Friday, November 29, 2013

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

Posted by Sara

For several weeks, Georgetown has been our final destination as Scot’s parents met us here and spent the last 5 days with us.  It’s also where the boys and I will spend 10 days by ourselves on the boat while Scot heads back to Canada for a week of work.  Needless to say, we have been crossing our fingers that Georgetown was a good choice for both these purposes.

The kids on the bows as we come into Elizabeth Harbour (Georgetown)

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Georgetown is also known as Chickentown after cruisers who get here but go no further into the out Islands. I can see why as it's set up well for cruisers and it will be perfect for us!  It turns out we are lucky to be here in 'low' season because the harbour apparently fills up with 300+ boats in the busy season (Jan – March).  There are probably only about 30 occupied boats here now and it is more than busy enough for us.

The first spot we dropped anchor in Elizabeth Harbour - jumped off the boat & went swimming!
The actual town of Georgetown is on Great Exuma Island on the west side of the bay with a few shops, laundry, hardware store, diesel, gas, marine engine repair, propane, a decent sized grocery store (about 2/3 the size of Ferraros), and some restaurants.  Most of the shops surround a tiny inland lake, ‘lake Victoria,’ which we can access with our dingy under a small bridge.  You just park your dingy at the dock in front of the grocery store and walk to everything.  Being able to dingy right up to the grocery store is great as at lots of marinas we have to take a taxi to the supermarket & back with all our groceries.  

The rest of Great Exuma is residential and home to about 7 resorts up and down the Island including a very high end Sandals Resort.  We thought we might buy day passes to Sandals as a treat but forgot that they are an adult only resort. This was actually lucky - as the day rate was $180/person from 10am - 6pm (additional rate to stay for the evening!) 

The bridge to enter 'Lake Victoria.'  Alexander was driving the dingy & wanted everyone's feet out the sides to fend off.
The harbour boasts several beautiful beaches and bays but the centre for the cruising population seems to be several connected bays about 1/2 a mile across the bay by dingy from the town (tucked in the west side of Stocking Island).  These bays are filled with 4 mooring fields.  At this time, these moorings are 3/4 filled with empty boats.  Many people just rent them yearly and keep their boats stored here.  

Mooring Fields in Elizabeth Harbour
The cruising community here is very social.  There is an 8am broadcast on the VHF every morning (called ‘Cruisers Net’)  giving the weather and tide forecasts and outlining the scheduled activities for the day including yoga classes on the beach, hiking excursions, happy hour at 4:30, poker game at 7pm etc.  This is also an opportunity for boaters to share information or swap resources (like tools & boat stuff) and to connect with other boats who might be heading in the same directions when they leave here.

At anyrate, lots of resources here to keep us out of trouble while Scot is away :-).

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