My faith in humanity has been restored by the magnificent people of Eleuthera. It is the friendliest and most genuine place I have ever been. It has been said that the people of my home state of Minnesota are “Minnesota nice” but whoever said that has not traveled its freeways or dealt with a Minnesotan in any capacity in which they can remain anonymous. They can be kraken in dolphin clothing. The people of Eleuthera ooze dolphinness. People on the street wish you a glorious day and often stop to chat. Locals and tourists hitchhike everywhere and the locals are happy to stop and pick you up and want nothing but a thank you for their kindness. They told us, Don’t worry, there are no weirdos here. You can hitch a ride anywhere.
We ran into some new friends at the anchorage who told us about the Friday night fish fry in town that evening. The profits are donated to the local school, to elderly in need, or towards an ambulance ride fund. Every Friday locals and cruisers attend this festive and social fish fry complete with their famous Rumbumbas. There was great food cooked in big vats and large grills. Music was blaring in the street with an MC directing a limbo contest with flexible, swaying people of all ages and nationalities waiting in a line over a half a block long for their next backbend. We made some new friends and chatted with the locals. It was a memorable night.
The following day we had a yummy lunch at Buccaneer’s. I had homemade tuna salad made from locally caught tuna surrounded by bright red tomato slices sitting on top of crisp greens. Captain Ineedaburgerwiththisbeer had an enormous bacon cheeseburger.
Our friend’s from the sailboat Joy told us about a large botanical preserve a couple of miles away. We asked our waiter about it and if it was in walking distance. No mun, he said, you will be walking for miles in the park. He then went up to previous customers and asked them to give us a lift to the park. Absolutely! Hop in! and so we did.
The Levy Preserve is twenty five acres of beautiful Bahamian wilderness with narrow canopied paths weaving through it. There are well maintained and labeled botanical gardens of native plants organized by medicinal purposes, industrial purposes, poisonous, etc. There was a lookout tower to climb with a three hundred and sixty degree view of tree tops and aqua water. There was an old cistern that they converted into a freshwater pond complete with turtles who begged for bread scraps. We walked for miles and miles. It was soul reaching and I grew new roots into the celebrated land.
Behold, I am the anchor lion trainer! I still have a healthy fear of B.P., which is prudent for all anchor lion tamers to have, but I can yank her back into submission by my mighty arm. I shall now call her Bitch Pussycat! We have heard plenty of stories from fellow sailors of lifting electric cables, rocks and a myriad of odd things as they retrieve their anchors so I keep a careful eye on B.P. as she and her chain come up. I noticed something dark and unusual on the chain as I retrieved B.P. to move on from Governor’s Harbour. Slowly, as it came into focus, it became clear it was a navy shirt wrapped around the chain. I unwrapped the shirt to find it was a new, long sleeve rash guard with the map of Eleuthera on it. It is just my size. B.P.cat, now properly brought into submission, has given me a gift from the sea.