Salt Pond, Long Island
Anchored off the settlement of Salt Pond, Long Island, in Thompson Bay
On Monday May 19/14 we set sail from George Town, Great Exuma, in the Bahamas and headed southeast across the Great Bahama Bank to Salt Pond, Long Island. The forecast had a little north in it for a change so we were looking forward to a nice sail. However it was not to be. The wind slid from NE to SE, then back and forth several times, until it finally settled in from the east. This was pretty much dead on the nose so we ended up motorsailing most of the 35 miles to Salt Pond. Oh well, it helped top up the batteries.
We arrived at Thompson Bay at 4 p.m. and anchored in front of the small settlement at Salt Pond. We have been the only cruising boat in the anchorage since we arrived two days ago but at the height of the season there can be 40 cruising boats anchored here at a time.
A couple of fishing boats sharing the anchorage with us.
But we have not been not alone. Salt Pond is home to a fishing fleet and there are several fishing boats sharing the anchorage with us. There are also a few of the local island sailing sloops. June 5-7th the Long Island Regatta will be underway and many more sloops from islands all over the Bahamas will arrive to compete and party together.
The Long Island Regatta is the second largest regatta in The Bahamas (after the National Family Island Regatta in Exuma) and takes place over the Bahamian Labour Day Holiday weekend. The regatta is also a time of homecoming since many Long Islanders return home to visit relatives and friends, take in the races, and enjoy delicious local dishes.
Long Island Breeze Resort and Yacht Club on the left next to the town quay.
On advice from other sailors we anchored in Thompson Bay close to the Long Island Breeze Resort and Yacht Club (23º 20'.45 N 075º 07'.40 W) which has one of the best dinghy docks we have ever seen. Mike, who runs the resort is a well-known friend to cruisers. Long Island Breeze has a nice restaurant/bar as well as a patio bar and grill, a fresh water swimming pool, showers, laundry, wi-fi, plus rooms and cottages for rent. (Closed in July and August but if you cruise there in the summer Mike says to give him a call and if he’s around he will make the laundry room, showers, etc. available to you.) Mike will help you rent a car, find supplies, and make sure you to enjoy your visit to Long Island.
We came ashore in the morning to do some advance work for the Long Island episode of the Distant Shores TV series and also to pick up a few groceries. But Mike advised us to wait until later in the day to do our stocking up until after the island mail boat came in on it’s weekly run delivering supplies and fresh produce. It also carries passengers.
The arrival of the weekly mail boat is an important event in the Out Islands of the Bahamas.
Paul and I are planning on coming back for the Long Island Regatta in June. We're just here for a quick visit this week is to do some scouting and make contacts for filming the island's attractions as well as the events of regatta next month. We'll do a lot more exploring then when we come back to film a Distant Shores episode about Long Island. Stay tuned...
In the meantime, we have had fun wandering around Salt Pond.
The people have a good sense of humour in Salt Pond which is located close to the Tropic of Cancer. Snowmobiling anyone?
The Salt Pond
The beach on the ocean side of Salt Pond, Long Island.
Beautiful rock formations along the beach on the ocean side.
This weather forecasting apparatus gave us a smile.
At noon the overhead sun lights up the cave at Grotto Bay.
The cave at Grotto Bay is like a movie set with vines, tunnels and even bats.
Check out the recent 59° North Podcast we did with Andy Schell. Also on iTunes.
Registration is now open for SAIL magazine’s “Secrets of the ICW” All-Day Seminar to be held in Annapolis, MD, on October 12/14 from 1000-1600 during the Annapolis Boat Show. Paul and I will be conducting a seminar on Provisioning and Outfitting for the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). Hope to see you there!