Friday, January 26, 2018

Hamilton’s Cave

We moved the boat before breakfast yesterday. George was concerned about the depth and wanted to find a deeper spot before the big blow. We meandered around the anchorage and ended up in a spot with about the same depth as the spot we left. Oh well. After breakfast Doug and Laura finished packing while George and I collected the laundry. It took two trips to get the four of us, the luggage and the laundry to shore. We drove about 30 minutes south in the rental car to a nice, large laundry in Hamilton’s. We had about an hour to spare after the laundry was done so we decided to tour Hamilton’s Cave. For $15 per person you get an hour-long guided tour of the largest cave in the Bahamas. Since we hadn’t planned to do the tour we hadn’t called for reservations. We were in luck, though, the guide had just finished a tour and was available again. We met him at the sign for Hamilton’s Cave and then followed his car about 1/4 mile north to a road that turned inland up a hill. He gave a flashlight to each of us and spoke briefly about the cave before we entered. It was formed eons ago (I don’t remember how long) when the sea level was much higher. The Lucayan Indians were thought to have lived there around 500 a.d., according to artifacts that have been discovered in the cave.  Our guide’s family came to the Bahamas from the Carolinas as loyalists just after the Revolutionary War. They bought the property from the king of England in the 1800’s. They have used the cave as a hurricane shelter and for hide and seek as children. The cave is huge, with many paths and “rooms”. I understand why having a guide is essential. One could easily get lost. The dark lines you see in the photo are the tunnels of ground termites. We also saw a few varieties of bats hiding in “tubes” at the top of the cave. After seeing so much poor, sandy soil in the Bahamas I was surprised to see clay soil in the cave. Our guide had a beautiful garden at the entrance to the cave and he said the soil is very rich. 
After we finished touring the cave we had a fantastic lunch at Forest #2 Takeaway before dropping Doug and Laura at the airport. We are sad that they have to leave early but if they had waited for the 30-40 knot winds we have now, and for the next few days, they would never have been able to get off of the boat. 

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