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Trip Report Unwinding and Warming Up on Eleuthera

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We’re just back from a wonderful week in Eleuthera. We were a group of eight (4 couples – two sets of parents, 2 sets of 30-somethings) and none of us had ever been to the island before. We found it to be beautiful, quiet, and the perfect escape from a New York winter.

We rented the Yellow House in Governor’s Harbor (http://www.governorsharbourvacationrentals.com/blank/rooms/ecaf011e-af84-4e53-9126-19ac110b5246). It was a fabulous house which perfectly suited our group. Each large bedroom had its own en suite bathroom. We greatly enjoyed eating breakfast out by the pool in the morning and dining in the beautifully decorated great room in the evenings. The kitchen was one of the most well-equipped kitchens we have encountered in years of renting vacation homes. The laundry hut was a great extra along with the outdoor shower. Our host, Kathy Coleman, provided excellent recommendations on restaurants to try and other things to do on the island. She even welcomed us with homemade lasagna on our first night so we wouldn’t have to worry about cooking dinner!

Beaches:
French Leave Beach was our favorite not only because of its proximity to our house, but because of the sheer beauty of it. It is large, good for walking or running, and we were generally the only people there save for a few couples from the French Leave Resort. Additionally, because it’s on the Atlantic side, we found it to be far less buggy (read: no bugs at all) than the Caribbean beaches.

Ten Bay Beach: we enjoyed our visit to this beach because of the opportunities for shelling and sand dollar collecting. Although we kept with our rule of not being at the beach past 5 pm, I think this is where we picked up the majority of our mosquito bites because it was so still.

Tippy’s Beach: we showed up to Tippy’s on a Monday for lunch only to find it closed so we decided to make use of the beach in front of the restaurant instead. This beach was also great for its size, beauty, and general emptiness. Tippy’s has a few umbrellas placed in the sand in front so if you don’t come equipped, you can find some shade. Additionally, you can walk up to the bar and order a Kalik or rum punch to enjoy on the beach when the restaurant is open.

We tried to make use of the beach book kept in our rental house but found that it was next to impossible to locate many of the beaches. For instance, one day we drove up north and squandered two hours trying to locate/access some of the beaches featured. We wound up just returning back to French Leave. I wish that the island would do a better job of marking the access points to its beaches.

Bugs:

As mentioned above, we made sure to leave the beaches by 5 pm before the bugs really got busy, but many of us still managed to get bitten. I brought Off Deep Woods with me and even though I used it at Ten Bay Beach, I still walked away with numerous mosquito bites. I was happy that we all managed to avoid the no-see-ums, though. After being bitten alive by those things on North Captiva Island, mosquito bites are a breeze. Cortizone cream proved to be the best treatment for getting rid of the itch.

Food:
Although the two small grocery stores in Governor’s Harbor are helpful for grabbing something in a flash, we found that it was worth making the trip to the large grocery store in Rock Sound to buy our food for the week. That being said, even here all of the meat looked like it had been in the deep freeze for months. Fortunately for us, we were able to buy local fish and lobster from the fishermen who set up shop on the Governor’s Harbor ramp between 2:30 and 4 most afternoons.

Banks Road Deli was a good find for a place to buy bread, specialty items, and cold cuts. They’ll even prepare take-away sandwiches for the beach. Although we didn’t make use of it, they also sell meat here.

We enjoyed two meals at the Buccaneer Club which was a short walk from our rental home in Governor’s Harbor. The conch fritters, rum punches, and grilled fish were great.

We also enjoyed a meal at Tippy’s and loved being able to look out over the water as we ate.

The Island Farm was recommended to us by Cathy and it was a great find. Located just south of Governor’s Harbor on the Queen’s Highway, we were able to buy homemade jerk sauce, a tomato and pea sauce for cooking rice and lots of nice vegetables there. On Tuesday morning, we woke up early to get there in time to buy their fresh bread and cinnamon buns – delicious!

I would also recommend attending the Friday night Fish Fry on Cupid’s Cay in Governor’s Harbor. It runs from 6 pm – 1 am and was a lot of fun. There was fresh conch salad, fried fish (of course), rice and peas, and other side dishes. Beware of the rum bubbas – they’re more like a full glass of rum with a shot of Kool Aid thrown in!

Charter

On Kathy’s advice, we arranged a day charter with Captain Manex of Coco Loba tours. Our group met him and his assistant, Ton, at the dock in James Cistern and from there we sailed north to the Glass Window Bridge. We spent time there learning how to spear fish and doing some snorkeling. Ton is an expert spear fishermen and we enjoyed watching his success. His skill has apparently earned him the nickname “Assassin”. We made three additional stops at different locations for more snorkeling and spear fishing and, by the end of the charter, Ton had filled the cooler with fish and lobster. When we docked in James Cistern, Manex cleaned and filleted all of the fish and we wound up with a really wonderful dinner.

We would return to Eleuthera in a heartbeat. It’s the perfect island if you want to disconnect, enjoy beautiful beaches, and really slow down.

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