Moving to Long Island

Ambler Isle
V and S
Tue 15 Mar 2011 15:12
23 24 N
75 13 W
March 9, 2011
We continued down the west side of Long Island, passing the entry to the Stella Maria Marina.  The marina entrance is very shallow and is marked with stakes.  Amber Isle would need some higher tide to get in.  Nearing the settlement of Simms, we went closer to the shore.  Simms has a medical clinic with a doctor, a rarity in these parts.  The fast ferry was docked at the government basin.  Who knew they even came to such an obscure place?  We stopped to drop anchor in 8' of water, hoping to visit the settlement.  But although the bottom looked sandy, the anchor refused to grab hold.  The sea bottom was marle, a rocky formation similar to calcified sand.  With a light covering of sand it appeared good.  After several attempts we gave up and moved further south to Bains Bluff.  The water was very calm and the bluffs blocked the wind.  The anchor set immediately.  There was not a soul around.  We noticed a sailboat anchored off the next point about 2 miles away.  There was no dinghy.  As night fell, we saw no lights, even an anchor light.  As we readied ourselves for bed we locked the doors and set out our driveway alert for the first time.  Although Long Island is very friendly, we were unfamiliar with the nearby towns.  We were alone.  And the sailboat bobbing on the horizon was puzzling. 
After a good nights sleep, we launched the dinghy and went to explore the area.  The shore was rocky and craggy.  I imagined it was ancient coral formations from a time long ago when the water levels here were higher.  Long Island is not very touristy.  While there are a few resorts, the people mostly fish, bake, run small businesses for a living.  Long Island is "generation land".  Given to the freed slaves as the plantation owners left the islands, it could not be sold.  It was to be passed along to the families.  It is a real Bahamian island.  As more cruisers discover the quietude, the islanders work to keep up with our incessant demands.  We passed some ordinary farm-type goats.  The locals often let their stock roam free to graze. 
Finally we came to the sailboat, Wings of the Morning, with a VA hailing port.  It was older and more ragged that it appeared.  Nearby on shore were three houses.  Did it belong to one of them?  As if in answer, the VHF came alive with a call to Wings.  Two American women were making land plans for the day.  The mystery was solved.