Monday, March 4, 2013

Thompson Bay, Long Island

...Look how nice this place is....Long Island Breeze.....
Thompson Bay, Long Island, in the Out Island Bahamas, is a great harbor for anchoring and riding out a cold front. The harbor is large with the Indian Point peninsula protecting yachts from the West and North West winds that arrive at 25-30 knots during cold fronts. This is the reason there are about 35 boats anchored here. The real treasure is the LONG ISLAND BREEZE RESORT run by Michael and Linda who provide the dinghy dock, WiFi, laundry room, pool, guest cottages and a fantastic restaurant and pub. The dinghy ride from Thompson Bay to the resort is about 1.4 miles,  longer than usual for us. When the wind comes, you need a foul weather jacket and you better hold on, because it is a WILD ride to the dock!

When approaching the dock, you may be greeted by "SANDY" the pet manatee who hangs around the dinghies. Here is Sandy stopping to visit us...




Sandy will get so close that you can scratch his head. If you are lucky, he will even exhale right in your face and you will take in the aroma of "manatee breath" .... how...uhhh....interesting!


What Sandy really wants is a drink of fresh water (rain water) that he has learned will be pumped out of the dinghies when the owners arrive. Below, Sandy is drinking in all the rain water I can pump out of our dinghy (named BUNS II) ....See the water pouring straight into his mouth? Very FUN!



We decided to rent Michael's "cruiser" car and teamed up with s/v SPUNKY, John and Elise. Together we toured the island Museum and public library, then continued on Queen's Highway down to Clarence Town and visited the two famous churches and Dean's Blue Hole. 

Stop #1 was at the local PUBLIC LIBRARY and history MUSEUM for Long Island. Radeen enjoyed visiting with the Librarian and asking about her program and funding systems. Her salary is paid by the government, but she has no budget, so must rely solely on donations of books and other materials

As we drove south, we made a stop at Dean's Blue Hole and gazed into the 600+ foot deep sink hole. Sadly, there is a memorial here for three people who died due to the fact that water flows down into the hole with a falling tide and it rushes up with a rising tide. If you are not careful, a dropping tide can pull you down into the hole and this is how several people have drowned.

After lunch, we stopped back at Dean's Blue Hole and we all went for a swim. The tide was rising, so the water was coming up from 600 feet below and onto the sloping sand bar. The platforms in the center are anchored to the shore. World record free divers practice here, diving down to nearly 400 feet and then swimming back up! Try to hold your breath for 4 minutes to see what this is like!


Father Jerome built St. Paul's Anglican Church in George Town and it is presently being restored after the damages from Hurricane Sandy

The interior of the church is being reinforced with concrete columns and a new roof was installed with funds donated by the Flying Fish Marina.



After his conversion to Catholicism, Father Jerome built St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church in 1946. He was originally trained as an architect.

The interior of the Catholic Church is well restored and is used for several weekly services. There are a total of 14 churches, 35 restaurants and 4,000 very friendly residents on Long Island.

Mr. Knowles is the local boat builder on Long Island and here he stands in front of his latest project, which will be ready the end of next week for launch! All the wood is native and cut by hand and the ribs are carved via chain saws and hand saws.

This is what a twenty year old Long Island sloop looks like. Beautiful!

While on anchor in Thompson Bay, we celebrated Radeen's birthday. We enjoyed good meals, hot fudge pudding cake, walks on the beach, visits with other cruisers and a very relaxing time....


Over all, Long Island is a beautiful place to escape the activities and popularity of George Town where 300 boats are at anchor. This is also a good staging area for points south and east of here. For us, this will be our turn around, as we go back to George Town and then begin our trek north to the Abacos. 



2 comments:

Bearboat said...

Great report, Hayden! Looks like a fantastic place!

-- Bearboat

Gail said...

Glad you were able to go ashore to celebrate.