Eleuthera Byways: The Queen’s Baths

Eleuthera Byways: The Queen’s Baths

First pub­lished in The Eleuther­an, Jan­u­ary 2008

baths2On the Queen’s High­way a few miles north of Gre­go­ry Town, about 300 yards before the Glass Win­dow bridge, pull off the road across from  a sandy track lead­ing up the hill toward the Atlantic on your right. You can’t miss it: the Min­istry of Tourism has recent­ly erect­ed a small curved stone entry to mark a place of spe­cial interest.

Walk up toward the Atlantic as the bush thins out and the sand takes over. Soon the sand thins and you’re walk­ing on bare coral. Watch your step to avoid the uneven sur­face and pock­marked holes. As you approach the ocean, work your way to the left (north), keep­ing Har­bour Island on the hori­zon ahead of you. You will come to a small cut in the rock where the waves sweep into shore. Descend into this lit­tle cove and you have arrived at what locals call the “Queen’s Baths.”

baths3The Baths, none of them more than a cou­ple feet deep, are in a unique for­ma­tion of tidal pools, reg­u­lar­ly replen­ished with water from the Atlantic. Here is the most exquis­ite coloured water you have ever seen: crys­talline, light turquoise, gin-clear pools that sparkle in the light. Baked by the sun, they are as warm as a bath­tub and alive with tiny, colour­ful fish and crus­taceans. Behind them is a large cav­ern cut into the coast­line by cen­turies of wave action.

qbaths5
Cindy and Mick explore the Baths.

You can while away hours or an after­noon here, usu­al­ly all by your­self. Shellers will find small, jew­el-like spec­i­mens in the near­by pock­ets of sand, a new assort­ment deliv­ered with every good surf. You can wade or bathe in 85-degree water, a cold drink in hand. Explor­ing the pools for sea life, you can be mes­mer­ized by the surf and may get doused by a stray wave.

Warn­ing: don’t get too close to the surf. The ocean waters here are deep and the cur­rents pow­er­ful; peo­ple walk­ing around Glass Win­dow have been knocked down by the pow­er­ful waters that can quick­ly car­ry them out out to sea. Res­cue has to come from Har­bour Island—assuming any­body has seen you fall in!

baths5Ask even Eleuthera-born res­i­dents about the Queen’s Baths and you may draw a blank. But don’t miss this spe­cial gem on our Atlantic  coast.

One thought on “Eleuthera Byways: The Queen’s Baths

  1. Queen’s Bath is very nice. One of my more favorite places to pho­tog­ra­phy. While you’re there, just south of it is a point-of-inter­est and an item of debate as to how it got there: Eleuthera’s Cow and the Bull. Two very large rocks that appear to have been hurled onto the island by a severe storm. Oth­ers con­tend they are there naturally.

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