Eleuthera, (pop: 7,993 1990 census) is 110 miles long but thin, two miles at its widest and only the width of a car at its narrowest. It has lovely pink sand beaches, particularly on the Atlantic side, coves and cliffs. This was the first permanent settlement in the Bahamas when Eleutheran Adventurers came from Bermuda and American colonial loyalists fled the mainland during the American Revolution. Their descendants still live here, living in houses painted in pastel colours. The first black settlers were slaves and free Africans from Bermuda.
In 1999 Hurricane Floyd hit the island, causing extensive damage. Some resorts stayed closed for the winter season, some went out of business, while others soon reopened. Many homes were destroyed and they took longer than the resorts to be repaired. On Harbour Island some homes were badly damaged. To a visitor now, however, there is little evidence of the hurricane. The southern part of the island was hardest hit economically, as many foreign-owned properties have been slow to get round to repairs, although Bahamian-run hotels have received government assistance. Both Club Med and Venta Club have closed, while Cape Eleuthera is dormant.
Just north of Gregory Town is the Glass Window Bridge, where you can compare the blue Atlantic Ocean with the greenish water of the Caribbean on the other side, separated by a strip of rock just wide enough to drive a car across. Nearby are two small farming communities, Upper and Lower Bogue. The Bogue was once known as ‘the bog’ because of its marshy ground. During the hurricane in 1965 the sea flooded the land and now there are saltwater pools where you can find barracuda, grouper and snapper which were washed there by the tide. Also in the north is The Cave, which contains some impressive stalagmites and stalactites and the Preacher’s Cave, where the Adventurers took shelter. The latter is reached by a rough unpaved track about 10 miles north of North Eleuthera; there is a pulpit carved out of rock from when the cave became a place of worship. Rock Sound Water Hole Park is an ocean or blue hole well stocked with grouper and yellowtail, while the walls are encrusted with flat oysters. Swimming is dangerous. Fishing is restricted.