The first item on the agenda for our Monday in Hope Town Harbour was a trip to the candy-cane, red and white striped structure that is instantly recognizable as the Hope Town Lighthouse. It was constructed by the British in the 1860s over the objections and vandalism of the area’s inhabitants. A lighthouse is bad for business when your business is salvaging shipwrecks. It is still operational. We sat beneath its rotating beam every night in Hope Town harbour. It is one of the last remaining kerosene powered lighthouses in the world. It was pretty cool to climb the 101 steps to the level of the lamp and walk around the outside to picturesque vistas of the beautiful aquamarine waters surrounding Elbow Cay.
After our trip to the lighthouse, we returned to Beatitude for lunch before heading out for our real adventure of the day: A 3-mile dinghy trip to Tahiti Beach on the far south end of Elbow Cay. With just Cindy and I in the dinghy, we can get Dalí up onto a plane and make a speed of over 20 knots. However, with four on the boat we can only make about 5 knots. With a northwest breeze blowing from behind on the way down to Tahiti beach, the trip was fine. We pulled Dalí up onto the beach and enjoyed an afternoon of laying in the sun, swimming and wading in the shallow water. Just off Tahiti beach is a large sand bar which is exposed at low tide. We arrived right at low tide and had a great time on the sand and wading in the ankle to knee-deep water surrounding the sand bar. We found several starfish, one almost a foot across! We also found several sand dollars. I unexpectedly even found an orca! Of course, it was a six-inch long children’s toy sitting in the shallows. We took our snorkeling equipment because we saw on the chart that there was a reef on the Atlantic side of the beach. Unfortunately, this area was not easily accessible from where we were. Or… maybe fortunately, since three or four weeks ago a snorkeler was attacked by a shark while on the reef.
The 3-plus mile ride home on Dalí was quite the adventure. The wind had picked up and we were heading directly into 1-2 foot seas as our dinghy slogged along. We repeatedly took quite a bit of water over the bow and into the boat, showering the four of us with the cool salty water. We had anticipated getting wet, so each of us wore our wetsuit for the return trip. Occasionally, I bailed water out of the dinghy using a plastic cup and a diver’s mask. To lessen the splashing of the water onto the four of us and into the dinghy, I made a zigzag path back to Hope Town Harbour. We arrived wet and exhilarated from our adventurous voyage home. Tracy said we were training for the Navy Seals. 🙂
Once home, we dried out and headed over to the Harbour’s Edge for dinner. The waterfront dining area was simple, yet possessed an elegance which was unexpected. After a delicious meal, we went to Captain Jack’s for after dinner drinks and internet. I was able to prepare two blog posts for publishing.