Monday, June 10, 2019

May 21, 2019 Preacher's Cave and Sapphire Blue Hole on Eleuthera

Devyn had researched the area and found a blue hole near Spanish Wells.  We had never been there because it was on the mainland of Eleuthera.  We thought we would have to have a rental car to get there.  But after asking around, we realized we could dinghy to a beach and walk about 30 minutes.  So off we went on a new adventure.
This is the northern part of Eleuthera.  Spanish Wells is an island to the west of this


We found the beach, but checked with a few people swimming.  They pointed us to the path, no signage, which was ok by us.
 






securing the dinghy to a tree because of the tide, not theft


tide will rise while we are gone, so have to drag the dinghy onto the shore

 First, we stopped at a site we had known about, but never seen, called Preacher’s Cave.  The sign read:  Preacher’s Cave is perhaps most noted as a place of refuge for the first English settlers in the Bahamas.  Known as the Eleutheran Adventurers, this group sailed from Bermuda in 1648 in  search of religious freedom.  After shipwrecking on the Devil’s Backbone Reef, on the north shore of Eleuthera, they found shelter in the cave.  They named the island after the Greek word eleuthera, meaning freedom, and planted the seeds of a new nation. 

The cave had a stone in the back of the cave that was used for preaching sermons.  Hence the name.  It was used for sermons for 100 years.  We explored it was before hiking to the Blue Hole. 








several openings above for lighting


hermit crab





binocular view




beehive in the wall

tour guide Dave pointing to the bee hive
We had found the location of the Blue Hole on different maps before attempting to hike there.  The reviews said the road wasn’t well marked, but that’s no longer true.  When we arrived, the people we had seen on the beach had been swimming in the hole.  They assured us that it was fun to jump in, and that they were able to climb out on the rope that was hung along a rocky edge.  That convinced me that we could do this.

 


I turned to Devyn to plan our jump, and it was then that she informed me that she was afraid of heights.  WHAT??!!  I assumed we would jump once we hiked there and knew we could get out.  So we made a plan.  We would hold hands and jump together.  We’d look out across to the other side, not down.  When she was little and was didn’t like the sailboat to heel, she would say “whoop whoop, Daddy.”  So I told her I would say “whoop whoop whoop” and we would jump.  Dave went to the other side to film us.  We positioned close to the edge and WE DID IT!  It was exhilarating and felt great after hiking 30 minutes to get there.  The water was salty because the hole is connected to the ocean underground.  There weren’t any fish that we could see.  The water was very clear and beautiful. 


Now the hard part, climbing out.  I am estimating that the jump/climb was about 20 feet.  Both Devyn and I have rock climbed in the past, which came in handy.  And we wore shoes, which was recommended.  This was the first time Dave had used this camera, and he missed Devyn’s climb out.  But her parents would have been proud of her. 

Halfway up, I needed to make a big step and wasn’t sure my knees could handle it.  Dave asked if I could do a “Nancy”.  About a month ago, my friend Nancy just rolled onto a dock to get out of our dinghy.  So I laughed and rolled onto the ledge just fine. (Thanks, Nancy, for introducing that technique to me.)



I would have jumped again, but I didn’t want to have to climb out again.  We celebrated with a light lunch that we packed.




Then we hiked back to the dinghy on the beach.  Devyn and I did a little “beach combing” while Dave got the dingy ready.  We checked out a couple places to snorkel on the way back.  There are a few wrecks in this area, but we didn’t have any directions to them.  We snorkeled until the coral was too close to the surface to move the dingy over.  AND I happen to see a shark swim away then turn back towards us.  Probably wouldn’t have been an issue, but we were ready to leave anyway. There were a lot of coral formations, but not a lot of wild life.















Mahi tacos dinner AGAIN.
 



Yes, virgin fruit punch for Devyn and rum punch for me

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