©2012 PerryJoseph.com

1.15.2011

Winding Bay Eleuthera

Winding Bay EleutheraOne of a slug of favorite Eleuthera beaches to visit and shoot when I'm traipsing around the island is Winding Bay, north of Rock Sound Eleuthera by about 6 miles as the crow flies. This gorgeous beachfront property was acquired by Arthur Vining Davis in the 40s. His plans were to develop the area and build a large 300 room Eleuthera hotel and resort there. Thankfully, that never happened, and ultimately, this area was used to develop Eleuthera vacation homes and rentals along with a small resort called the Venta Club which is now defunct. Some of these homes are absolutely breathtaking.

What's even more breathtaking is Winding Bay beach and the surrounding areas including Half Sound Bay and Crown Point.

Half Sound and Crown Point aren't too hard to find -- they're marked on the Eleuthera satellite map. To get to the end of Crown Point, you're going to want to use either a sturdy vehicle with decent clearance, or better yet, a 4WD. I used a car but walked in the last mile or so as I didn't want to drag the bottom of the car over the worst spots. Frankly, you see and find more if you get off the main road on foot. Do exercise caution. Make sure you have plenty of water and be prepared for the odd event that you get stuck and have to hoof it back to the main road. I always let somebody know where I'm going and when I should be back. Cell phone would be nice, but I hate those dang things when I'm in this kind of environment -- puts me too close to reality.

Exact driving directions shouldn't be necessary; just study the map for south Eleuthera. The primary road that runs due east from Queen's Highway is Madeira Road located about 1.5 miles north of Rock Sound Airport and less than .5 miles north of the Rock Sound Club.

Half Sound Bay EleutheraThere's another route that works if you're coming from Winding Bay. If you study the satellite map, you will see a road that runs north / south along the west side of the bay and connects with Madeira Road. There are a number of spots you can stop at and shoot photos of Half Sound bay along the way.

Rest assured, it's well worth any trouble. This is one of those places you almost hate talking about because you don't want to see the place get trashed by those few unthoughtful people who don't know how to do the simple stuff like pack out their trash and stay on the paths. (What do they say? Can't fix stupid!) Okay... I'm getting a little green here. But at least it gives you some idea as to how relatively untouched this area looks and feels. In real terms, Crown Point has seen its fair terms of visitors and beach parties. A few foundation remnants can be found in some places, however I found no habitable structures.

Geodetic survey benchmark located near Crown Point EleutheraOne of the better finds in the area was this geodetic survey benchmark dated 1946. (Yes... that's a house fly in the right hand side of the shot.) Stamped on the marker is a notice of a $250 fine or imprisonment if I disturbed it. I can certainly relate to that! Wish I could impose that on my noisy neighbor. Yo!

The marker also said if I wrote to the Director in Washington D.C., he'd clue me in on the elevation. Hmmm... Lemme guess. 3 feet above sea level? Just a lucky guess. And who's "The Director" these days?

Perry Joseph PhotographyIt was amazing to see this marker in such excellent shape given the harsh environment it's in. Looks like somebody installed it there last year. Seems nobody I talked to was aware of this thing's existence (where's the "we live here" crew on this one?), albeit it is off the beaten track. I took some shots and marked its position on my GPS which is getting overloaded with waypoints at this stage. (Tip: Never use the coordinates you get from the likes of Google Earth. The map for Eleuthera isn't registered properly. Trust me. I've been mapping Eleuthera with a GPS for years.)

No doubt a few of you who made it this far in the article are looking for me to share the actual coordinates. Sorry, Charlie. It would take away from the journey and the hunt. Besides, I've already given you some pretty good clues. Trust me, if you look through some of my photos on my Winding Bay Eleuthera website and spend some time around Half Sound, you'll find it. And if you don't, you really won't care anyway. As you will see in the beach photos, this place is gorgeous.

