Georgetown

Georgetown

(Posted from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Feb. 21, 2010)

As we motored into the anchorage a voice came over VHF channel 16, “Attention all you cruisers. A tiger shark has been spotted in the harbor, so be careful if you are snorkeling.”

Welcome to Georgetown.

Georgetown is on Grand Exuma Island, almost at the end of the Exuma chain.  It is fairly unique in that it is on the Sound side of the chain and is one of a relativly few places that cannot be accessed from the Great Bahama Bank.  It is protected from the Sound by a row of barrier islands.

Many cruisers never get beyond Georgetown.  They make that one mad dash into the ocean, duck into Georgetown, and settle into one of the many anchorages.  Then they commence to take part in the myriad activities that have led Georgetown to be described as “Summer camp for cruisers”.  Most of the people you have met coming down the Exuma chain will end up in Georgetown.

The favored anchorages are in the lee of the barrier islands, nearly a mile across the harbor from the town.  Like any good cruiser would do, we found a spot to anchor on the outside of the crowd and dinghied into town to drop off the trash, get some groceries, and scope things out.

Approaching the tunnel into Lake Victoria

You land your dink in Lake Victoria by motoring though a small tunnel under the main road.  Once inside you can tie up at the public dock and walk around town.  We found Georgetown to be a dangerous place, because we weren’t used to having lots of cars around us – especially with them driving on the wrong (left) side of the road.

Jackie looking at Compass Rose from Monument Hill

Somehow we didn’t manage to make it to most of the organized activities, but we did some hiking and got stocked back up.  One of the things we did manage to attend were the C Class Bahamian Sloop races in Barraterre.  We piled into a bus that didn’t have nearly enough seats, so a lot of people had to stand.  Then we went on what felt like a roller coaster ride through the wilds of Great Exuma Island.  Barreterre is a tiny town near the north end of the island.  It is surrounded by shallow water.  A few really brave folks had brought their cruising boats into the area.

There were a few booths set up with local handicrafts, Bahamian food, and of course cold beer was available from an open air bar near the dock.  The races were held in the sound and easily viewed from the dock.  The races start with the boats anchored and sails down.  At the start signal, they pull in the anchor, hoist the sails, and go.

C Class sloops about to start

C Class sloops racing

Jackie watched the first race and then found someone with a garden who sold fresh herbs.  Her purchases made the tour bus smell much better on the way back to Georgetown.

Next: Cat and Long Islands, then Puerto Rico

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One Response to “Georgetown”

  1. Kristy Says:

    This sounds so amazing! The water is beautiful…I am so jealous of you two. I’m looking out my window and there’s about 4 inches of snow on the ground. I so wish I could visit you down there. Unfortunately, there is this thing called money that plays a big role. I have none of it. Hope you’re having a blast in that warm weather!!

    xoxo

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