Berry Islands to Spanish Wells

Our last stop in the Berry Islands was at Little Harbour Cay (LHC). The island has only two full-time residents and they operate a small restaurant. LHC is very isolated, the only visitors are cruisers, fisherman, and occasional day-trippers. We anchored Ocean Song behind a small island in the lee of LHC, Cabbage Cay, for two nights. The restaurant, Flo’s Conch Shack, only opens when enough people call (at least 24 hours in advance) to make it worthwhile for Chester to open and cook. There is a well-stocked bar and lots of famous people have eaten at Flo’s – Pat Riley, Shakira, Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholas, Javier Bardem, just to name a few. Chester had photos taken with all of them. We had lunch there with four guys, three vacationing from D.C., and their guide. There is no menu, conch fritters as an appetizer, fried grouper, slaw, rice and beans. Everyone gets the same thing; it was all good. The only choice one gets is your drink, we all went with rum punches. It was a fun afternoon hanging out and hearing Chester talk about various issues facing the islands and all the famous people that have come through. We went back to the boat, changed the oil in our genset (generator), and prepared the boat for a 7:00 am departure the next day.

Flo’s Conch Shack

We left the Berrys from LHC and made the 56 nm jump to Spanish Wells in the Eleutheras. On the way we put out our fishing lines and in less than 15 minutes had landed a nice Spanish mackerel, it seemed appropriate. We put the fishing rods away and had a pleasant motoring day (virtually no wind all day) to Spanish Wells. We had to cross a 10-mile bank of shallow water to reach our destination. At times we had less than a foot of water under our keels! Any boater knows how scary that feels. After crossing a particularly shallow area while working our way toward the Spanish Wells East Channel, I commented to Linda that I never imagined being happy for our depth sounder to show 3 feet under the keels. But after readings of 1.2, 0.8, 0.3, -0.2 (yes, minus 0.2), 3 feet seemed deep! We made it through and moored on the far eastern end of Spanish Wells. Grilled Spanish mackerel, along with a salad was a good supper our first evening in Spanish Wells.

Ocean Song at Spanish Wells

Spanish Wells has a population of 1,551 full-time residents. It’s not a big tourist area, but there are vacationers here and a large expat community. In many ways it made us think of a Bahamian Beaufort, NC. There’s a barrier island on the bank side, Charles Cay, with a narrow channel between it and St. George’s Cay, where Spanish Wells is located. The ocean is on the opposite side of St. George’s Cay. Spanish Wells is laid out very similarly to Beaufort and is easily walkable. The waterfront along the channel is a working waterfront. There aren’t hotels, restaurants, bars, or shops. There are houses, small marinas, small grocery stores, welding shops, auto repair shops, marine stores, a fish market, a real estate office, and numerous boat works. There are dozens, and dozens of fishing boats, from skiffs to sport fishers to large trawlers docked and tied up all along the waterfront. We found only one restaurant along the waterfront. The continuous boat traffic in the channel and the maritime vibe reminds us of Taylors Creek and Beaufort.

A small portion of the Spanish Wells Waterfront



Spanish Wells has no land bridge to the rest of the Eleutheras and there is constant ferry traffic. People ferries, dry-goods ferries, one, two, and three-car ferries, ferries that look like they were built in someone’s backyard and will “ferry” whatever someone pays to have ferried are continually plying the channel. There are no large car ferries. There’s also lots of recreational boat traffic, mostly fishing boats, trawlers, small to medium size motor yachts, and sailboats. It is quite entertaining simply watching the boat traffic go by.


Lots of white fences around houses.




The town has one colorful house after another, very much the image many folks have of the Bahamas. Most of the houses are well-kept, with nicely manicured lawns and lots of palm trees. Spanish Wells is an old settlement dating back to the days that Spain dominated the region. The Spanish treasure fleets making their way back to Europe made their last stop before heading into the North Atlantic here. St George’s Cay has ground water and the Spanish dug numerous fresh-water wells to top off their ships before the final leg of the trip back to Spain. The English therefore called the settlement “Spanish Wells”. When the Brits took over, the moniker became the official name.

One of the common color schemes in the town.

We will be here for at least 3 or 4 more days. We may venture farther south into the Eleutheras, or we may make the 5 to 6-day passage to St. Thomas in the USVI from here. We’re going to monitor the weather and make a final decision soon. It will be a nonstop, open-ocean passage so we’re looking for a benign weather window.

The Lime Cottage


For those who want to follow us on Facebook, we are S/V Ocean Song.  There you enjoy some added short videos with these updates.

We are also on Instagram @svoceansong.

We will post the regular updates you see on Facebook, but we will start adding a few more in-depth stories and anecdotes about life on the water. The good stuff, the bad stuff, the fun stuff, and the frustrating stuff. Much of what is on the website will get a little more “into the weeds” about boat life than most folks are interested in, but for those with interest it might be worth a read. Our PredictWind boat tracker is also linked on the Website under the “Where Are We” tab at the top. The tracker updates once an hour (at 21 minutes past the hour) so you can see where we are in almost real time.

Today is Saturday, May 13th, tomorrow will be Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!