On St George’s Cay, an island off the north of Eleuthera (a short ferry ride), Spanish Wells, (pop: 1,372 1990 census) gets its name from the use of the cay by Spanish ships as a water supply. One and three quarter miles long and half a mile wide, until the hurricane disaster of 1992 it was reputed to have the highest per capita income of the Bahamas islands, with the wealth coming from fishing the spiny Bahamian lobster (known locally as bugs) as well as tourism. Most of the boats were wrecked by the storm and the fishermen lost their livelihoods. The population are descended from the original settlers, the Eleutheran Adventurers from Bermuda and the British Loyalists from the mainland, and are all white. The Spanish Wells Museum in a restored wooden house with shutters has exhibits of the island’s history and culture. 1000-1200, 1300-1500, Mon-Sat. To get to Spanish Wells from North Eleuthera airport, take a Pinders Taxi to the ferry dock, then ferry to the island (US$10).
A number of local fishermen can be hired as fishing guides off nearby Russell and Royal Islands (inhabited by a group of Haitians), payment by negotiation. Royal Island was once developed as a sheep farm by an estranged English dignitary. The old house still stands and paths weave through the overgrown grounds and gardens. Visitors can hire bicycles, but there are no cars.