Cat Island by Land and Sea

Caption for above photo: Father Jerome’s Hermitage on the highest hill in the Bahamas on Cat Island

Tom ran the Georgetown Cruisers VHF radio net one last time the day we sailed to Cat Island in company with Ujam’n; a Hylas 49’ and Wild Iris.; a Swede 48’. We sailed fifty-one miles on a comfortable reach, heading north across the deep blue Atlantic ocean. Surprisingly, our boat speeds were very close. Ujam’n left first and managed to pull ahead a bit and anchored first. We didn’t know our TriStar 39’ cruising trimaran could compete with or nearly keep up with deep keeled longer monohulls.

Approaching The Bight of Cat Island

Eight hours later we anchored in Old Bight with our buddy boats. Notice the amazing contrast of the deep blue ocean and the shallow turquoise banks as we approach the island in the picture above.

Anchored in Old Bight with friends

We often got together in the mornings to hike, afternoons to play beach games, or in the evening to sing songs and watch the sun go down. So much fun to travel in company with fellow cruisers.

Jam session on Lone Star

After the easterly winds calmed down we moved over to New Bight.

New Bight, can you find Lone Star?

We enjoyed a walk around town, to the bakery for fresh made coconut cinnamon raisin bread and pineapple tarts and then on to the Hermitage. Father Jerome was an architect and sculptor as well as a humanitarian and a Catholic priest. He designed and rebuilt several hurricane damaged churches in the Bahamas. He occupied this Hermitage circa 1940. Read more about him in the link provided above.

Morning hike to the Hermitage uphill tthrough the stations of the cross

The view was fabulous. I guess I should mention the doorways are quite short throughout this tiny home. I was wearing a visor and didn’t duck low enough upon entering the devotional area. I was thrown backwards on impact and fell on my backside. Had a nice dent in the top of my head for a few weeks and a few other aches and pains. All healed now. Please don’t wear a hat and be sure to duck when you visit this extra special place.

Father Jerome’s final home

Tom and Jeff are engineers and Mark is a physicist. It didn’t take them long to work out the clever design of using the sloping land to collect rain water in an underground cistern and a hand pump to retrieve the water.

Natural water catchment, cistern and manual pump

The next day we rented a car together and drove south first. We found some ruins, so stopped to explore. Read more about this 18th century cotton plantation here.

Andrew Deveaux’s Great House
Deveaux Waterfront
Tours are best with friends

After some twists and turns we managed to find Hawks Nest Creek. Good to know we probably would not find refuge here. Narrow creek and not a lot of deep water. Very strong current here as well.

Hawks Nest Creek exit

We searched for restaurants on our way back north. Ironically we decided the best place was where we were anchored in New Bight. We all enjoyed delicious meals and a bit of shade.

Lunch break at the Fish Fry

We drove all the way north to Orange Creek then stopped in Arthur’s Town at this closed bar. Sadly this town still looks rather abandoned as it did during our visit last year.

Marsha, Jeff, Tom, Anita and Lisa (Mark took the picture)

We ended our tour with a stop at the New Bight grocery for fresh food and supplies. Now that we’d seen the whole island, we all elected to sail back to the Exuma’s the next day as it was another great day to sail. Our buddy boats chose to go a bit further south to Rudder Cut. We chose to go back to Black Point and continue north from there.

Sailing through the cut at Black Point, Great Guana, Exuma

Although parting ways now, we definitely plan to cruise in company again soon.

Next blog will be about sailing slowly north up the beautiful islands of the Exuma Chain.

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