Our planned stay in Spanish Wells, or for that matter in Eleuthera, was for only one full day. We arrived Saturday evening and hoped to leave on Monday morning for the Exumas. So, that left Sunday to go into town. Unfortunately for us, most everything is closed on Sunday in Spanish Wells. There are three churches on the island (Baptist, Brethren, and Methodist) and they were, of course, all open. About the only restaurant open was the Shipyard, where, the night before, we had eaten our Valentine’s Dinner.
Spanish Wells was founded back in the 1640s by a group of Bermudians who were traveling to Eleuthera. Their boats shipwrecked on The Devil’s Backbone, a reef which runs along the north and west of northern Eleuthera. They found shelter for a while in a cave, and ultimately ended up staying, founding what is now Spanish Wells. It occurred to me that this may explain the unusual accent of the people on the island. Loyalists from America later arrived in this area as well. The name Spanish Wells is derived from stories of the Spanish explorers. This was the last stop for many of them before crossing the Atlantic back to Spain. The ships would stop here to replenish their fresh water supply from the wells on the island.
We dinghied ashore just after ten in the morning and walked to the Gospel Chapel for their Holy Communion service at 11 a.m. We had no idea what kind of church it was, but it didn’t take long to notice that all the women wore head coverings. We asked the friendly people in the vestibule what kind of church it was and found out that it was a Brethren church. This was our first experience at a Church of the Brethren. We were informed that the church service (at least for Holy Communion) had no set order or plan. People would rise when “the Spirit moved them” to comment on and suggest a hymn from their 19th century hymnal or to share some thoughts from Scripture. It was, in many respects, a step back in time. While the people were polite and friendly and obviously sincere in their approach to worship, I missed the liturgy to which we’ve become accustomed. Even so, it’s a pleasant experience visiting all these different churches in interesting places.
After church service, we crossed the street to On Da Corner for some free wifi. The shop was closed, but the wifi still worked. We then met our friends from Delfino, Fabio and Michelle, at the Shipyard for lunch. We had a wonderful visit, sharing about ourselves, our past experiences and our future plans. We then hung around for a couple of more hours using the restaurant’s free wifi. I was able to publish two blog posts while there. We Tangoed and Face-Timed family while we could. Afterwards we walked back to Dalí and returned to Beatitude, just in time for a gorgeous sunset.