Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Hermitage

Our main goal in visiting Cat Island was to make it to The Hermitage.  It is one of the most interesting attractions on the Island.  It is located just outside of New Bight, atop of Mt. Alvernia (also known at Como Hill, the highest point in the Bahamas - 206 ft above sea level)

In summary, Right Reverend Monsignor John Hawes (1876-1956) was an architect and priest.  After retiring he was given permission to live on Cat Island as a hermit and was commonly known as Father Jerome.  In 1940 he began construction of The Hermitage, a miniature replica of a European Franciscan Monastery.  Father Jerome built the entire structure himself out of native rock, including the Stations of the Cross.  He chose the location so he could look over to the east and see the Atlantic Ocean and also to the west where he could gaze upon the emerald waters of the Bahamas Banks.  He was buried at his request under the monastery. Incidentally Fr Jerome is the same man that built the churches in Clarence Town, Long Island too.

Words do not do justice to what we saw.  We hope you enjoy and feel the awe we  felt during our visit.

On the climb up we came to the Stations of the Cross.

The Hermitage……
I climbed the ladder to ring the bell.

Looking north

Looking west

What time is it?

The well

The bell tower

An overall view

The Chapel

We think:  "Praise to the Father for the moon & stars"

The Chapel entrance

The kitchen/oven building

Looking inside the bakery

Welcome to Cat Island

Yesterday we headed out of Elizabeth Harbor on the early side for us (0720) and turned the bows north.  Yes, its true that it is time to head to the north but it is nice to be able to see many new things along the way.  The Bahamas are so large that it will take years to see much of it and we doubt one could ever see it all!

We had a nice sail of 56nm to New Bight on the SW side of Cat Island.  The anchorage is an open roadstead, fully open to the west but we are hoping not to be here long enough for a front to catch us.  (as a side note as we are doing this update the squall that chased us off the island this afternoon has come through and we are facing WEST!……go figure?!?!)

After anchoring and having dinner we were subject to a fantastic sunset.  We couldn't make up our mind which picture was best…….Can you help?

After noon today we took our hike up Como Hill to visit The Hermitage.  These pictures were taken as we were going up the hill.

Main Street in New Bight

ruins on the road to The Hermitage

An old cotton field being burned and cleaned

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's a wrap………we have now seen our first Family Regatta

All is quiet here in George Town today.  Besides the fact that basically everything is normally closed on Sunday there are many people heading home to various parts of the Bahamas.  The regatta held it's final day of racing yesterday and although "old man weather" tried to put a damper on the racing, all was finished just before the scheduled award ceremony.

The windward mark had lots of spectators

Yesterday the "C" class boats started in the morning under good wind and finished up nicely.  "Witty K" won this class with 2 bulllets.  Then …….here comes a nice squall  from the NW and we turned 180 degrees and got a good rinse on Nati.  "B" class postponed.  Then another squall from the south…..more postponement.  The another one came through!  We were spinning all over the place at anchor and some boaters heading north saw a water spout.  But finally the "B" class got under way.  Winner in this class was "Lady Sonia" with "Lonsome Dove" 2nd & "Lady Natalee" 3rd.

Another uptight start for "Cobra"

Lady Nathalie

The gun has sounded……

These guys sailed right around Nati

Sailing upwind

As the class was starting why not have a seaplane take off right over them?!?!  It happened and then it flew right over Nati.  Only in the Bahamas mon!
Notice the boat sailing nearby

and right over Nati

The finals for the "A" class boats was the highlight of the day.  "Tida Wave" was in the groove and pulled out another good win.  Second was "Running Tide".  Running Tide had the regatta all but wrapped up but collided with "Red Stripe" at the start and almost cut her in half!  The put them in deep dodo and it cost them the 1st place.

sv Red Stripe

Ruperts Legend from Long Island

Tida Wave

Lady Muriel

These guys got wet towing  their boat to shore
We were able to get off Nati when the skies cleared and went into town to take in the party atmosphere at the regatta site.  People were everywhere.  The Bahamian Police Band gave a great show right in the middle of town.  Vendors were everywhere and everyone was having a great time.

Trophies are in "the house"

The Junior Police Band


notice the people on the roof!

The review stands

The "Party" was happening!
So……another chapter has closed for 2014 for us and Nati.  We have met many new friends while in G'town and will see them next fall or perhaps even on the way north.  Tomorrow we will look at making a run north to Cat Island.  We haven't been there and we want to see what we can find.  Also with luck our trolling lines will be out.  We want sushi for dinner tomorrow!