We arrived in George Town on Dec. 12 and departed from George Town on Jan. 13. A Full Month! After moving the boat more days than not since June 2, it was a welcome break to stop and put down roots for a while.
We did zip around the harbor a fair bit during the month. Some little trips for touring and others for errands like food shopping and laundry. None of it felt worthy of an official log entry, but it did produce quite a messy collection of lines on our GPS tracking chart.
We liked the Moriahs: Moriah Point on the southern tip of Stocking Island, Moriah Harbor Cay in Moriah Park, and Pigeon Cay also in Moriah park. The long beach on the NE side of Stocking Island also produced in some lasting memories. Walking the length of it, swimming in the sea off of it, daily exercise rituals on it, and just staring at it from Mike’s bench.
Christmas happened again during our time in George Town and we were lucky to have the kids fly in to celebrate with us.
You know you’ve sailed a long way when people have to fly by plane to visit.
Heidi said it was like parents weekend at college, except now reversed. She got to see all the places were we would hang out and all the people we hung out with. She said she was glad we were doing such a good job making friends. Her favorite was the Canadian guy with the conch horn, Ray. (We have indeed made some great friends here. Ray and many others. Thanks for noticing, Heidi.)
Before they left, we worked together to make a Tic Tac Video. Check it out: Video Link
When you stay in a place for a while and wander around, you discover some interesting things.
Like this fancy bridge to nowhere. Someone was going to build a big resort here on Crab Cay. They started with the bridge and then they stopped. And that was 10 years ago. Crab Cay remains uninhabited and resort-free. The bridge did provided sister Sarah with a handy connection between where she was staying and where we anchored the boat off the non existent resort.
But it wasn’t all dolphins and rainbows…
A neighboring boat caught on fire and that was hard to see. No one was hurt, but it didn’t end well for the boat.
Then one day a curious thing happened on this spectacular public beach on Pigeon Cay in the Moriah Public Park. Sundance was one of three boats dotting the anchorage. We were alone on the beach enjoying a swim and a sit when a friendly crewman from the large yacht in the anchorage dinghyed in to join us. He explained that his boss, the boat owner, had an important phone call to make, and that he preferred to take his important phone calls in a beach chair under an umbrella on this very corner of this very beach. (Public beach, remember.) The friendly crewman asked us if we would please move over to the other end of the empty beach to allow his boss some privacy. For our troubles, he promised to provide us with a bottle of wine.
We were surprised and conflict adverse and the beach was gorgeous from one end to the other so we moved. But as the seconds ticked past, we became increasingly annoyed by the boorish request we had agreed to. Then the boss comes ashore from the big yacht for his phone call on the beach and we observe that he’s approximately 30 years old. Our annoyance factor suddenly shot up exponentially.
No one ever did bring us that bottle of wine.
If we had it to do over again, we would have handled things differently.
It was a spectacular spot tho and a few days later we returned to share it with our next group of visiting guests. The yacht was gone, but left behind was a power strip and an empty Perrier bottle. Apparently, the friendly crewman had failed to clean up the beach office completely.
A few days later, we’re anchored by town minding our own business when a small sailing catamaran motors past. The captain starts yelling at us with a long string of expletives. Apparently he’s not pleased about where we have chosen to anchor. There was nothing wrong with where we anchored. We anchored in that same approximate spot several times as did countless other boats. This guy was just looking to spread a little rage. We googled the boat name, as one does, and it suddenly all made sense. We won’t include any names, but it turns out that our new friend is from the Lake W. region of central New Hampshire and he’s into racing motorcycles and speedboats. A fellow New Englander! We know this type of guy! His brethren were an occupational hazard for Chris for the past 35 years! Expecting our new friend to be civil and polite is like expecting a mosquito to wait patiently at the foot of your bunk before flying away quietly at dawn. The more the encounter settled in, the more it brought out a sentimental reminder of home. Our new friend is a bit like Dunkin’ Donuts coffee; not good, but familiar and homey.
The Bahamas in the winter can be windy. But in our first two months here all was settled and calm. We only occasionally saw winds in the 20 knot range and never anything above 30. In fact the calm spells with the accompanying bugs were our bigger problem. That all changed today. Winds are now NW 25 – 35. Mike just texted to tell me he could see whitecaps on his morning coffee.
George Town can protect 500 boats from an east wind easily. But when the wind blows out of the NW, there are fewer places to hide. In these conditions, the harbor can only provide safe harbor to about 100 boats. The problem is that there are currently about 200 boats there fighting for those 100 spots. (It should be a field day for my new friend from the Lake W. region of central New Hampshire.)
We opted out. As the weather approached, we scooted 37 miles across the way to Thompson Bay on Long Island where we now sit with perfect protection in the company of just 4 other boats. We were planning to sail this way next anyhow and look forward to exploring here once the breeze drops down and we can all safely row ashore.
Goodbye George Town. We hope to swing back thru and visit you again soon.