Only a few miles away from Staniel Cay, yet a whole different world. Black Point Settlement is a true Bahamian community. The harbor is very protected from a north to east wind. There is an “all age” school where the students wear matching uniforms, several churches of different denominations, at least three restaurants and bars, a grocery store and a very nice laundromat (one of the nicest I have ever been in). Ida, the owner of the laundromat and marine store, will even cut your hair – men $10 and women $15. Unfortunately, I found out about Ida and the opportunity for a hair cut in the back yard overlooking the beautiful harbor the day before we were leaving. It seems I am always “a day late and a dollar short”. Maybe it was that, maybe it was that I don’t quite have the nerve (yet) to let someone I don’t know, and that I haven’t seen the outcome of their work, cut my hair.
We met a lot of nice people here, two women who are single handing their own boats from Florida, many Canadian cruisers, and other cruisers who we were anchored near in Staniel Cay but did not get a chance to chat with. We even met a couple that shipped their folding kayak from Idaho who are completing a circumnavigation of the Exuma Islands, camping on the beaches – they had completed more than half their trip and were making their way back to Georgetown, as you can imagine – they were in great shape!
The topic of conversation seemed to be centered around Farmers Cay and the 5F Festival coming up the following weekend. We watched the local Black Point Settlement men in their Class C Bahamian Sloops practicing for the races. It was fun to hear the banter among the local guys regarding the races, who has the best mast, who can hike the furthest on the prie (the board that sticks out over the water on the windward side of the boat), which is the fastest boat in all the Bahamas.
This is one of the biggest festivals of the year for the racers on all the islands, Jon and I decided we couldn’t miss it.
While waiting out yet another front we paddle boarded through the harbor on our new Yolo Yaks (YOLO stands for You Only Live Once) and hiked the better part of the island. The chart mentioned a well marked hiking trail to get to the White Horses, a Blow Hole, and several other interesting places to see. The first day we made it to the Blow Hole, however the rocks and cliffs are very sharp and we were wearing flip flops. We agreed to set out earlier and with the correct shoes on the following day. We didn’t get out as early as we would have liked and it was a good thing I took extra water and several granola bars with us in the backpack, visions of the show “I shouldn’t be alive” kept coming to mind as we were forcing our way through bushes and growth where there was obviously no “well marked” path. Determined to see the White Horses from land we carried on, finally we were as far as we could go, we were on top of the White Horses cliff looking down at Dotham Cut. I am not sure, but I believe we were supposed to be looking up at the cliffs? It was an adventure. We kept trying to decide if we should find the real trail or just go back the way we came. With sunlight waning and the water rising with the tide over the path that we crossed to get up to the cliffs, we opted for the devil we knew and went back the way we came. It was a beautiful walk/hike along the Exuma Sound side of the island. We found a lot of shells, coral and other items that had washed up from the deep blue sea. There are so many caves and cubby holes carved into the rocky beaches from years and years of waves pounding into the shore. We even saw a few local reptiles and an interesting spider. Good thing one of those didn’t end up on me while we were making our way through the brush! Tired, hungry and sweaty as we made our way back to where we left our paddle boards, we paddled out to the boat and climbed aboard Beausoleil just before another beautiful sunset.
It seems each island we visit now becomes my favorite! The last time we were in the Bahamas it was Shroud Cay then Staniel Cay, this trip it was Cat Island, now it happens to be Black Point Settlement. I guess we will see if Farmers Cay or any of the other islands in the Bahamas will win us over even more.
Next stop – Farmers Cay and the 5F’s festival…