We stopped at Gregory Town for lunch. The entrance was about fifty yards wide straight back forming a small basin harbor notorious for poor holding and surges. We were the only two boats in the harbor. The local taxi driver came out to greet us, and even though we didn't want his services, he was gracious enough to give us directions. We wandered through the quaint little settlement with a bakery perched atop a very steep hill. A couple of miles' walk and we had a great lunch at a resort restaurant. We saw pictures of the Glass Window during the surge which damaged the bridge. The surge waves must have exceeded 200 feet, that's 100 foot above the bridge, causing the damaged described above.
Our next stop was Hatchet Bay. Once a naturally enclosed harbor, an entrance 90 feet wide was blasted through the sheer cliffs. The harbor itself is well protected but unusually dirty since it has no natural flow of water to clean it. The town has many small buildings damaged by a hurricane years ago. Time stands still as they seem to be waiting for the government to come fix them. The local yacht club burned and no effort has been made to rebuild it. Bob wanted some ice cream so we went ashore. We approached the settlement and asked one person who gave us directions. We asked another and then another. A young teenage girl walked up to him and asked if we were the ones looking for ice cream. He said yes and she led us to an out-of-the-way grocery store where we bought ice cream in the evening at a time when I didn't expect any business to be open. It was eerie that everyone seemed to know what we were looking for.
Governor's Harbor was dramatically different, open and clean but not that well protected. The settlement had a good grocery store, an ice cream parlor with daiquiris (without the rum, more like fruit ices), a dive shop, a small women's clothing shop, a restaurant, and a bar. Pastel-colored houses faced the harbor and Club Med brought in tourists on a regular basis making this little town the busiest on Eleuthra. The Academy Awards were on that Sunday and we went in search of a TV with satellite hook-up so we could watch the show. We asked at the police station and then checked out the officer's suggestions. The only place that stayed open late enough was Ronnie's Sports Bar near the waterfront. We rode our bikes there and Ronnie told Bob we could watch the show. Fortunately, the NBA game ended before the awards started. We thought the show started at 7:00 and got there then. Unfortunately, the show didn't start until 8:00 and didn't end until 12:30 a.m., a really late night for us.
After spending a couple of days at Governor's Harbor, we headed south to Rock Sound for a couple of days, then returned to Governor's Harbor on our way to Nassau. While at Governor's, we saw a water spout about ten miles away. That's like a tornado sucking water up into its swirling cone. Wouldn't want to see one of those close up!
We left Governor's Harbor, spent one night anchored to the west of the southern tip of Current Island, and then proceeded toward Nassau. Shortly after we left the anchorage, the engine began to overheat. Bob went below to check the raw water strainer. That was okay. A second look at the gauges indicated the alternator was overcharging. Bob shut down the alternator and the engine temperature immediately returned to normal. During the trip, Bob kept trying different things to isolate the problem but no luck. Then, in the middle of the trip, our navigation electronics started acting up. It was becoming a nightmare.
As we approached New Providence Island, we saw the huge hotels on Paradise Island looming in the distance. The largest by far was the new part of the Atlantis Hotel. At the far end of Paradise Island, we saw the entrance to the harbor running between Paradise Island and the city of Nassau. You have to call Nassau Harbor Control and report your arrival. We passed the area where the monstrous cruise ships dock and proceeded to the anchorage. A new bridge built between the mainland and Paradise Island substantially reduced the size of the anchorage. We anchored once but the water was not deep enough. We anchored again but someone came up and told us we were too far into the freighters' turning basin. We asked one of the anchored boats for suggestions and he indicated an acceptable area. We anchored there but fell back too close to another boat. We anchored again…and again.
Bob was concerned that with the electronics on the blink, the batteries not charging, and our using so much power bringing up the anchor so many times, the engine might not start the next morning. About dark, we decided it would be prudent to find a marina. I called around and located Nassau Yacht Haven. The guy gave me directions to get there and said he would wait. Great directions, but he didn't wait. We arrived and I called him on the radio about 50 times. We saw some people standing on the dock and they waved us in. It was Larry and Sharon from the boat Epiphany! We headed into a slip but whoa! The wind was blowing 15-20 and the current was 2-3 knots, all on our stern. We were being rushed into the fixed slip and couldn't stop. People on the pier tried to help but the bow pulpit hit something and was bent, the only casualty.
The next morning when Bob alluded to the dock master's absence, the guy just grinned. We had rocked and rolled all night from the current and waves from heavy boat traffic, so the next day, we moved to a more protected slip. This time, we chose to move at slack tide and had much help so sustained no further damage. The electrical problem was difficult for Bob to find. He had to systematically go through the entire electrical system. The symptoms were that the electrical system would shut down erratically. He finally discovered that a screw to the main positive bus bar was loose, sort of like your main circuit breaker being loose. He just happened to touch the bus bar and sparks went flying! Having identified the problem area, he took off the plastic cover and found the loose screw. Once he tightened the screw, the problem was solved. What a relief! That could have been a major expense. The engine overheating was caused by our electronic regulator trying to get our 200 amp alternator to push volts through the loose bus bar connection.