Anchorage of the Damned

I’m sure Rock Sound, Eleuthera, is a nice place filled with kind, friendly people. But as far as I’m concerned, it turns out that a mere two nights removed from the idyllic setting of Cambridge Cay, I was quite literally anchored off the coast of Hell. That’s an ironic title because there we were, on the Monday after Easter, a day after the holiest day in the Christian religion. But it fits because, well, read on…

One of the main reasons I went to Rock Sound is that it has a great supermarket, a grocery store that is clean, modern, (relatively for island prices) affordable and, most importantly, well-stocked. Unfortunately, upon arrival at Rock Sound I learned that in the Bahamas on Easter Monday (as it is called), everywhere is closed. Closed, locked up and sealed tight. It took a three-quarter-of-a-mile walk to the shuttered market and the three-quarter-of-a-mile walk back to the town’s dinghy dock, past just-as-shuttered gas stations, restaurants, a hardware store, several churches and other establishments to learn this, but hey, I got to stretch my legs a bit. Sigh.

So that sent me down the road to purgatory. As it turns out, my stay in that afterlife staging area was very brief. Not long after walking back to the dinghy dock and returning to Further, the loud thumping of a set of large loudspeakers started driving music rather vigorously from a beach bar about a quarter-mile away. The music kept building through the late afternoon and into the evening, when the volume really started to build. And build. And build some more. By the time I was eating dinner, there was no point in turning on my own music in Further‘s cockpit because it was just murmuring in the background of the din from shore. And after nightfall, they turned it up to eleven.

I’ve been to enough rock concerts to know from loud. This was LOUD. This was rattling-the-fillings-in-your-teeth loud. And it was relentless. The noise finally ceased at 12:43 a.m. on the Tuesday after Easter. 12:43! I know this because I wrote the blessed time down in the notes that became this post. And I know now why the FBI, the ATF and other government agencies, when they’re involved in sieges of people they’re trying to arrest, play loud music and sounds over speakers nonstop toward the besieged enemy. The poor fugitives never have a chance.

And apparently, Easter Monday is not the only day/night for such brain-gelling noise in Rock Sound. On the Active Captain comments section for this anchorage there is a comment from 2022 describing a similar experience on a Friday night. The person posting the comment even included a screen shot of a decibel meter showing a reading of 70 decibels. I was so stunned to learn I wasn’t alone in my misery that I downloaded a noise-meter app to my phone and got a similar reading. I should have done as that poster did and taken a screen shot as well but, as noted, my brain had turned to so much mush in the face of the aural onslaught that, like a besieged cult member, I couldn’t think straight.

The next day (Easter Tuesday?) I was at the market fifteen minutes before their 8 a.m. opening time. The employees were filtering in and they allowed me in a few minutes early. They were very nice and professional, and the grocery store WAS wonderfully clean, modern, (relatively for island prices) affordable and well-stocked. I got the few things I needed, got back into my dinghy and returned to Further, raised anchor and shoved off, bound for my next destination.

I don’t like to say “never” but I can confidently state that should I ever again cruise Eleuthera, I will bypass Rock Sound, regardless of what day after Easter it is—unless I am in desperate need of some groceries. THAT’S how miserable it was during the afternoon, evening and night in the anchorage of the damned.


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