C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Trip to Harbor Island at 24 knots

Intrigued by the infamous Devils Backbone route and stories of pink sand beaches we joined forces with Vic & Judy from SV-Luana and took the fast ferry over to Harbor Island / Dunmore Town.  Vic & Judy are returning from a year long trip down through the Caribbean.  Listening to their stories educated and inspired us. 

The ferry runs a daily round trip – Nassau to Spanish Wells to Harbor Island and back.   $46 per passenger purchases a Spanish Wells to Harbor Island round trip ticket.  Our trip over coincided with a high tide and other than a couple quick turns around unseen hazards the Devils Backbone seemed none too intimidating.

In order to make the most of our six hours on Harbor Island we all chipped in on a golf cart.  Vic & Judy had visited Harbor Island previously so he became the driver and she the navigator, although truth be told we all harried Vic with frantic directions & corrections during his time behind the wheel. 

Our first order of business… find the fabled pink sand.  After a couple false starts we finally strolled out onto the beach near the Coral Sands Resort.  I was none too impressed with the “pink” sands.  Perhaps the full pink experience requires a few rum drinks or some rose colored glasses.  Anne will disagree and did scoop up a small bag of the sand as a keepsake.  I’ll say pink tint to remain diplomatic.

Sand Castles on a Harbor Island Beach
 I was draw to a couple sculptors creating sand castles a short distance down the beach.  These were no mere pedestrian sand castle wannabes.

Lizards Storm the Temple

 The crew had been building over the last four or five days.  I enjoyed inspecting detail  of the creations and erosion caused few days exposure.

The detail of the Temple eroded by 24 hours exposure

 We stumbled upon Ma Ruby’s restaurant.  One of a number of island establishments that have historical ties to Jimmy Buffet and claim to be the muse for “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”  Well now it is difficult to pass up the opportunity to partake in a mythical burger.  I’ll just say that Ma Ruby no longer manages the establishment and I prefer my burgers simple.  This burger was more of a meat loaf on a bun with veggies and peppers mixed into the meat – not my style.  Golf cart Hummer conversion for sale out front of Ma Ruby’s a bit more to my liking.

Golf Cart Hummer Conversion - For Sale!
The 16:00 boarding time for the return trip began to loom so we focused on procuring provisions not found in Spanish Wells – beer and local produce.  We easily found both in Dunmore Town.  Well the liquor store was a bit easier to find than the local produce, but we boarded the ferry with beer, gin, and produce in hand.

The low tide, return trip revealed more of the scattered coral heads along the Devil’s Backbone.  Having made this run aboard the ferry, I feel much more confident in navigating the Backbone in C’est la Vie.  My greatest fear would be to meet the 24 knot fast ferry mid transit.

The view from the stern as the ferry runs close to the beach along Devil's Backbone

While on the return leg a squall rolled though.  The gusty winds met the ferry head on and the combined force set Anne back on her heels.

Anne fighting a head wind at 24 knots

Thanks to Vic & Judy for acting as tour guides and sharing their experiences down island.  We will certainly put the knowledge to good use in our travels.

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