Haven for Adventurers
THE YEAR WAS 1647. William Sayles, and his band of storm-weary Adventurers had just spent two months sailing south from Bermuda with the King's Charter in hand to search of new lands and religious freedom. Their ship hit a coral reef and foundered, stranding crew and cargo on the northern end of the island. Fortunately, Sayles and his crew survived and found their way to the large cavern near the north beach.
A small boat was salvaged and the long round trip to the Massachusets Bay colony was undertaken for emergency food and supplies. Meanwhile, Sayles and his huddled masses prayed for safekeeping and deliverance. Their prayers were soon answered when supplies returned and Governors Harbour was discovered and settled. This northern haven was thereafter called "Preachers Cave" for the event immortalized in stone at the entrance: "William Sayles shipwrecked at Devil Backbone - Found refuge here - Sermons held 100 years."
Records show the Eleutherans later repaid their benefactors by sending a shipload of Braziletto wood to Boston, with instructions to sell it and donate the proceeds to Harvard College "to avoid the foul sin of ingratitude."
GETTING THERE: Drive north and follow the signs to Spanish Wells until you dead end at the T-intersection. Take a right on the dirt road, but be careful: these potholes are treacherous! About 12 minutes of (slow) driving will bring you to the sign where you take a left and go about 1/4 mile. Preachers Cave will be to your left and a very nice beach to your right ("Tay Bay Beach"), so bring some fins and masks!
Home Page / Island Page