Eleuthera is the fourth-largest island on the Bahamas. The chain of islands is among the most significant and iconic parts of the region with its countless pineapple fields and beaches covered with pink sand. Its eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean and the western coast is opposite the Great Bahama Bank. The island is very narrow and long at the same time; it is 4-kilometre-wide on average and has a length of 180 kilometres. It has marvellous beaches and is surrounded by crystal clear turquoise and blue waters. Its name means ‘freedom’ in Greek. Let us explore and experience this freedom!
This article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- The-weather of Eleuthera
- Ports and islands around Eleuthera
- Sail in Eleuthera! Eleuthera sailing adventures
- Sailing in Eleuthera : a week sailing itinerary
- 7 Days Eleuthera sailing adventure (longer)
- Marine gas near Eleuthera
Eleuthera has a subtropical climate, characterised by moderate warm weather during the entire year. The average annual temperature is 28° Celsius; this means 21° Celsius in the winter and 27° Celsius in the summer. The temperature rarely drops below 16° Celsius or above 32° Celsius. The dominant wind blows from the northeast in the winter and from the southeast in the summer, freshening up the air a bit. The velocity of the wind is an average of 15 km/h during the entire year. Most of the precipitation falls in the summer months. At the end of the summer – during the period between June and November – the tropical cyclones (hurricanes) may be a threat.
The strong wind (with a blast of over 90 km/h) and the seawater that rises, as a result, may cause heavy damage. The weather is usually pleasant in Eleuthera during the whole year, meaning that sailing is also enjoyable in all seasons. We should definitely avoid the hurricane season though, as storms may be very challenging. Check the sailing conditions and wind rose diagram of Eleuthera
There are many ports and anchorages here; sailors can choose from more than 20 designated spots for anchoring and a dozen for mooring. It is important to note, however, that sailing on the Eleuthera is not always easy. There are parts with shallow waters and corals as well as tidal waves, making navigation more difficult. The landscape is beautiful though, and the locals are very hospitable, so it is definitely worth taking the risk!
Spanish Wells is located on St. Georges Cay, west of the northern corner of Eleuthera. Its port is constituted by a long channel bordered by two small islands. It is protected well and is only open for the winds coming from the eastern direction. There is a great port and a hurricane hole in the west where boats are tied to mangrove trees. There are six anchoring buoys on the eastern side. We can find Spanish Wells Yacht Haven & Marina here which is a full-service yacht marina with 40 berths; besides the basic services, they also have a bicycle rental. The downtown is in walking distance. We can anchor at Royal Island Harbour in the west, which provides ideal anchorages for vessels with a larger draft. The only disadvantage is that they have no amenities or services.
Governor’s Harbour is located in the centre of Eleuthera; it is the capital of the island. It is a beautiful place with a sight of marvellous Victorian architecture. Governor’s Harbour also has a small and narrow peninsula, Cupid’s Cay, which is a great place to anchor. The average depth of water near the shore is 3-4 metres; the sea bottom is ideal for securing our boat firmly. The area is well-protected; the only disturbance may be caused by the western winds from time to time. French Leave Marina is the most important yacht marina, located in the southeastern corner of the town. They offer boat slips for both larger megayachts and smaller boats. They also have electricity and water in every dock. One of the most popular events in town is the summer regatta, a spectacular and exciting event both for competitors and spectators.
Palmetto Point can be found the app. 10 kilometres from Governor’s Harbour. It consists of two parts: North Palmetto and South Palmetto. It has become the most popular holiday resort on the island during the past years. Visitors can expect friendly people, as well as dozens of services and restaurants. One of the best anchorages is located in Pau Pau Bay – the sea is peaceful, and we can secure our boat safely in the designated spots. The only disadvantage of the bay is its lack of complete protection from the southern and southeastern winds. There is also a yacht marina in the centre of the island called Runaway Bay Marina. The channel leading to the bay is 3 metres deep; they offer fresh water and electricity in the dock.
