Monthly Archives for April 2020

Is there a doctor in the house? Oh, yes, Dr. Seabreeze!

music - Bret S. - April 29, 2020

Cebric Bethel, better known as Dr. Seabreeze, has been performing on Eleuthera and around the world for more than 50 years. Seabreeze, who turned 78 in November of 2019, can still belt out his favorite Calypso songs in a voice that is as unique as his personality. If you want to see him perform just ask around. He is likely to be performing several times a week up and down the island. You can also usually run into him at his ‘office’ in Ronnie’s Hideaway on Cupid’s Cay where the Doctor is usually in! Read below to learn a little about his musical start and watch the snippet of the interview that Seabreeze did that led to the two books (one for adults and one for children) that bear his name. His signed CD’s are available for purchase if you meet him on the island.

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In the middle of the 1950s, Seabreeze and some friends started a band called the Jolly Boys. The only two original members still alive are Seabreeze and Millard Bethel (from Millard’s Variety Store in North Palmetto Point).


Mr. Millard Bethel used to play with Seabreeze in the Jolly Boys

Seabreeze used to sing and play the maracas that were made out of dried coconuts and little beads. Millard would scrape the saw. They played old Calypso music and Rake ‘n Scrape.

They played at the Navy Base, the French Leave Hotel and all of the clubs on the island.


This map lists many of the clubs that the Jolly Boys played at.

Be sure to pick up Lynn Parlett’s excellent book about the life and times of this Eleuthera legend.



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Protected: What’s just south of Alicetown Beach South

Uncategorized - Bret S. - April 23, 2020

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Eleuthera – It’s Not For Everyone…or is it?

adventures, LifeStyle, Travel - Bret S. - April 15, 2020

Come and enjoy the island paradise of Eleuthera, Bahamas. Enjoy our sneak preview above the land and below the waves.

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LifeStyle, Travel - Bret S. - April 11, 2020

The Eleuthera Snorkel Guide (aka The Snorkel Book, Eleuthera, Bahamas edition) was first published in March of 2019. It documents the locations of 38 of the most unique and interesting snorkel spots on the island and is inclusive of maps and driving directions.

One thing that really sets this book apart from other snorkel guides is that it helps you evaluate your skill level relative to the difficulty of a particular snorkel site. This helps you match your skills to the difficulty of the location so that you don’t get in over your head or waste a lot of time with a site that may be blah.

It also maps out a strategy for choosing a snorkel location. This is very important on Eleuthera because the direction of the wind and its veracity can strongly influence your ability to even attempt to snorkel a particular location. Since the island is so long you can end up driving a long way just to find out that you can’t get in the water. The book helps you plan for a good day of snorkeling by advising you to have a primary objective with a backup plan in case the weather – wind, waves, temperature – do not cooperate.

The Eleuthera Snorkel Book is only available from me, Bret Sigillo, the author and publisher. I sell it directly from my website Eleuthera Beach Book and it is also available via Amazon. Be aware that you are still getting the book from the same source and I fulfill all of the orders myself regardless of where you buy it. I prefer that you buy it directly from my website where I offer it at a discount. However, I don’t have any free shipping options so if you are a Prime member on Amazon you may prefer to purchase it there just to get free shipping.

If you are a die hard snorkeler or even a wannabe who is traveling to Eleuthera you will want this book along with the Eleuthera Beach Book and perhaps even the Eleuthera Guide Book, both of which I wrote.

Safe travels and enjoy Eleuthera!

Be sure to check out our fine selection of Eleuthera Vacation Rentals, which can be found on my website Eleuthera Direct. We help save you money by letting you reserve the property of your choice directly with the owner.

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adventures, Travel - Bret S. - April 10, 2020

Pssst!! Hey, you! Want to know a secret? On Eleuthera, one of the Bahamian Family Islands located just 60 miles east of Nassau, you will find one of the most beautiful beaches…IN THE WORLD!! Could that be true? We think it is. Read on to learn more and be sure to watch our YouTube video and subscribe to our channel for a peek at this truly amazing location.

