Our goal this sailing season was to see places we haven’t seen before. Cat Island was first on the list. It took us a little more than a month to get there, but we finally did. Let me just say, it was worth it. Fellow sailors on catamaran Delos, gave us some recommendations and they did not disappoint.
We first dropped the anchor in Orange Creek. Although there’s not much going on here, it’s gorgeous! We went out on the beach and walked the village. There’s a very old Anglican church and a grocery store/inn. The people we met were just lovely. When we come back next time, we will anchor a little further north and explore the area around Man O’ War beach and Shanna’s Cove. More on that area in a minute…. Keep reading.
We moved down to Bennett Harbour next. This is a special area as well. We met Kim, who has grown up here. She says her family moved here when she was a small child in the 70’s. Her earliest memories are of hauling rock from the east shore to build the house, called Shangri-La, that she now lives in. We were given permission to pass through her property to get to the main road. It was a short walk to Yardies, owned by a Jamaican woman, I wish I could remember her name! This is where we rented our first car. When we told her where we planned to go, she gave us the “jeep”. Apparently heading to the sea glass beach warranted an SUV. Kim had told us to go down “Dickies road”. This lady gave us different directions. We followed her directions and although we didn’t find a single piece of sea glass, we had quite the adventure! The next day, we followed Kim’s instructions and found the sea glass, in spades! Jennifer and I could have stayed there all day, but we had more of Cat to see.
The Jeep ^
We made it to Shanna’s cove. The other pictures and videos I took don’t do this gorgeous place justice. We had pizza and burgers for a very affordable price and met some lovely people. The owner is German, I believe, and is within his first year of ownership. The previous owners who have a stellar reputation retain a property just down the road. It is a small, quiet resort. The cottages are cute with beach access and meals are at the restaurant. There is a trail from here to Man O’ War beach and cave. We have been told the snorkeling here is out of this world. We didn’t have time for the trail or snorkeling, so it’s on our list for next time. While at Bennett, we also took a dingy adventure into the estuary and saw turtles and rays and young sharks. It was pretty neat! Matthew also got his first fish while spearing. This was the first of many more. He was terribly excited and now a confirmed spearfisherman.
The sea glass beach we found when we went down Dickies Road.
The pinkest sand.
From Bennett Harbour, we sailed further south to New Bight. We spent 9 days here. We hiked the Hermitage (above and below) and explored via rental car. One of the best grocery stores we’ve seen is here- Gilberts. This family owns many businesses in the area.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a moment for reflection with the distraction of teenage boys……
The Twin Palm Beach Resort is abandoned. We dinghied here for closer access to the store. The beach isn’t very beachy, more rocky, but man, would it be a lovely place to stay!
We rented a car from Gilberts and drove south to the healing pond and Greenwood Resort. We went in, took a float and were healed of all that ailed us, obviously. It was crazy how the extremely high salinity, comparable to the Dead Sea, kept us afloat, whether we wanted to float or not! The Greenwood Resort fed us lunch. The owner is French and caters to divers. There were two or three families there, we had met them the night before at the fish fry at New Bight. They are from South Africa and have vacationed here before. We met a lot of repeat visitors to Cat Island. We can definitely see why. Cat Island is especially special!
King and the boys floating in the healing pond.
This old cotton plantation house is along the drive to Greenwood Resort. It was fun to explore and imagine how it used to be, in the late 18th century. Andrew Deveaux was an American Loyalist born in 1758. He is known for his recapture of the Bahamas from Spain, for the British Crown. As a reward, he was given a large portion of Cat Island, where he built a house and surrounding cotton plantation. He eventually ended up back in the States, in New York where he died in 1812.
Da Pink Chicken is a well known beach bar, that is actually a shack. Drinks are brought in by coolers. I have no idea how long it’s been in business, but he has quite a reputation! It’s worth the long drive to get here!
We found out the hard way there is no deisel in New Bight…….
Another business owned by the Gilberts. This is a very nice laundry- a very important commodity for cruisers! Something we discovered recently is how many Bahamian laundries serve beef or chicken patties while you wait for your clothes. These “patties” are essentially a hand pie with a cornbread crust. They tend to be a little spicy, but so delicious!
One of many meals taken on the beach at New Bight. We miss it already! The most reasonable prices and excellent service we found!
The Hermitage is located on the highest point in the Bahamas. Mt Alvernia is 206 feet in elevation.
When we left Cat, we brought in TWO Mahi!
We also went to Conception Island. Another bucket list destination. The anchorage is pretty rolly, but it’s beautiful! We hiked and explored. When we first came in, we had fish to filet. ( There is no fishing within the boundaries, as it is part of the Land and Sea National Park.) Mike was fileting and being careful to save all the rubbish to take away from the anchorage to dump, but the smell of blood is powerful, and we soon had a visitor.
He was about an 8-foot lemon shark. We decided we would hold off on snorkeling for the time being.
There’s a sunken Spanish Galleon and American ship off the shore here. One of them is easily visible. They sunk while in battle with each other. This will be a good place to snorkel and explore more in the future, for sure.
Well, this is just a brief glimpse of what Cat (and Conception) have to offer. The beauty is unequalled. If one was to travel by air, I would recommend Shanna’s Cove and Greenwood Resort as places to stay. No one could be disappointed visiting here! I have doubts that I have adequately expressed how kind the people are, so just take my word for it!
Stay tuned for Part 2, in which we discuss Sidney Potier.
One thought on “Cat Island Part 1”
So much beauty that we all take for granted. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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