Last Sunday a few nutty girls got together for an escape. We crossed the bay by boat and then drove up Eleuthera to Preacher’s Cave, where Captain William Sayle and the first Eleutheran settlers took refuge after his ship was wrecked on the Devil’s Back Bone in 1640 (Amory’s teeth also got wrecked on the devil’s back bone, but that was a few years later).
The survivors lived in rather dire conditions, without internet or frozen margaritas but apparently survived off the honey from a gigantic bee hive, which hung from the entrance. It is still there today, and alarmingly active, although the bees are probably quite unaware of their ancestor’s good works.
We know that the settlers weren’t the first to live in the cave, as a Lucayan Indian body has now been discovered, beheaded and buried face down.
Deep inside the cave we climbed the carved stone steps up to what was clearly a pulpit and the grooves for a bible. We looked up through the holes which served as showers for them on rainy days, but I got that bit of info from Linda who’s imagination can run wild.
After a while of wondering if we had been standing on any more beheaded Indians we drove further south, quite literally off the beaten track, parked the car and walked through the bush, swatting away spider webs and branches until we found the blue hole.
Screaming in terror we jumped into the freezing still water below.
Feeling like a gritty-adventurous-island-woman I lived off the high of that jump for several days, until a suspicious red rash began to appear on my arms and overnight snaked itself around my chest and onto my neck. I began to itch. Burning hot, the rash started to blister, and then suppurate. I ran to the island clinic. POISON WOOD, a nastier, more aggressive cousin of Poison Ivy.
Suddenly gritty-adventurous-island-women felt like silly-bloody-idiot.