Rock Sound is a large bay located south of Governor’s Harbour. It is a very friendly town with amazing shops and a wide variety of services. There are great anchorages in the area; however, none of them are completely protected. There are also two small free dinghy docks and an awesome beach near Wild Orchid. Davis Harbour Marina, which is the closest yacht marina, can be found in the southern part of the island. There are 24 anchorages here, and the depth of water is app. 2.5 metres. They offer shower cabins, laundry, fresh water, ice, fuel and even boat maintenance in the dock.
Harbour Island lies in the northern part of the archipelago and is a perfect place for those looking for diversity. There are great hiking opportunities in the district of the old dockyard. We can find a ruinous fort here that was built under the leadership of the legendary pirate Charles Wayne. The area near the beach is full of marvellous caves, the largest of which was converted to a prison in the 18th century. Today, it is one of the most popular spots to visit. Another reason that the tiny island is popular among visitors is the unique beaches covered with pink sand. There are two yacht ports on the island: Harbour Island Club & Marina and Valentines Marina. Both of them is a well-equipped port with a fuel dock, showers, restaurants, and bars.
Hatchet Bay, located at Alice Town, is app. 20 kilometres further from Harbour Island. This is among the best anchorages on the western shores. Gaining entrance to the bay may seem scary at first, as the channel looks very narrow. In fact, it is fairly wide, and the depth of water is also ideal, so most boats can navigate through without difficulties. Thanks to the stone dam at the port, the bay is well-protected. Anchorages are free of charge; the best ones are located on the southwestern side. There are also two dingy docks near Alice Town. It is a perfect place for a nice walk on the beach, and they have grocery stores, restaurants and provide boat maintenance as well.
On this route, we leave from the beautiful Harbour Island in the northern corner of Eleuthera. Then we navigate towards the south, and after passing by all-important port towns of the island, we sail to Nassau. We stop at Highbourne Cay so that we can prepare for the longest day of the week. After Nassau, we make two more stops at two islands which are located directly next to Eleuthera.
Day 1. Harbour Island – Spanish Wells
18, 80 km (11, 68 mi)
Before sailing to Spanish Wells, it is recommended to study the route in advance. The channel leading to the bay is quite narrow, and the course is marked by white buoys; we should leave it to the starboard when navigating through. Inside the channel, we should also be careful about the other vessels when reaching town. Most anchorages are fairly small. In Spanish Wells Yacht Haven, they accommodate 30 boats, and the maximum depth of water here is 3.5 metres. We can replenish our ice and water supplies here, and they also have electricity, a restaurant and a bar.
Day 2. Spanish Wells – Governor’s Harbour
77, 00 km (47, 85 mi)
We can choose from several moorings at Governor’s Harbour. The best ones can be found near the dock Club Med and northwest of the town centre. These provide great protection from the northern winds. The mooring buoys in the area are unmarked – we should contact the port authority about using them via channel VHF 16.
Day 3. Governor’s Harbour – Cape Eleuthera
40, 60 km (25, 22 mi)
Cape Eleuthera is among the favourite spots of Bahamian fishermen and is a major destination of sea enthusiasts. It is located between Exuma Sound and Rock Sound. There is a full-service yacht marina here that has received a Blue Flag certificate thanks to its strict environmental practices. They have a lot of moorings for all types of vessels, and they also provide shower cabins, laundry service and free Wi-Fi. We can get water, ice and refuel our boat here, and they also have boat maintenance, a grocery store and a restaurant. One of the most beautiful beaches in the are can be found nearby; it is ideal for both swimming and scuba-diving.
Day 4. Cape Eleuthera – Highbourne Cay
49, 70 km (30, 88 mi)
Highbourne Cay is a relatively small privately-owned island between Nassau and Eleuthera. It is a favourable stop among skippers heading to Nassau. Here we can replenish our water and ice supplies, refuel our boat, and buy groceries and all the essentials we might need. The port is beautiful, well-maintained and protected.