Read on Lighthouse Beach Lovers!

Many people are surprised to find out that just a mere hour and change flight from the Florida coast they can visit this natural wonder of the beach world, Lighthouse Beach, which sits at the very southeastern tip of Eleuthera. While getting to Eleuthera is fairly easy, just take a direct flight from Atlanta, Florida, or Nassau, New Providence in the Bahamas, the ground trek to Lighthouse Beach can prove to be a bit daunting. That’s because the beach, or beaches as it were, are well hidden at the end of a long 2 mile jungle road. It’s not just any 2 mile road, either. If Glass Window Bridge to the north of the island can be considered the narrowest place on Earth then maybe the road to Lighthouse Point might be the bumpiest. Decades of erosion have left long deep ruts with Volkswagen sized holes that are big enough to swallow a small child. Because of the road condition those last two miles can take anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes depending on how much ground clearance your vehicle has and the driving nerves you possess. It’s not uncommon for visitors to simply abandon their vehicle and hike to the beaches although we don’t recommend doing that. The road is long and barely wide enough for one vehicle in most places. It should not be used as a parking lot if that can be avoided.

After passing a large inland body of water aptly named Big Pond, you will come to the first southern shore beach area, which has been nicknamed Lighthouse Beach Caribbean, by, ummm, me. It’s a beautiful stretch of cool pink sand! The brilliant turquoise waters of the shallower sound side of the island lovingly lap at her shores. Many visitors are content to stay right there, but there’s so much more to see. With one parking area at the beginning of the beach, and a second one next to a wooden bench just before the sandy hill leading to the Atlantic side beach, there’s plenty of room to spread out. Since this beach is considered so special, ironically, it’s often the beach that has the most visitors even if it is one of the harder ones to reach. But, Lighthouse Point has much more to offer and plenty of additional areas to explore.

If you continue to drive past the bench up and over the hill be very careful. The road is little more than a soft sand trail wide enough for one vehicle and with deep ruts. It’s easy to bottom out or get stuck in the sand. With no help nearby you might be there for quite a long time if that happens. If you don’t have experience driving in sand or you don’t have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, don’t even take the chance. Park at the bottom of the hill and take a leisurely stroll up and over the hill. If you’re more adventurous, look for the trail that can be found just past the beach and in the direction of the series of cays. Hike from there up to the abandoned lighthouse building.

The Atlantic side beach is gorgeous! It stretches for more than 6 miles before you would run into a piece of land requiring you to take a little swim to the next beach around the bend. There is plenty of reef to explore on this side of the island if you are interested in snorkeling although the reef, at least the last time I visited, was not healthy and mostly devoid of life. Do pay attention to the current and wind direction as it’s easy to get blown out to sea if you venture too far from shore.

But, what about the lighthouse? I thought this article was going to answer whether or not there is really a lighthouse at Lighthouse Beach!

Once you are done exploring the beaches then find the roped off cutout steps that are carved out of the spectacular limestone outcroppings at the tip of the beach. Climb those steps and take in one of the most incredible elevated views you will ever experience. From that vantage point you’ll be able to observe two oceans colliding between the main body of land and the first cay. It’s truly awe-inspiring! The cays themselves resemble a series of stepping stones for some ancient giant or perhaps Poseidon himself. Venture farther up the path to what remains of the ruins of the old lighthouse and notice the tall poll next to the last remaining building. Yes, the actual light from the lighthouse, or what remains of it (see the end of the video to see what it looks like now) is still standing. I’ve never been able to find out much more history about this place or when the lighthouse ceased to function. It stands today as a testament to times gone by when it’s beacon of light helped ancient maritime sailors avoid tragedies at sea.

There are numerous other little hiking trails each one leading to another spectacular view, lookout ledge or hidden beach. I strongly recommend making a day out of the adventure. Pack all the food, drink and sunscreen you will need and spend the day enjoying and experiencing the majesty that is the Lighthouse Beach. We may not have this view for much longer as the land has been purchased by the Disney Corporation and they have plans to turn it into something other than what it is today. If that happens then the likelihood of being able to visit Lighthouse Point will probably only be possible by boat or by embarking on one of their cruises. It’s a future that I don’t like to even imagine, but a possibility nonetheless.

