(Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas)
If I had to pick a favorite island in all of the Bahamas, it would be Long Island.
>>Our first trip to Long Island<< (over my birthday week) ended with us staying at an awesome resort on one of the prettiest white sand beaches I’ve ever seen AND Jereme and I getting engaged! So obviously, Long Island already holds a very very special place in my heart.
And, turns out, we ended up making an unplanned return trip to the island after leaving >>Rum Cay.<< Wherever the wind takes you...isn’t that what they say?! ;))
We had intended on sailing all the way to Crooked Island after leaving Rum Cay, but the seas and winds were so NOT in our favor. I swear, the weather forecasts never seem to be accurate for us. When they call for three to five foot waves, it ends up being wave more like eight to 10.
After miserably beating into 8-foot waves for a few hours one morning, we made the executive decision to detour our little boat and instead sail a much easier and more comfortable route…sailing on a broad reach…to the west side of Long Island.
We ended up pulling into Harbour Point outside of Clarence Town during a torrential downpour…which is always loads of fun. ;(( Luckily, the weather cleared up that evening and stayed rather pleasant the rest of the time.
We spent the next few days exploring Clarence Town, dinghying to find sea turtles, and soaking up the free wifi and tasty food at Rowdy Boys Bar + Grill. Oh, and of course filling up our tanks (water + diesel) at the Flying Fish Marina.
The first day we walked to town to check out their grocery store situation.
I never really know what to expect from town to town. Most of the more remote islands have had slim pickings when it comes to food. In this case, I was specifically on the hunt for cheese. Figures. ;)) …Let me just tell ya, we make lots of quesadillas on this ship.
Turns out, the mailboat had yet to arrive that week with a new supply of block cheddar (think government cheese) for the grocery store, so we were out of luck.
But later in the week, we headed back to the grocer and this time he had cheese in stock! Yippee!
We threw a 6-pack of Fanta and Diet Coke in the mix, along with some more of those delicious custard cream cookies, and a bottle of ketchup, and called it a day.
While we were exploring town, we stumbled upon a herd of wild sheep that apparently likes to hang around Clarence Town!
They didn’t really seem to mind us walking by their little pack; however, we did witness a mini standoff between the grocery store guard dog and the herd as it tried to pass. They quickly worked out their differences (i.e. the dog just sat there and didn’t move a muscle) and the sheep mosey’d on by.
We also walked to see the gorgeous Catholic Church that sits atop the highest hill in town. It was really quite pretty with a great view of the island and harbour.
The next day, we decided to go on a little sea turtle dinghy adventure. We could see on our Explorer Chartbooksthat there was a really shallow mangrove area just to the south of the harbour, next to Clem Cay…turtle habitat for sure we thought! And luckily, it was high tide so we could dinghy our way in.
We spent a few hours exploring Clem Cay and Salt Pond Cay, where there appeared to be some major sea turtle research happening in this area.
We saw TONS of green turtles, all of which were tagged with small blue plastic looking tags. After a quick google search, it looks like this might be part of a University of Florida research program studying sea turtle populations throughout the Bahamas.
And holy moly are those turtles fast! Sheesh! I could hardly get a photo of one. We finally managed to sneak up on one little turtle by turning off our dinghy engine and floating downstream towards the unsuspecting little guy. Thankfully, I was able to snap one or two halfway decent shots on my little Canon G12.
We might have stuck around a little too long in the shallows because we ended up having to walk ourselves out part of the way. Typical.
We had a great few days in Clarence Town, but it was time to move on. We’re trying our hardest to get our little boat to Puerto Rico by the dirty part of hurricane season.