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Harbour Island - Eleuthera

PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
Anyone been there? Stayed at Valentines? Good, bad, and any other info would be appreciated! Planning a stop with the family this summer after the Abacos. Thx!
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Replies

  • SlipkidSlipkid Posts: 241 Officer
    Been thinking about heading there in June and then heading up the east side to the Abacos. Would like to check out Schooner Bay on the way up...
    2003 Viking 45C
  • snookyjsnookyj Posts: 1,687 Officer
    Howdy Paul...its a lil quieter on Eleuthera...not as much to do as far as shops and resorts. But the sightseeing on the island is pretty insane. Its a huge island with alot to explore...i had an Uncle that lived in gregory town during most of the 80's. We used to visit the island alot when i was a kid. The entry points from oceanside into the marinas areas can be hairy if the winds blowing good outta of the east. If your going into Harbour Town..its not too bad, but Spanish Wells can be tricky if you plan on heading over there to check things out. Call me if ya want...a few must see's are the Glass Window Bridge...Lovers Beach for the pink sand...Gregory Town is Old Bahamas...the food in the area is by far the best in the world!!! There's all kinda lil shacks on the weekends set up selling local foods...its a must!!!

    BTW...never stayed at Valentines, but we stayed at Pink Sands and loved it!!!
  • Off The WallOff The Wall Posts: 35 Deckhand
    You and your family will love Harbour Island. Beautiful beaches, great night life and resturants, and a very nice marina.
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    i am exploring going there also, but not sure i want to take my boat. if i were to fly in, is there a good place to rent a boat for about 7 people?


  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,815 Admin
    Valentine's is a fine marina, as is Harbour Island Marina. Valentine's is a little more upscale.
    If you're coming in thru the Devil's Backbone, do yourself and your boat a favor and hire a pilot from Spanish Wells.
    Dangerous reefs through here, and you'll get a bonus of some great stories and history of the island (and maybe some homemade johnny cakes or Bahama bread, as well).

    alacrity, there are boats for rent in Harbour Island or in other Eleuthera towns, but as far as I know they are all of the 17' Whaler type.
    For a bigger group you'll probably have to charter a captained boat.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • FWCSnookFWCSnook Posts: 886 Officer
    Eluthera rocks! The pink sand is cool, as is preacher's cave. The fishing is pretty good as well, as a bonus. Definitely OLD Bahamas, the way it's supposed to be.
  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
    Paul, we've made plans to head there from Abacos a couple of times but 60+miles into 2-4s cancelled that. I think you guys would definitely enjoy it, have heard nothing but great things about the area. We might slip over there this year if we got a good weather window
  • Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
    I had planned to run down there last spring, but my window and the weather weren't on the same schedule. The Devil's Backbone is a bit unnerving either with or without a pilot. Anybody know why you can't just run out East, miss all that mess and attack the harbor straight in form the East.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,214 AG
    Let me be the first to predict the Forum's first 100,000+ views Trip Report!! :banana

    And with a MUCH bigger boat this year, the Trip Prep Report should be starting any week now! :grin

    And please Paul, don't be so stingy with the photos this year! :rotflmao
  • gerrysgerrys Posts: 738 Officer
    43' Mainship with 3.5' draft. Stayed at the Harbour Island Club and Marina. Great (small) restaurants. Great diving off of Pink Beach. We went in at Harbour Inlet (south end) and out through the Devil's Backbone. Did the 'Bone ourselves - but the water was calm and clear. It's a different story when the water takes some character.
    I had pre-mapped a route through the 'bone based on my charts and just about nailed it.
  • PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
    Thanks guys.

    Jeremy - will ping you as we get closer. Thx.

    Nuevo - appreciate the Intel. Booked Valentines - not staying on the boat.

    BlueZone - was thinking the same thing. That seems straightforward and well marked on my chart.

    Gerry - that looks very similar to the route charted on my Garmin - but will probably get a pilot the first time just in case. The harbour-side entrance seems cut and dry - ?? A couple of extra miles on the outside but closer to the docks??


    Gary - you made me look. Been there, done that!

    sabebudu.jpg

    Not sure about a thread this year. Last year was very frustrating at GTC. They were constantly running out of IP addresses... We shall see...
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,666 Captain
    sounds like a great trip. what boat did you upgrade to?


  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,214 AG
    PaulBoat wrote: »
    Not sure about a thread this year. Last year was very frustrating at GTC. They were constantly running out of IP addresses... We shall see...

    Heck, you could always just enjoy your family, the new boat, the new islands, the new waters.... r-e-l-a-x and then write something up when you get back..... :thumbsup
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,214 AG
    alacrity wrote: »
    sounds like a great trip. what boat did you upgrade to?

    Grab a cooler of your favorite beverages...... it's a great ride!!

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?128556-Scout-350-Abaco
  • PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
    tu5adura.jpg

    Just got her 1st 20-hr service :)
  • PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
    This is what I was talking about in terms of the chart. Here's Devil's Backbone

    te3ysa4y.jpg

    And harbour access which seems fairly simple

    a7e3ene5.jpg
  • snookyjsnookyj Posts: 1,687 Officer
    When we fished offshore there...we always came back in thru the Harbor Mouth cut. Unless things have changed its a much less hairy route than through the devils backbone. The Mutton fishing ain't too bad right outside that cut either ;-)

