With all of the excitement around our failing water pump, we didn’t get a chance to post about our last few days of vacation with my parents. So, as I sit here in Man of War harbor, after listening to the 6:30am Chris Parker “Marine Weather Center” forecast and confirming that our departure plans for the States have been pushed off for at least another day by Tropical Storm Beryl, I have a little time to reflect…
After Brad and I finished up the engine work Sunday afternoon while my parents went exploring ashore, we picked up my parents and headed over to the lighthouse, only to discover that the lighthouse had closed at 2:00 and we would not be able to see it until 9:00 the following morning. Most other businesses (including cart and bike rentals) had been closed as well, so unfortunately, my parents had had a pretty limited view of Hope Town that day.
Our initial plan was to head back to Marsh Harbour on Monday so that we made sure to get my parents back in time for their mid-day flight on Tuesday. The channel into Hope Town requires us to enter at high tide or nearly high tide due to depth restrictions in the entrance. But with the tide timing, this would have required us to leave by 10:00am. Any later and we would risk running aground outside the entrance, and waiting for the next high tide would put us into Marsh Harbour well after dark. This didn’t give us much time to see the lighthouse or explore the town. So we decided to stay another day. There are ferries that travel between Hope Town and Marsh Harbor every few hours, and my parents would be able to take one of these back on Tuesday morning to return to Marsh Harbor in plenty of time for their flight.
With that settled and the whole day before us, we started calling around for a golf cart rental. We found one in short time, packed some snacks and drinks and headed for shore to explore more of Elbow Cay. We took the road south (Keep Left!) that heads down to Tahiti Beach, which we’d explored from the boat a few days earlier. Along the way we stopped at several restaurants and resorts and beaches that are outside downtown Hope Town. We finally had a sunny day, and we were thankful for the golf cart had a roof.
We returned back to Hope Town and decided the best approach to the lighthouse was by water. So we all piled back into the dinghy and made our way across the harbor to the lighthouse. The Elbow Cay lighthouse is 89 feet high and has 101 steps up to the lens room. According to the guidebook, (there’s not much historical information available at the lighthouse itself) it is one of only three, continuously operated, kerosene-fueled, hand-round rotation lighthouses in the world. It was built in 1860, and still utilizes kerosene and a group of Fresnel lenses to produce five, white, rotating flashes with 15 nautical mile visibility. The lighthouse provided a great view of Elbow Cay and the surrounding area as well as some great photo ops.
After lunch on the boat, we returned to Hope Town to explore some of the shops and local businesses and sample some local key lime pie. We had passed Firefly restaurant in our travels earlier that day, and decided to go back for dinner to celebrate the last evening together. Firefly is a relatively new restaurant on Elbow Cay, and we had heard good things about it when we were here in January. We all enjoyed a beautiful sunset, a delicious dinner, and our last evening together for the trip.
It was great to be able to share some of our favorite places as well as some new places with my parents while they were here. We had a wonderful time, and a so glad they were able to join us for part of our adventure.