Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas 

Heading north for shelter in Clarence Town on Long Island (80 miles by 4 miles wide) we parted company from our friends in the cat.  They preferred the shelter they could get further north with their shallower draft, so we left them to it.  It is a feature of cruising that you make friendships very quickly sometimes, especially in lonelier spots and we had enjoyed two evenings of drinks on board together on each other’s boats.  Theirs was a top of the range cat and more like a floating house than a boat!   Meanwhile we had another fast run, although in quite rolly seas and with some awkward sailing angles (not quite deep enough for goose-winged but too windy for gennaker) and we really didn’t want to be gybing all the way in those seas.  However we made it  in good enough time without too much hassle.  The entrance to Clarence Town harbour was a bit worrisome – a narrow passage between seas breaking over reefs dotted randomly about.  Inside however it is quite cosy – no swell penetrates and we’re just getting the normal chop thrown up by winds frequently in the mid twenties.  This is a very attractive spot with the two largest churches outside Nassau prominent above the town.  Apparently, the architect/priest who built the first, Protestant, one returned to the island later having converted to Catholicism, so built a second RC one!

Goldcrest at anchor, sheltered by the reefs and set-off nicely by a gull:

This is our first taste of Bahamian civilisation!  A town of 150, one shop but two restaurants/bars.  The shop is pretty basic, much as you’d expect for a tiny population, so our lack of fresh produce is going to be a problem for a bit longer yet. Of course it is Easter weekend as well so everything is pretty quiet too.  We will probably stay here until Monday to sit out the current wind and confused seas and then continue our way northwards through the chain of islands.  We haven’t even checked into the country yet, which we will do when we reach Georgetown.

The local police station with its blue lantern betraying formert British rule:

Two churches of this size for a population of 150