After a review and few additions to the ‘Boat Projects Checklist’ it was set aside and the ‘Panama Priority Checklist’ was created. Many of our priority items required use of the internet, and since our data plan had expired and we were two miles via dinghy away from the nearest internet source at the Long Island Breeze Resort, we decided a few more hours…or days of hunkering and relaxing would suffice.

As soon as the sunshine reappeared, we were off scampering about the island! (Well, we did some long walks along the ocean side beach during the intermittent rain showers.) We headed to the “cruisers beach” at the northeastern end of Thompson Bay. Here, we resurrected the campfire ring; the conch shells had been buried and scattered in the sand. And then…onward to the trails!

20140126-140359.jpg

20140126-140347.jpg

Beyond the campfire ring is a trail that leads to Indian Hole Point Road. Along this short trail you’ll also find a freshwater well; I’d not recommend it for drinking but the thought of laundry has crossed my mind… At the end of the trail, we turned left onto Indian Hole Point Road and walked along trying to avoid falling to our doom down into the monstrous potholes.

20140126-141141.jpg

There are several private homes along this road, a small bungalow-style beach resort, and several lots for sale. Many of the unfinished lots have driveways leading back to the shoreline on the Thompson Bay. We side-tracked along a driveway and meandered our way along the shores of the bay.

20140126-141349.jpg

20140126-141411.jpg

A Willet (thanks, Mark S.!) on the hunt along the shoreline.

20140126-141711.jpg

This was no Compromise, the beach won.

20140126-141837.jpg

Tiny coral bits along the shoreline.

20140126-141934.jpg

A natural footbridge to bring us along the bend.

20140126-142031.jpg20140126-142113.jpg

Indian Hole Point was a rocky, limestone ledge leading around the point just above the water with caves to poke into and explore.

20140126-142159.jpg

20140126-142213.jpg

20140126-142234.jpg

20140126-142246.jpg

Footing was tricky…as the ledge became narrower…

20140126-142342.jpg

20140126-142355.jpg

20140126-142421.jpg

We had a fabulous walk around the point onto two other small, sandy beaches and back onto a trail that led us to Indian Hole Point Road for a smooth walk home.