Rock Sound near the southern end of the long island of Eleuthera is actually looking up these days. In the Bahamas there seems to be a rule that you never actually remove an old building, you just abandon its and let it collapse. Because of this, it can sometimes be hard to see signs of growth and renewal.
Rock Sound has a new dock for visiting boaters. Way nicer than the typical town dinghy dock, and just dredged out to depths allowing larger boats alongside.
Even the ubiquitous “Government Dock” where the regular supply boats unload looks shiny and new.
There are a few excellent waterfront restaurants that appear prosperous.
But at its heart it is still a small Bahama family island town. People are friendly and helpful. The island version of a Farmer’s Market is a local’s front porch with a posted price list and honor box.
The Bahamas are islands made of porous limestone that have been in and out of the ocean many times over the millennia. That has left the islands almost hollow, riddled by caves. When the roof of a cave collapses and it fills with water is becomes one of the famous “Blue Holes.” We visited one of these that is right here in town on a previous visit.
This time, we went to a dry cave, know to the locals as “Cathedral Cave.” It was surprisingly beautiful. Sunlight beamed through holes in the roof, and tree roots grew down from above to the floor.
Any cave has to have its cave creatures, and this one is no exception. Even before you get all the way into the cave, you notice the homes of the most obvious inhabitants:
Some of the walls are covered in the large, dishevealed webs of spiders. It looks like a classic decoration for Halloween. In many of the online comments about this place people noted the webs, but go on to say, “But there are no spiders.” Well, they just didn’t get close enough to see. Each of those webs has a large round hole, and inside that hole is a very large black spider with a body almost as big as my thumb.
A termite nest had a mud travel tunnel extending more than 50 feet from the roof to the floor of the cave. When a mischievous photographer knocked a hole in the tunnel, the residents quickly swarmed in to repair the damage.
And what would a proper spooky cave be without…
BATS! Clinging to the rook in the very darkest corners of the cave are these small bats. Karen could hear their high pitch chattering, I could not. There are about a dozen species of bats in the Bahamas, I have no idea which these are…
We will likely be hanging here for a few more days. The wind is swinging around to the south, and that is exactly the direction we want to go. Rather than struggle against that, we’ll pause, explore, and enjoy Southern Eleuthera for a bit.