Eleuthera is a long skinny island that from tip to toe is just over a hundred miles. We were travelling from Harbour Island in the north to Cape Eleuthera in the south, and in the absence of our friends from Dollar Thrifty and Avis, hitching a lift with the lovely Betty from the Bahamas Tourist board seemed an ideal solution. She was able to tell us of the history of the island, her own upbringing and how things had changed.
It was notable how many churches there are in the Bahamas. In one small village they have eight variations on the Anglican church, the church that is represented by the Queen and indeed was the church of the founding fathers of the Bahamas, the Americans who remained loyal to Great Britain. Many of them left or were forced to leave after the war of independence and many represented the religious puritanical elite at that time. Since then the citizens of the Bahamas remain deeply religious, albeit worshipping at many different variations of the Anglican faith.
Half-way across the island, Betty handed us over, shuttle relay style, to Pamela who looks after central and south Eleuthera.
Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club is at the very foot, the heel if you like, of the island and quite frankly you are quite aware of that as soon as you arrive. The resort itself is massive and extends over thousands of acres but the heart of it is the modern marina that houses many diving, deep sea fishing and leisure sail vessels. Around the marina are a series of exceptional well-appointed town houses with views of the ocean, the sun rise and the sun set. All nice, all clean, all remote.
This is a resort with a fascinating past and one that is perhaps looking to return to its former glories. During the seventies it boasted a 7,000 yard championship golf course that was regarded as only second to Pebble beach in the annuls of seaside American courses - today it is an overgrown bush area with no recognisable features left. It had its own airport which the Kennedys used on a regular basis. Pan Am also flew there. Today it has no regular flights of any sort.
When you walk (or go by golf buggy) around the estate knowing what had been here less than 50 years ago it is a very weird feeling. It"s as if you"re trespassing not on illegal property but on illegal memories. It was difficult to make a conceptualisation of what had been there and what was going to be there in the future.
If you"ve got clients who are into water based activities who want a really nice town house to stay in and like to be remote, Cape Eleuthera could be just the place for them.
Thursday, February 9, 2012