George Town is often known as Chicken Town, as it is the last major town in the Bahama’s that has food, fuel and boat parts! Many a cruiser makes it to George Town and then stays for the winter, not daring to head further south to the unknown, sparsely populated southern islands. When we arrived, there were around 200 boats anchored in the protected bays of Elizabeth Harbour, alongside Stocking Island, and opposite at George Town. Apparently, a month prior there were 500 hundred. It is hard to imagine.
It’s a great place to hang out and many retirees from the US and Canada make the yearly trip here. There are plenty of organised activities to do, such as poker, water aerobics off the beach, jamming sessions at a local pub, and our favourite, hanging out at the volley ball courts and the Chat and Chill bar. Each day all the kid boats go ashore and play on the rope swings, pat the sting-rays, play volleyball and just run amok, giving us some free time to just chill out.
Easter Saturday morning was spent exploring the walking tracks on Stocking Island, and climbing monument peak to view, not surprisingly, a large monument.
At 2pm the kid boats got together at the volleyball courts and painted eggs for Easter. We made some lovely friends with the kids from Cygnus (Maya, Patrick and Rosie) and Finally (Caden), who then became firm friends for the next week.
The following day we were lucky to be on shore when a local Bahamian organised an Easter Egg hunt, something he does every year for the kids. He had around 600 plastic eggs, all filled with lollies and chewing gum, a task that took him around 4 hours, bless him! Around 30 kids had a great time scrambling around filling up plastic shopping bags with the eggs!
As it was my birthday, we had lunch on the beach, and of course, a local beer! That night we headed to the bar at St Francis Marina for dinner and to listen to a jamming session put on by the yachties. Pete was petrified that I would get up and sing – thankfully, no one played Mustang Sally, my go to tune!
Easter Monday was Ben’s birthday, so the morning was spent making his cake of choice, a lamington cake, which this year was created by layering normal butter cake with a layer of Cosco’s brownie mix, and coating it with chocolate icing and coconut flakes! Yum!
For his birthday dinner, we headed across the relatively calm harbour to the local Fish Fry (a group of shacks on the harbour at George Town) for some freshly fried fish. Unfortunately, as we ate dinner, the wind picked up again, so our trip home saw us all get totally saturated as waves splashed over the bow. It was great having Aunty Andy here to celebrate the birthdays, and also, kids very happy on the journey home as the two of us created quite a human barrier against the worst of the waves bucketing over the bow of the dinghy.
To finish off the birthday celebrations and before Andy departed, she and I hit Lumina Resort for a beautiful massage, healthy salad and a cocktail. Thanks so much Sarah G!
My next topic – blogging, who would have thought that writing a couple of paragraphs and slapping a few photos together would take so much effort. Well, first challenge, the internet, we have been buying 4 gigs of data for $40, and sometimes it lasts quite a while (mostly when we aren’t near a Bahama telecom tower and we are not using it) and other times it gets rapidly chewed up (ie, gone in seconds, usually when some connected device on the boat secretly does an update when we aren’t looking!). As luck would have it, in this last week they have introduced an unlimited data, $35 a month package – just as we are leaving the country! My second challenge in blogging is managing our photos, which are spread out on 4 devices, requiring complex manipulation of different operating systems (Pete’s a mac man, and I’m windows all the way). We’re very glad Andy has arrived with two 1 terabyte external hard drives so we can streamline this process, enabling me to finally catch up and post this blog in real time! I have finally got around to adding photos to some of the earlier blogs, so have a look if you are interested.
With the weather slowly abating, it looks like our next chance to head south will come this weekend, giving us plenty of time to do a major stock up and prepare some food for the journey south as we head to the Turks and Caicos and then on to the Dominica Republic. We’ve had lots of discussions with boats that have come from the south to help us plan our route, and we think we finally have a plan that will limit the number of overnight sails, enabling us to get further south quickly. It’s time to hit the Caribbean, and we need to get further south well in advance of the hurricane season!
The boys did get some schoolwork done whilst in George Town – mostly under the trees in the morning before all the other boat kids arrived.
For the next couple of weeks’ posts will be limited until we hit Costa Rico as we will need new SIM cards in each of the countries we visit. Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes via Facebook, it’s so great to hear from everyone and whilst I’ve not previously been a great fan of social apps, I am certainly becoming a convert!