Day 5. Highbourne Cay – Nassau
61, 30 km (38, 09 mi)
Nassau – the largest town and capital of the Bahamas – can be found on a smaller island called New Providence. There are some fantastic marinas offering several opportunities for spending some pleasant quality time here. Nassau Yacht Haven and Harbour View Marina are the two largest yacht marinas in town. Nassau Yacht Haven is an establishment with protected docks, providing 135 berths and full service. The depth of water is 5.5 metres. Harbour View Marina is a safe and convenient port with access to fuel and electricity. They can accommodate 43 boats, and they have shower cabins, a restaurant and a bar as well. Elizabeth on Bay Marina and Old Bahama Bay are two smaller docks in the area.
Day 6. Nassau – Egg Island
62, 30 km (38, 71 mi)
Egg Island is a tiny island with a territory of 800 square kilometres, located west of the northern corner of Eleuthera. The island is surrounded by a crescent-shaped beach. The best anchorages are on the western side; they are protected by an extensive coral reef. We should arrive as early as possible, in daylight, so that we can find the passage between the port and the beach easily. The shipwreck of the Arimora cargo ship is located directly next to the island. It is a very exciting scuba-diving spot, as large groups of fish have colonised the remains of the ship.
Day 7. Egg Island – Royal Island – Harbour Island
32, 60 km (20 mi)
Royal Island is a privately owned island with a territory of 430 hectares, located at the northern corner of Eleuthera. There are marvellous white sandy beaches here, providing an amazing view of the ocean. The island is very peaceful. We need to request permission from the coast guard to anchor and disembark. It is a perfect spot for the last night of our trip.Read more Bahamas sailing
This route is very similar to the previous one for many reasons, but we have to do greater distances every day. We will pass by many of the islands belonging to Exuma Cays between Eleuthera and Nassau, so we will have the opportunity to explore this wonderful area. This route is very popular among sailors arriving in the Bahamas.
Day 1. Spanish Wells – Annie Bight 39, 50 km (24, 54 mi), Day 2. Annie Bight – Rock Sound 75, 85 km (47, 13 mi), Day 3. Rock Sound – Waderick Wells Cay 72, 55 km (45, 08 mi), Day 4. Waderick Wells Cay – Shroud Cay 29, 75 km (18, 49 mi) (19, 88 mi), Day 5. Shroud Cay – Highbourne Cay 23, 85 km (14, 82 mi) (46, 35 mi), Day 6. Highbourne Cay – Nassau 63, 10 km (39, 21 mi) Day 7. Nassau – Egg Island – Spanish Wells 67, 05 km (41, 66 mi)
- SPANISH WELLS MARINE & HARDWARE: , 8-12 & 13-17 , GPS Coordinates: 25.542075, -76.751341
- RUNWAY BAY MARINA: , GPS Coordinates: 25.144444, -76.169167
- CAPE ELEUTHERA RESORT AND MARINA: Depth: 2 m, GPS Coordinates: 24.836154, -76.343758
- HIGHBOURNE CAY MARINA: Depth: 2, 5 m, Working time: 8-17, GPS Coordinates: 24.708938, -76.821578
- HARBOUR VIEW MARINA, NASSAU: Depth: 2 m, GPS Coordinates: 25.074623, -77.312880
- HARBOUR ISLAND CLUB AND MARINA: Depth: 3 m, Working time:8-18, GPS Coordinates: 44.8749, 13.84651
- FRENCH LEAVE HARBOUR VILLAGE MARINA: Depth: 2, 5 m, GPS Coordinates: 25.203069, -76.246944
Eleuthera is a wonderful island; visitors can admire breathtaking, secluded bays, dramatic rocky areas and marvellous beaches here. All the beaches provide an amazing panorama, and thanks to the great ports, the area is perfect for an unforgettable sailing trip.Find more Bahamas sailing tours or choose an another yacht charter in the BahamasHELP ME TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT BOAT