Well….just went through my
diary log book and it looks like Black Point was another of our favorite places, evidenced by the fact that we spent 13 nights there this past spring. I mean really, what’s not to love? There’s a huge anchorage with good protection from the trade winds, a couple of restaurants/bars, two tiny stores for groceries, an AWESOME laundromat, free fresh water and somewhere to drop off our trash (donations accepted), miles of rugged terrain to explore (with some great beaches tucked in here and there!), and the friendliest people ever!
The anchorage is huge, but the settlement itself is really pretty tiny. The first time we were there, there were 50+ boats in the anchorage, but we’ve heard that at times there have been over 100 boats anchored at once! That’s a few too many for my liking, but when you find an anchorage that is protected from every direction except for the west, I guess that’s what happens, especially since not only is it a great anchorage, but really just a great place to hang out for awhile.
The Black Point settlement is small and non-touristy, with a population of probably around 250 of some of the friendliest folks around. In spite of being so small, there are still three restaurants/bars within walking distance (everything is within walking distance!) and two of them alternate hosting happy hour for visiting cruisers. As long as there are other boats in the anchorage, you can be sure to find fellow cruisers hanging out on the deck at either Scorpio’s or Lorraine’s. At Scorpio’s, we were taken care of by Zhivago the bartender (how could we NOT remember that name!), and at Lorraine’s, Lorraine herself made sure we were all happy. Lorraine’s mom, a very sweet lady, lives in a house behind the restaurant, and if you are lucky enough, you will visit her on a day when she has baked some of her delicious coconut bread which she sells for $6 per loaf.
Black Point also has two grocery stores. And when I say grocery store, what I really mean is not anything even close to what most of you are probably envisioning when you think of a grocery store! Adderly’s Friendly Store is the bigger of the two and it’s only a few hundred square feet, with very limited choices. The second “grocery” is in a small room next to DaShaemon’s restaurant and has even fewer items. The trick to shopping in these settlements is to find out what day the mail boat brings supplies to the island and head to the stores shortly after the shelves have been restocked. Between the two stores, we were able to buy eggs ($3/dozen one time and $5/dozen another time), plantains ($1 each), 3 packs of romaine ($6), and green peppers ($1 each). One time, we went to Adderly’s Friendly Store (keep in mind the “friendly” part, which is key to this story!) to see what we could buy. We ended up with a dozen eggs, a 12 ounce package of bacon, two limes and a few slices of cheddar cheese, which came to $12 total (by the way, the U.S. and Bahamian dollars are on par with each other and they will accept either form of currency). We only had a $50 bill with us, and the guy working didn’t have change for a $50 or even for a $20, so he told us to come back and pay later when we had change! Seriously? Friendly!
I’m pretty sure I’ve shared in the past how we typically wash our clothes using a Wonder Wash hand cranked “washing machine”, then wring everything out by hand and hang it all on the lifelines to dry. Not a fun process, but it doesn’t cost us anything. We’d heard that one of the highlights of Black Point was the Rockside Laundromat, and boy, was it! For a mere $3.75 per load to wash (and again $3.75 to dry) we could avoid the hassle of doing it by hand. Now I haven’t been to a laundromat in the U.S. lately, but I’m guessing some of you are thinking that $7.25 to wash and dry a load of clothes is a bit on the steep side! Well let me just tell you that it’s a far cry cheaper than the $10 per load (just to wash!) that we saw at Staniel Cay and $5 per load (again, just to wash) back in Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos!
One of the other great things about Black Point was the availability of drinking water and having somewhere to dump our trash. It’s not that these things aren’t available elsewhere, but water is typically $0.25 to $0.40 per gallon and trash is $3 to $5 per bag to offload. Here, they have reverse osmosis water spigots which were originally installed for the residents of Black Point before they had water plumbed directly to their houses, but now they don’t mind if cruisers fill their water jugs from them. There is also a place to dump trash right at the government dock. There is no charge for either of these services, but they do ask for donations to help support the community, and it appears that most cruisers are more than happy to leave a small donation in exchange for these amenities. I know we were!
O.K. So now that we’ve gotten the chores taken care of, how ’bout we do some exploring! I’d like to preface this story by saying that there must be a LOT of people out there who lose their shoes to the ocean. Flip flops, tennis shoes, crocs, baby shoes. You name it, we’ve seen them on a beach in the Bahamas, multiple times. So anyhow, the first time we set out to explore the shoreline at Black Point, Jim spotted what appeared to be a brand new shoe meant for walking in the water, and snapped it’s picture (he’s been taking pics of these shoes along the way with plans of putting together some sort of photo essay or collage at some point). Unfortunately, it was a woman’s size 11.5, so too big for me, and besides, there was only one, so we left it there and continued our walk from beach to beach along the rocky shoreline, which isn’t always an easy task, but is definitely a fun challenge. About a mile from where we saw that first shoe, I spotted its mate! Grabbed it and now we were on a mission to go back and find the first one, which we did. So, now we have a pair of brand new shoes that fit neither of us and we weren’t sure why we were keeping them, but figured they might come in handy at some point. (Spoiler alert…these shoes WILL make an appearance in a future blog post!)
I’ve got some great video and pictures of the people of Black Point that I’d like to share, but I’m going to save those for another post and leave you now with a video of a blow hole and the rugged shoreline on the northern end of the island, as well as a few more pictures from our time spent anchored at the Black Point settlement.
And now, just because, here’s pictures of Jim in our dinghy, me in our dinghy, and our boat (taken from the dinghy!).
And last, but not least….another one of these big a$$ boats that we see down here sometimes. We meet a lot of people on boats, but never anyone on one of these big ones. Sure would love a tour! If you look closely, you’ll see that there’s even a basketball hoop on this one! Crazy!