The Story of Hatchet Bay & Alice Town
Before the the 1940’s and the creation of “The Cut,” a 90-foot artificial opening created by amphibious earth-moving machines, Hatchet Bay did not exist; only a land-bound lake next to Alice Township. After “the cut,” Hatchet Bay then became known as the “country’s safest harbour” since it was completely enclosed and provided terrific protection from foul winds and storms. It became, therefore, an inviting stop for cruising vessels and home to the Hatchet Bay Marina. For a listing of other marinas on Eleuthera, Click Here.
Alice Town can also boast that it is the home of Eleutheran poet Carmelina Dean-Burrows.
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Things to Do
Alice Town is a simple, authentic Bahamian settlement. No frills. No glamour. Located within walking distance of the dock at Hatchet Bay, this small township is a nice place to unwind a bit, take care of a few domestic chores, and experience a little Bahamian life-style. There’s a laundromat, a post office and a couple of small markets. Stop in at Reds (The Bayview Club, dockside) or the Forget Me Not Club for game of pool and a drink, or the Seaside Club if you want to watch some cable TV. Nearby beaches are Hatchet Bay Beach, and Rainbow Beach and Hidden Beach to the south.
A few miles north of Alice Town, you can see the remains of a once thriving cattle and dairy plantation established in the 1950’s. Destroyed by hurricanes and abandoned in the 60’s, this area is now just an expanse of fields and home to the Hatchet Bay Caves, a mile-long cavern filled with bats, stalagtites, stalagmites, and (unfortunately) grafitti from careless visitors who don’t appreciate the delicate ecosystem of such underground treasures. If you go, be sure to bring long pants, a flashlight and preferrably a guide who knows the way.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge…
RESTAURANTS & NIGHTLIFE
For some of the best food and entertainment on the island, check out the Rainbow Inn, about 2.5 miles south of Alice Town on the Queen’s Highway. Owner Ken Keene provides great views, Caribbean music, fine dining, a few rental villas, and prices that tend to be on the higher side, but it’s definitely worth a visit. For dinner reservations, call Rainbow Inn at (242) 335-0294. Go on Wednesday nights from 7-9 pm when Dr. Seabreeze (below) provides the guitar strumming and singing of such great island Reggae hits as “Day-O” and “Don’t Touch Me Tomato.” He sells his CD’s at the restaurant. You can also order then through Longbight Music, 5211 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34242 USA or call (941) 346-2995.
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Call Phillip Thompson evenings at (242) 335-5243 for a guided tour through the Hatchet Bay Caves or other points of interest. Phillip works during the mornings pouring concrete steps off jagged cliffs. He used to be a commercial fisherman until Hurricane Andrew in 1993 wiped out his one-boat “fleet” docked at the Hatchet Bay pier – the “country’s safest harbour”…
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