Northern shores of Winding Bay EleutheraHaving said as much about Half Sound and Crown Point, my pick for photogenic beaches in the area was the northern shores of Winding Bay. It had a nice mix of elements that I really like: soft semi packed pink white sand that's easy to walk on, shallow shock clear pale turquoise colored waters that transitions to blue as you move towards the rock formations that lead the way to the Atlantic. Along the trek is a nice variety of gray and silver white driftwood coupled with casuarina trees that line the beach. There's even an odd old wooden Bahamian painted boat that has "beach picture postcard" written all over it, figuratively speaking of course.

And there's that much more to the entire Winding Bay area to be discovered and not hard to navigate. I'll leave it up to you to comment on your favorite spots on Winding Bay and Half Sound. Oh yeah! Almost forgot! Don' miss Coconut Beach on the north shore of Half Sound. This is a wonderful spot for a dip, lunch and a cold Kalik or soda pop. Better yet, bring a date on this trip! Oh Honey!!

P.S. Post the correct GPS coordinates for the benchmark in the comments section and I'll mail you one of my collectible Eleuthera postcards signed by yours truly.

pj

©2011 PerryJoseph.com Photography

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

What an amazing place... I need to get here some day soon! Sure beat the winter in Chicago!

15:20  
Blogger Steve Stein said...

I spent a summer on a surveying crew 40 years ago and the pros were in awe of those benchmarks, set by master surveyors to millimeter accuracy. GPS has probably made them obsolete now. I tried finding an online db at noaa.gov, but I can't find this particular one (yet).

22:39  
Blogger PJ said...

Thanks Steve! Are there others like this one on Eleuthera? Don't they place 3 of these in a triangle?

00:01  
Blogger Steve Stein said...

Don't know about a triangle (unless it's a *very* big triangle). And I'm surprised that there are benchmarks outside of the US at all.

Still no luck in finding a benchmarks db, but I'll be on the lookout for this one on our vacation. Great blog, and I'm so looking forward to visiting Eleuthera!

13:09  
Blogger Just me, thats all said...

PJ - Thanks for the great website and the great photo's. Love lookin' at them and getting my Eleuthera fix!

16:00  
Blogger Just me, thats all said...

Hey PJ, thanks for the great website and the wonderful photo's. Give's me the Eleuthera fix I need.

16:01  
Blogger savgirl said...

Going down in 11 days and exploring south end of island his time. Pretty much stayed north of Governor's Harbour last time and did lots of research to find the best of everything, and still found beaches that weren't on any blog or book....amazing!!
Since we'll be staying in Whale Point area, any advice on how to maximize the long trip down south? Thanks!!

12:53  
Blogger PJ said...

Like you said, there are so many options, it is amazing. And saying which are the "best" is personal and nearly impossible. The guides and websites (including mine) that are out there mention places that are frankly a waste of time. Great if you live down there and you want to see every last beach, but if your visit is limited as most are...

It's hard to "maximize" a day trip to south Eleuthera as there are too many places to see. What I've found is it's best to stay south for so many days. I'll be back that way again next Spring.

Having said that, and if one is limited to a one day road trip, I'd probably stop at Tarpum Bay in the morning to do a walkabout, head down to Whiteland beach, not far from Rock Sound airport, and if I had any gas and energy left, hit Crown Point Eleuthera on the way back.

A lot has to be said for the condition and preparedness of the individual in order to do all this so you need to take this with a big grain of salt. For example, getting down to Crown Point requires a 4 wheel vehicle unless you want to walk in the last few miles (which I've done, and when it's hot, you drink a ton of water.)

If you're trying to dial back on this game plan, then I'd skip Whiteland Beach, go directly to Crown Point (take your swimming suit, plenty to drink and eat, and hit Coconut Beach) and then stop at Tarpum Bay on the way back and spend some time with the locals. Just park your car somewhere and start walking around. You'll feel like you're in an old movie.

You can find all of these spots on my map: Eleuthera.

One last point... My instructions are based on the thought that you're going to want to spend some time soaking in a particular location on Eleuthera. If one were only going to pull up to a particular scene, shoot two photos and leave immediately, you could do more. But then, you'd miss the "experience" of it all and most of your time will be spent driving.

Hope this helps.

14:40  
Anonymous lalique said...

very beautiful pictures
good job
visit from Turkey

08:08  

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