Make sure to pick up a copy of The Beach Book, Eleuthera, Bahamas edition for explicit driving directions to Lighthouse Beach and be sure to Like and Share our Facebook page below!

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eats, LifeStyle, music - Bret S. - April 10, 2020

The Fish Fry gets hopping after dark

The Anchor Bay Governor’s Harbour Fish Fry, a regular weekly outdoor festival, has been held every Friday, weather permitting, since 1999 when I became a property owner on Eleuthera and I’m sure a lot, lot longer than that. Since the weather is almost always good you can count on there being a weekly fish fry as sure as you can count on the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. From what I’ve researched, the history of the original fish fry traces it’s roots back to the Nassau Fish Fry on Arawak Cay that started in the 60’s. It began with just a few rickety shacks that were more or less slapped together to serve folks commuting to the old Bahamas Customs facility. And, while the number of service huts in Nassau currently approaches 50, the Governor’s Harbour Fish Fry is still serviced from a single building, which has  expanded and been modernized over the years. It has been many years since it resembled a shack.

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The Fish Fry ‘Tent’ of yesteryear looked much different than today’s modern structure.

I’m not sure exactly when the Fish Fry became a regular event on Eleuthera, but regardless of when, it’s still going strong today and is a must-do for every visitor to the island. It’s also for a good cause as it is put on by the Governor’s Harbour Development Association who put the proceeds from the event towards the annual homecoming celebration and various projects within the community.

But, what exactly is a fish fry? Is it literally a place to just enjoy an outdoor meal of fried fish? Well, not exactly. I like to compare it to a weekly celebration of life. The work week is over. Local Bahamians want to relax and kick back a bit. Tourists gearing up for the weekend are looking for a social event where they can be around other people. Why not throw an event where everybody can eat, drink, dance, sing and make merry? That, in a nutshell, is the fish fry. It’s where all the basic things that make us human come together – culture, cuisine, and art. In other words, it’s a party!

The Anchor Bay Fish Fry takes place each Friday evening around 6-ish and runs until 1-ish in the morning usually followed by libations at Ronnie’s on Cupid’s Cay if you are still standing. The food service building can be found at the corner in Governor’s Harbour that crosses over into Cupid’s Cay, just past Haynes Library and St. Patrick’s Anglican Church on Bay Street. There are two other ways to find it if you aren’t sure. Ask anyone on the street and they will point the way, or roll down the window of your car and just take a listen…especially after dark. The sound of the Fish Fry is like the smell of frying bacon. It just leads you in.

Casuarina logs are used instead of charcoal

On Eleuthera the barbecue briquette of choice is the Casuarina log.

The cuisine can be called traditional grilled Bahamian as there is a large outdoor pit for frying up all the local delicacies. The pit is so active it seems to have a life of its own. On the menu you can almost always find fried red snapper along with other delicious island specialties like BBQ chicken and ribs, fresh conch salad (a spicy mixture of chopped conch mixed with diced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers in a lime and orange marinade) and traditional side dishes such as peas and rice, mac and cheese, and cole slaw. Prices for a meal are generally between $12 and $20 for an entree and two sides. There is a full a la carte service bar where the bartenders tend to be very heavy handed with the rum in their famous concoction the Rum Bubba as well as other simpler adult libations. More on the Rum Bubbas later.

Usually during the daylight hours things are more sedate with everyone arriving, ordering their food and enjoying their meal amid some casual conversation while the last few rays of sun linger over the water. Once the sun sets into the ocean, though, things get going. There is usually a raucous DJ blaring loud dance music into the starry night. Sometimes there are special guest musicians performing their own style of music. Eventually the Rum Bubbas start to kick in and the dancing soon follows. A traditional limbo line will usually break out along with more casual line dancing right in the middle of Bay Street! It really is fun to watch and even more fun to participate!!

limbo dancing at anchor bay fish fry governor's harbour

Young and not as young participate in the limbo line.

