3.04.2011

ANDROS | BAHAMAS | CHICKCHARNIES


Andros was a splendid place to visit, although the cruising guides do not offer much information regarding this charming island. The island is notorious for the mystical Chickcharnies that that is believed to inhabit the island. These birdlike creatures are known to have huge eyes and nest in the top of the pine trees. Many of the locals are very superstitious and attribute any catastrophes or waywardness that transpires on the island to these beasts. It is warned not to agitate the Chickcharnies for if you were to encounter one that was feeling frolicsome, it is said that they will attack you and turn your head completely backwards. Yes, we were lucky and escaped the island with our heads intact.
The length of the east coast of the island is one of the largest barrier reefs that have very few opportunities for entry. We found our port at Morgan’s Bluff. Morgan’s is a commercial harbor but has an easy approach and the locals welcome all. Well advised to anchor deep and to the side of in the harbor as Andros is the main supplier of water and fruit to several islands throughout the Bahamas. Morgan’s Bluff is a small harbor but an exceptionally busy harbor with commercial traffic.
There is no designated dinghy dock but there is a rough wall by Willy’s Water Lounge that can be utilized with skill and calm water. The people of Andros are warm and welcoming. Many are fisherman and cargo workers as there is also a massive fruit orchard on the island. The harbor provides very few services, there is internet at Willy’s where you can also enjoy a cold Kalik while you browse the web, the shower is located outside behind a vacant open air bar. The shower area is secluded with a beautiful view of the beach and water, on a down note it wasn’t very clean. There were used condoms and dirty diapers on the ground below the shower that required a stick to relocate them prior to showering. There is free water that you will need to fill jugs and haul to your boat. The town is not within walking distance and requires a rental car if you necessitate a trip to town. In town you will find a great bakery where you can purchase fresh baked breads, a laundry where you can have your laundry done at a very reasonable price.
We rented a car and dropped off our laundry and spent the day exploring the island. There are numerous beautiful beaches and mystical blue holes on the island where you can swim. We did stop at a restaurant called Taste and See located at Love Hill, the food was outstanding, in large quantity and modestly priced. Following our meal we spent time chatting with owner who was a true delight to converse with. Her name….. are you ready for this??!! Cinderella!! That was her true name!
Within walking distance of the harbor is Henry Morgan’s cave. The cave is alleged to be one of the caves that the pirate Henry Morgan used to hide his treasures. There is a nice picnic area located at the entrance of the cave just be on alert for the Chickcharnies!!
Last but not least…. Andros is where Lillian received her first long awaited coconut!! She is now an aficionada of coconut jelly and water!! She also had her first conch experience and graduated to Dinghy Captain!! Memories to last a lifetime!! Yeah LILLY!!


Pilot notes from the Captain. Coming off the banks at the Northwest Passage and sailing to Nassau can be a difficult task into the prevailing southeast trade winds. We were faced with motor sailing a tight close haul into the southeast winds and it did not look to promising for a daylight landfall in Nassau. After two or three long tacks the next port tack put us on a course to enter Morgan Bluffs harbor. I made the decision to head for Morgan’s Bluff and wait for more favorable conditions to continue on to Nassau. Looking back, it was the right thing to do and will consider this as a sailing strategy in the future for this passage.
















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