    By the way...the boat looks great Paul! Let me know if ever need a fishing partner, that things a beast!!! Congrats again!!!
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    Your cuts will be the 'wide opening' to the north around the Devils Backbone to fish the Dutch Bar go home or cross to the Abaco's, or south cut which is a beautiful cut to run and like everywhere you have been in the islands has a different look of water so be careful.there were some red poly balls last time we were there.. If you have weather or tide to deal with this cut can get crazy big be careful! If you run the south there is a point out about 6 miles that holds real nice fish I will send you some great numbers. then more south you have James Point it is tuna and wahoo heaven and the largest sharks I have ever seen in my life. Look at a chart and see where the deep water breaks way up inside also. You can still run to the n.e. dutch bar look at your chart again and see that it is a long bar / bank that runs offshore.. I see you have a radar.. save fuel and use it.. :)
    If you run the south cut slow down and see the plants that grow in the rock you will use as your point of reference and you have to look at it anyway..it is cool..throw a jig .. also the south cut holds lots of mutton snappers.. a moonfish jig with a strip is good. there are marked buoys for dive sites right out the south cut also so be careful of lines and divers.. nice big coral heads.. out of respect we just don't fish them.
    North of the island has a bunch of cars and junk on the bottom on the inside ..it is on a chart and easy to find .. real deep to shallow water cuts if you get a chance to go find it. Catch bait at the dock.. if you know how to fly a kite or drop a live bait way down deep on a light lead you will smile.. drift the areas to the north where the bottom is 55' and 38' areas.. a jig will make you happy.
    As for coming in crossing .. get a pilot.. no excuses there are bent props and sunk boats all over that area! learn it with someone who knows it and don't freak out if the Bahamian pilot grabs your controls.. it is his job.. :) spanish wells is a must see.. scare the kids..!
    Get a golf cart! there are some of the largest most populated bonefish schools at the dump sand bar , watch the tide one day while drinking rum and see how far the bank sticks out.. there are man made cuts way back up north side also that you will find great exploring and fishing. tunas like yozuri fish over there, so do blue marlin.. the sharks are happy over there so get on your fish fast and have a great time. muttons and bonefish at the fish cleaning table..
    great basket ball court at Vic um's the kids there have a blast. NOT late at night! Willies and the Dump (you will find that there is a big hill at the dump and sometimes your golf cart will not pull it! lots of roads and trails for the cart though! Pink Sand..check it out the Pink sands resort also. the beach is amazing.. they have horses. I think you can still rent a jeep also ask Marcus.. great restaurants along the water.Make sure the pilot shows you how to get to the wide opening cut if you have weather sometimes this is great. and easy.
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,815 Admin
    PaulBoat wrote: »

    Gerry - that looks very similar to the route charted on my Garmin - but will probably get a pilot the first time just in case. The harbour-side entrance seems cut and dry - ?? A couple of extra miles on the outside but closer to the docks??


    The pilot A1 told us the story of the professional captain on a big sporty that surreptitiously recorded waypoints on a handheld GPS as he guided the boat thru Devil's Backbone.
    Tried to take it on his own on the way home using those points. Bang!

    Why try it yourself to save a hundred bucks? Sit back and enjoy the ride!
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    A1 Brodshed.. one of the best mutton fishermen over there at one time.. we used Cinnabar, l always was a little creep'ed out because he looked like Freddy on a horror movie.. :) great bread..! in an on-setting sea or cloudy day you cannot see the bottom in the backbone you have to know where you are.
    same with the 'Mid Wreck Cut' basically the middle part of south cut but has a airplane and wreck pieces , your boat can run it and there will be days you can go down the land real slow on high tide past the Yacht Club docks (they have a cool place also.. ) but clouds and light effect this area also.
  • gerrysgerrys Posts: 738 Officer
    On the bad days the backbone is awash and the wind and wave action will toss you about. Additionally, the waves will crash across the shallows making the water really hard to read.
  • PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
    Thanks for all the advice guys. I was convinced three pages ago not to attempt Devil's Backbone without a pilot.

    I'm still however wondering about the access through the harbor inlet.
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,815 Admin
    The ocean inlet has a few rocks at the entrance, and a fair amount of shoaling one you get inside. It's a long way around, as well, if you're coming from the West.
    But on the other hand, it's the only way to get outside for fishing.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • gerrysgerrys Posts: 738 Officer
    If your draft is more than 5 feet, forget Harbour Inlet.
  • Off The WallOff The Wall Posts: 35 Deckhand
    The south cut is wide open. The big boats have to run west and then around as there is a sand bar that runs off the island an 1/8 mile or so but in an outboard boat you will have no problem cutting acrossed. If you are coming from Abaco the south cut is your best bet but if you are coming from the west or going home you will need to use the back bone. I have done that run 100 times and you should get a piolt the first time but after that you will be fine. Its awesome watching the farrry boat run the back bone at 20 knots.

    You should hire Randle or Daddy D for a afternoon of tuna fishing when you are there. They are around the docks every day selling bait. The fishing is not the best in the bahamas but good enough. Like others said lots of bonefish on all the flats around the island.

    A day trip afternoon in Spanish Wells is alway an intereting experance if you've never been.

    I highly recomend Sip Sip, the Rock House is the best resturant in the bahamas but pricy, try a Smooth Landing at The Landings, you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas at the beach, the best counch salad is at the goverment dock, and the list goes on.

    Writing this reminds me that I need to put a trip on the books for this summer.
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,815 Admin
    Sip Sip is terrific - lunch only, and a little pricey. We also like Angela's Starfish for a more Bahamian spot. The best great cracked conch on the island.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • Cajun MartyniCajun Martyni Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Subscribed. Looks like a great thread leading up to a fantastic trip!
  • justonce46justonce46 Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Sounds like a great trip. We plan to be over there from early June through mid July. Can't wait!

    How would you all rank the south cut in comparison Tilloo just south of Hopetown? Same, easier, more difficult?
  • SlipkidSlipkid Posts: 241 Officer
    And why not just run around the outside past the backbone when coming from the west?
    2003 Viking 45C
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