Since this is an outdoor party it is open to everyone on the island and you’ll often see a diverse mix of children and adults. I personally recommend attending the Anchor Bay Fish Fry at least once because, well, there’s just nothing else like it on Eleuthera. The food is good. The drinks are strong. The environment is electric. You’ll make new friends. You’ll hear great stories. You will create a memory that will last a lifetime.

So, about the Rum Bubbas…while the recipe isn’t published and the Bahamians continue to guard their secret, a similar recipe can be found under the Caribbean 1234 punch, which has two sets of rhymes to help you remember how to make it. The first part goes:

One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak

The sour agent in a Bahamian rum punch is lime juice = 1 part lime juice.

As for sweet, simple syrup is the way to go with 2 parts sugar dissolved into 1 part boiling  water = 2 parts simple syrup.

Strong = 3 parts rum (that’s Ole Nassau dark rum)

Weak is water = 4 parts water.

But, there’s a second half to the rhyme with regards to serving the drink:

A dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice.

2 to 3 dashes of Agnostura bitters, a dash of nutmeg, and frozen water.

Give this recipe a try. I personally believe that the Eleutheran Rum Bubba relies more on fruit juices such as pineapple mixed with mango juice, but this version sounds good, too!

rum bubba at anchor bay fish fry

Remember to drive on the left especially after a few Rum Bubbas!

Special thanks to Kristel Kingston Anderson, Martin Gallagher, Jody Hardy, Narda Ferris-Meeks, Kati Wilkins and Deb Hall for use of their Fish Fry Fotos!

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adventures, Travel - Bret S. - April 10, 2020

Harbour Island, often characterized as the polar opposite of Eleuthera due its eclectic populous atmosphere, is what many vacationers picture when they visualize a tropical vacation. It’s the place where you might catch a glimpse of the rich and famous, but here, everyone is equal. There are opulent boutique resorts, trendy little nightclubs, expensive restaurants, and just about every imaginable water activity available at your fingertips.

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But, what about the beach, you ask? It’s one of the best and there are some very specific reasons for that, first and foremost, being its size. As we often learn from popular TV, bigger is better, and the massive Pink Sands beach of Harbour Island is certainly no exception. What makes it different, though, is that it’s almost perfectly rectangular. Most beaches taper in places especially at the tips, wind around, or have rock obstructions, especially on Eleuthera. This 2.5 mile long beach maintains its 100 yards of width its full length from north to south. If you couple that with how flat it is you feel like you are on an endless bed of the most gorgeous pink sand that you’ll ever see. This is further complemented by fantastic water and a bustling village.

The look of the beach is also unique. There is a very tall dune at its back that looks like it was hand-painted. It is replete with exquisite tall palms, luxury homes, and brightly colored resorts. It just screams ‘tropics’. When you arrive here you can easily go from ZERO to VACATION in less than 60 seconds.

The water color is also to die for. There is an abrupt change from turquoise to deep blue that is unlike anything elsewhere. The water starts shallow, but gets deep almost immediately creating the change in hue. It is both dramatic and divine.

To reach Harbour Island you’ll take the water taxi from the Three Island dock just north of the North Eleuthera Airport (ELH). An inexpensive one way ride brings you to the Government Dock. From there you can walk over the hill or rent a golf cart to go to the beach. There are lots of other things to do here so we recommend renting a golf cart, spending the day, and exploring the island. Bring money. You’ll need it.

The main negatives with this beach are caused by its rather dense population per square mile. If you have become accustomed to Eleuthera where privacy and solitude are the way, then you’ll be shocked by the volume of activity on Harbour Island. The beach is about as public as a beach gets and there is sometimes a fair amount of seaweed although no debris as the beach is regularly maintained to keep it looking pristine. We recommend making this trip a MUST for anyone staying on Eleuthera.

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