Below is information I have comprised about this particular area of The Bahamas, renowned for it's turquoise, clear waters, exquisite reefs, big game fishing, drift diving and pristine beaches. The perfect amount of remoteness, with amenities.
The region of Eleuthera was originally populated by the Taino and Arawak tribes, but soon stamped out with the impending immigration from Europe. The original white settlers were a group of 70 men led by Captain William Sayle, fleeing persecution in Bermuda and England. They called themselves the “Eleutheran Adventurers,” Eleuthera can be traced to a Greek word meaning “freedom.” The Eleutherans settled on a nearby island in a place now known as, Governor’s Bay. Captain Sayle received support from two churches in Boston to sustain his new colony, in return the Eleutherans sent ten tons of Braziletto wood as a gift to Harvard College (now University), sold for £120 the college’s third largest donation. The Eleutherans Adventurers had created the first true seat of democracy in the new world – and the birthplace of The Bahamas.
Spanish Wells was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus and later settled by the Eleutheran Adventurers and Loyalists fleeing the United States.
The name “Spanish Wells” comes from the fresh-water reserves on the island that Spanish sailors would renew their water supply after and before the long voyage across the Atlantic. There is even a Seagillian song about the legendary explorer Ponce de Leon quenching his thirst for the Fountain of Youth in Spanish Wells:
Ponce de Leon tired of searchin’
For a way to stay young
Put Spanish Wells water on his tongue
It did not remove his gray hairs
Or restore his wounded pride
But we know for sure
He lived until he died
Spanish Wells is located 215 miles east of Miami, Florida and 48 miles northeast of Nassau, New Providence just adjacent to the northeast tip of Eleuthera. Spanish Wells is located on the main island of St. George’s Cay (which it is rarely referred as), and Russell Island, connected by a small one-way bridge.
The islands are surrounded by beautiful pink and white sand beaches, and water so clear you can see the bottom, further out beyond the beaches is a barrier reef called, the Devil’s Backbone – here there is fantastic snorkeling, diving and fishing. If you follow the Devil’s backbone east, you will find yourself in Dunmore town, more commonly known as, Harbour Island, the original capitol of The Bahamas.
The 1600 residents of Spanish Wells are called Seagillians. It is one of the few areas in The Bahamas that is predominantly white, and surnames here are some of the oldest and most common in The Bahamas. With family histories dating back to British settlers from the 1600s or Loyalists from the 1700s. The history of the Seagillians dates back so long, it is said that if asked to name a place in The Bahamas where pioneer blood is most concentrated, one would have to say Spanish Wells.
Spanish Wells is known to be one of the safest communities in The Bahamas, where there is so little crime that locals leave their doors unlocked. The island is a farming and fishing community, the islanders are renowned for their seamanship and fishing abilities. The crawfish (spiny lobster) industry is the main source of income and work in Spanish Wells. Spanish Wells is the lobster capitol of The Bahamas, providing crawfish to most hotels, restaurants and resorts. The locals continue to make their living in the oldest and most basic forms of Bahamian industries; fishing and farming.
Spanish Wells is the most affluent and self-sufficient settlement in the Bahamian Out Islands. The Seagillians are so self-sufficient the power company and major food store are owned through widespread ownership within the community.
Spanish Wells is a dry island, meaning there is no liquor store, no bars and no alcohol sold at restaurants. Although, a five-minute water-taxi away there is a liquor store on neighboring Eleuthera. This has led to a ritual called BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) “circling” ritual in which some residents and visitors drive golf carts around and around the one-square-mile island.
Deep Sea Fishing
The deep waters around Eleuthera host fish such as blue marlin, dolphin, wahoo, white marlin, and sailfish. There are a number of great fishing sites surrounding Eleuthera. These include; Dutch Bar, Wide Opening, Shallow Ground, the Pinnacle and James Point are all within 18 miles of Northern Eleuthera. All of these locations exhibit drop-offs and lots of bottom contour, but the most consistent marlin-producer is James Point. It features a ledge plunging over 1000 feet deep where currents swirl over a point of land extending from Eleuthera. Clear, blue water and a wind pushing against deep, ocean current create a constant rip over these sites, offering prime conditions.
The Bahamas offers some of the best, most varied bone fishing in the world. Consisting of dozens of large islands and hundreds of uninhabited smaller cays, The Bahamas sees more bonefishing tourism than any other country. The shallow banks off Spanish Wells and neighboring Russell Island offer world-class bonefishing.
Although the area boasts some of the best, and clear dive sites in the Caribbean, Current Cut is known for being an incredible dive. Few magazines, and dive books have been able to do it justice, and even few photographers. This is because neither words nor pictures can come close to describing the sensation of being carried, forced, tumbled and flushed between 0.5-12kts through the narrow 300” ‘cut’ that separates Current Island from Eleuthera.
Underwater caves, also known as blue holes, are scattered throughout The Bahamian Islands, in the Exumas, Andros, Long Island and Eleuthera. Ocean Hole in Rock Sound, Eleuthera is said by the locals to be bottomless. It is actually an inland salt-water lake, a mile from the ocean, yet filled with salt-water sea life, and rises and ebbs with the tides. Therefore it has a connection to the ocean, although no one has found it, even Jacques Cousteau tried unsuccessfully.
This beach lies three miles south of Gregory Town and is very popular when waves peak from December through May. Strong currents are known to pick up here, so unless you are an experienced surfer, take a guide. One of the only beaches in The Bahamas chain where swells are consistent during the season.
Gregory Town Plantation & Distillery
Pineapple used to be Eleuthera’s main crop, and the island was one of the largest exporters. Although the industry isn’t as strong as it was in the past, the locals still make good pineapple rum out of the fruit, and you can visit the distillery where it’s produced. You’re allowed to sample it, and we almost guarantee you’ll want to take a bottle home.
Glass Window Bridge
A unique geological formation that provides spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Many times referred to as the “narrowest place on Earth,” the bridge is located just north of Gregory Town on Eleuthera. The man-made bridge took the place of a naturally formed bridge of rock that was destroyed in a hurricane. From this bridge you can see the phenomenal contrast between the dark blue Atlantic Ocean churning away and the calm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The Plymouth Rock of The Bahamas. Originally inhabited by Lucayans, and later Captain William Sayles and his shipwrecked Eleutheran Adventurers in the 1600s. Located in North Eleuthera, the cave is close to the beachfront and the narrow waterway passage barrier known as Devil’s Backbone. The cave itself is easily accessed and can be explored in a relatively short period of time.