31 March 2013

Georgetown, Exumas

The blog sort of went sideways for a bit when we arrived in Georgetown.  I have tried several times putting my thoughts down about the place and always ended up deleting them.  So, let's try this again...

We met some truly amazing people in Georgetown.  We caught up with people that we haven't seen for a while.  We met some real jerks.  Macara finally got to hang out with some other cruising kids.  She grew a lot there.  I actually really do like the place.  I am so happy to have left.  Confused?  Me too.  Let's keep going.

Georgetown always was our main goal.  It offered so much for us.  Provisioning, protection from many different wind directions and a great location to fly in family and friends.

Because Georgetown was our goal and because we had family and friends coming, we let that dictate our schedule a bit.  We wanted to have a couple weeks under our belts before anybody showed up, that way we would know our way around.  So, when we got a couple really nice days we left Staniel Cay.  I sure miss that place, we will be back.

A group that we met in a bar in Bimini, bumped into again on Highbourne Cay and became friends with at Staniel Cay turned into our cruising friends for a while.  When they said you got to see Black Point Settlement, we said, "sure, let's go".  They were right, we loved it.  A tiny little Bahamian village with no resorts.  Not totally untainted though, they like to cater to us cruisers.  So, we obliged them.  We dropped off our laundry at the local laundry mat and proceeded to take in the town.  Laundry mats have turned into our dirty little secret (bad pun), for a few extra bucks they will wash, dry and fold your clothes.  Hell ya!!!  Less chores and more fun, it's a 'no brainer'.  We walked the streets for a while, stuck our heads into a tiny little school house.  We chatted with a few locals while the wove straw baskets.  Soon noon was approaching and we had a Kalik in our hands, you know how it is.  Later that night, the Kaliks were not the problem, it was the Rum Punch and Happy Hour at Scorpions that was the problem.  Apparently, us cruisers pack the place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday because they put out some free appetizers and serve cheap rum.  We are so easily tricked.  The next morning afternoon there were a few murmurs of 'hair' hurting.  Without much chance of catching the morning slack tide, a few of us tried our hand at lobstering in the afternoon.  Ya, I got one! ;-)

A couple more days of good weather meant pressing on to Georgetown.  It was like school had let out. Everybody was out on Exuma Sound rather than hiding up on the banks.  With all the time in the world and smooth seas, we broke out the fishing rods.  And then we put them away again.  No fish, this is starting to get a little embarrassing.  Mercifully, on day two, just before arriving in Georgetown, after fishing for about 70nm, we caught a fish.  A Skip Jack tuna.  I tell you, after eating that fish, it is going to be hard to go back to tuna salad sandwiches from a can. Yum, yum.
Skipjack tuna
I have been avoiding it, so let's talk about Georgetown.  Some strange little cruising utopia, and like all utopias, it's flawed.  A lot of the people that come here have the maturity of grade schoolers.  Magnified exponentially by the fact that the cruising regatta is on during our time here.  There is a morning Cruisers Net on Ch 72 that is designed to relay information amongst the cruisers.  Let me tell you the whining and complaining covered up by others clicking their mics to stop others from talking was beyond belief.  I very quickly realized that I was happier not knowing what was going on than listening to that garbage.  And then quite the opposite, on Ch 68, any time of day you can fire a question off into space and usually get a pretty descent response.  I was having battery issues, so I tried it, "does anybody have a Group 31 deep cycle battery that they no longer need"?  Sure enough I got a reply.  So, when another boater woke up a couple days later with dead batteries, I was more than happy to jump on the radio and tell him that I would be right over and give him a boost.

No more Cruisers Net and a little Ch 68 was getting me by, but there was still all the commotion of the regatta.  Just like the Cruisers Net, I decided that this too was the root of all evil and shall be a avoided to maintain my sanity.  Somehow, I still managed to get recruited into the 'Coconut Challenge'.  Something about being young and having a small 'dink' (slang for dinghy) made me a target.  I figured what harm could come from a contest that requires no apparent skill.   Well, I still managed to get our team disqualified on a rules violation.  We were in 2nd place at the time too.  I have to admit it was a lot of fun.
Coconut Challenge
The focal point in Georgetown for us was Volleyball Beach / The Chat 'n Chill.  It was a great place for those of us with kids to meet and let the kids run around.  Anytime around 1pm or 2pm the kids would start to arrive and it would be next to impossible to get them to leave before sunset.  That meant time for some school in the morning and a place that serves drinks while the kids play.  It worked for me.
Chat 'n Chill
Our spot under the rope swing
Our view while at the Chat 'n Chill
As I was saying earlier, our plan was to be in Georgetown early, have everything all worked out for when our guests got here.  Put on a show.

First up, our "cruising/diving/drinking/brother from a different mother" friends.  And did we put on a show?!?!  We showed them exactly what cruising was all about.  We showed them bad batteries, we showed them bad weather, we made the best of a bad situation and ended up having a blast doing it.  We did get some diving in, a little fishing and showed them our spot under the tree at the Chat 'n Chill.  That's cruising. 

Some people may find the following image offensive.  Sorry you had to see this.
I have tools and I know how to use them.
Mahi mahi
Up next were Kerri's parents with only a 48hr turn around.  If you ever hear of Kerri and I as hosts in the charter business, please assume that we have spent too much time in the sun and have completely lost our minds. Actually, it wasn't that bad, but cleaning the boat bow to stern and provisioning on a time line felt like work and we haven't done that for a while.

As far as guests go, having the In-Laws aboard was pretty easy.  We didn't feel that great need to impress, we knew they were here for one reason and one reason only... to see their grand-daughter.  Sure, they will deny that it was not quite that simple, but we knew.  All we had to do was keep the boat from rocking too much and everybody would be happy.  If anybody has ever received the complete tour of Georgetown, they did.  Beaches, fishing (skunked), walks through town and you guessed it, an afternoon or two at the Chat 'n Chill for yet another lesson in Goombay Smashes.

Having Grandma and Grandpa aboard provided us with a rare opportunity, a babysitter.  And I am not talking about let's just go out and have a quiet dinner, just the two of us, type thing,  I am talking Exuma Heritage Festival.  For those of you who are fans of the movie Captain Ron, this was our little island festival.  We went out with another couple and a single guy from France, together the 5 of us amounted to about half the Caucasians in the place.  This was not a party put on for the tourists, this was the locals having a good time.  And, so did we!  All around the outside of the festival grounds were vendors showing off their local cuisine, up on stage were bands from all over the Bahama islands.  We ate, we danced, we drank, we dinghied back to our boats in the black of night.  Ya, we had fun!

As much fun as we had, all night long we talked about the fact that it was time to move on.  So, on the first break in the weather, Hideaway, Senara and Knot Yet were on the their way for Long Island.  We were cruising again!

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness for the In-Laws so good times could be had by all ! Loved the post, Ian. xx