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Cat Island!

March 18th-March 29th, 2021

We loved Cat Island! On the great sail over, Kevin hooked a tuna! On Cat Island, there are so many things to do and a few different anchorages. We first arrived in new bight and anchored there. We walked the long beach and also rented a car to explore the island! Drove as far north as we could! A boutique style hotel at the end had a long trail to the most northern beach on the island. Very windswept but you could walk for miles. We also stopped and got some more coconut bread. Nicest Bahamian lady that runs the bakery and a beautiful catholic church next door. We then headed to the southern end to stop off at a famous bar known as "the pink chicken". It didn't quite live up to its name. Pictures on Facebook made it look charming but now it was a run down place with just the American owner and his Bahamian wife and little else. We decided to get some conch fritters and chicken wings and make the best of it. Conch fritters came with pieces of eyeballs still inside and chicken wings with ketchup. Should of known better for we were sick the rest of the night. Never going back there again.

Woke up the next morning and had coconut bread french toast. Yum! We then moved and anchored in Old Bight. We spent the day hiking the hermitage and eating at Hidden Treasures. Both these things were some of the highlights of our trip.

The hermitage is located on Mount Alvernia, also known locally as Como Hill, is the highest point in The Islands of The Bahamas at 206 feet (63 meters).

It was named Mount Alvernia by Monsignor John Hawes, a Roman Catholic priest. It is said to be reminiscent of La Verna, the hill in Tuscany that was given to St. Francis of Assisi as a place where he could peacefully contemplate and is reportedly where Assisi received the Wounds of the Cross.

Monsignor John Hawes, known to Cat Islanders as Father Jerome, was a skilled architect and sculptor, a self-described contemplative and admirer of St. Francis of Assisi.

Using local stone, he built The Hermitage on the peak of Mt. Alvernia in 1939, a small medieval monastery where he could get away from the world. The way up the hill to the monastery is via a stone staircase on a steep rocky incline.

You can see Father Jerome's beautiful and detailed hand-carved stone reliefs of the Stations of the Cross along the way, and the 360-degree view around the lush island from the top will be awe-inspiring.

Father Jerome is also known for building cathedrals and convents throughout The Bahamas, including on Long Island and New Providence. He died in 1956 and is said to be buried somewhere on the site of The Hermitage.

Hidden Treasures was fantastic! Daiquiris and a conch burger and mahi were fantastic! We were the only ones there! The daughter in high school made us our drinks, grandma set the table, and mom cooked the food. It was a special night.

We then made our way to Fernandez Bay. A resort sits there and it was us and two other boats. Snorkeling was excellent a dinghy ride away. The water was crystal clear and it was so calm I had got to do some wonderful paddle boarding.

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