Landrail Point, Crooked Island
After taking a final, long walk on the beautiful beach at French Wells, we raised the anchor at 11 a.m. and headed out for the short, 4 mile sail to Landrail Point on the northwestern tip of Crooked Island. It was a lovely, lazy sail making 5 knots with just the jib. Glass Slipper arrived first and we scoped out the anchorage, decided it was just too uncomfortable and to continue around the point, inside a narrow entrance to a place called Portland Harbor. Personally, I’m not sure why they call it a harbor, as it is not enclosed by land, but rather had land on one side and coral reefs on two. We had fairly good light to try and pick our way through the coral, so I decided to give it a try. We made it part way in before I decided it just wasn’t worth the risk. I’d rather be in the uncomfortable anchorage than spend all night worrying about being washed up on coral reefs. So we headed back and dropped the hook in the rolling seas.
We quickly made a couple of PBJ’s and hopped in the dinghy and headed to the small boat basin. Was that ever a wild ride! The small boat basin had a very small entrance that was literally carved out of rock. DJ did a great job piloting the dinghy through all the waves, while I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best. We had to tie the dinghy to a post along the rock wall and somehow climb out and up with dignity. I’m sure it was not a pretty sight.
We found Landrail Point to be a lovely little village, with colorful flowers, shrubs, palm trees, and even grass! Prince did not know what to make of grass as we haven’t seen grass since the States. We saw a tiny little store, which was closed, but through the window I saw a bin of large, fresh apples! We walked a few more minutes, through the deserted village, seeing a closed restaurant, another closed grocery, before we saw a gentleman riding a bike. I waved him down and asked what was up. He said the village was all Seventh Day Adventists and stores were not open on Saturday until after 6 p.m. Coleen did a quick check of the time and it was only 3 p.m. I thought to keep walking for a while and then wait it out until 6, as I really wanted some apples. I usually eat one a day and had been out for 3 weeks. I didn’t mind waiting 3 hours.
We walked a little farther and came across a store selling clothing. A peek in the window revealed mostly very fancy ladies suits and gowns. It seemed a bit odd, not sure where you would wear such outfits, but maybe those Seventh Day Adventist really dress up for church. Also, I might add this is the only clothing store we’ve seen anywhere in the Bahamas. A couple more blocks down the nicely paved road, lined by small neatly kept houses, with colorful flowers and shrubs, not a piece of litter anywhere, we came upon a fairly large grocery store, (about ½ the size of a QuickTrip or 7 Eleven). Of course, it too was closed. We walked up to the porch to inspect the hours sign, which was also unusual, as few Bahamian stores have an hours sign, or actually any kind of sign for that matter. A very tall, nicely dressed young Bahamian man appeared and asked if we needed food. We said yes and he said that everything was closed for the Sabbath but he would see what he could do. Within couple of minutes he had arranged it all. He had a cousin who had a store down the road (the one with the apples). He called him and pleaded to “Please, Please open the store for a few minutes for these tourists”. Then he went across the street and got us a ride in a pick up truck.
Soon we were back at the little store and a young man came out of a house across the street and opened up shop. Now this little store was about the size of your living room, but it had a lot of stuff. I was shocked to find bananas, green peppers, lettuce, very nice tomatoes, onions, and of course apples, fuji apples no less. Soon I was filling up bags and walked out with just about more than I could carry. (That’s where DJ comes in handy). We thanked everyone profusely and headed back to the dinghy. I decided to walk the mile and a half back down the beach, while DJ and Coleen took the dinghy. Partly because I didn’t want to go through that little pass again, partly because I was not anxious to get back on the rolling boat, but mostly because I needed the exercise.
Fresh food on the Glass Slipper! What a blessing!