Friday, March 12, 2010

We are finally in George Town, anchored in Elizabeth Harbour, just off the settlement.  My heavens, so many cruisers!  There must be three to four hundred boats here scattered between three large anchorages on Stocking Island, across Elizabeth Bay from George Town, the Red Shanks anchorage a bit south of the settlement, and the anchorage we are in.  Many more boats than we want around us, but we’ll probably stay in the area for three or four days.  We have to plan our next move before venturing off, and then we’ll hope the weather is right.

Our trip here was a fast in the sense that we skipped several Exuma Cays which we would have loved to spend some time at so that we could join our friends Ruth and Neil at Emerald Bay.  We left Stanley Cay on Friday, March 5th, to position ourselves to go out Galliot Cut the next morning.  Our sail was about twenty nautical miles, and we had a fine time sailing with the spinnaker for almost the entire day.  Later at Emerald Cay another cruiser came up and said he’d seen us sailing that day; it seems that sailing with a spinnaker is unusual among cruisers in the Bahamas, which is odd, since there’s a lot of downwind sailing.

After a night at anchor in a little bay on the west side of Big Galliot Cay … a truly idyllic spot … we watched a lovely sunrise and sailed off with a single reef in the main.  We had a brisk sail on a broad reach  in a northeast wind of 17-20 knots and had to hand steer because the autopilot couldn’t adjust quickly enough to hold the course with a 6-8 foot swell coming at an angle with the wind.  After a time, Penelope decided she wanted to try the helm, something she’s been reluctant to do in general, and she had a great time once she got the feel of it.  She steered a more consistent course than the captain, so she may find herself assigned helm duty more often.

Making good speed (six to seven knots), we entered the Marina at Emerald Bay two hours by sail north of George Town on Great Exuma Island and got tied up in a slip by noon.  At 1400, Ruth and Neil came down to the boat and we began five days of shore leave.

They had rented a very nice villa at the Grand Isle Resort, which was just a ten-minute walk from the boat, and they threw it open to us for showers, laundry, lounging about, and cooking.  We spent one day on a gorgeous walk around the Sandals Resort Golf Course, which actually goes around the Grand Isle villas as it meanders around the point that juts out into the ocean.  We spent a day on the beach at the resort, sunning ourselves and snorkeling.  And, another day we rented a car, shopped in George Town, and drove to Williams Town on the southern end of Little Exuma Island, which is attached to Great Exuma Island by a small one-lane bridge.   On the way back, we stopped for an hour or so at Tropic of Cancer beach, one of the prettiest beaches any of us had ever seen, and Ruth and Pen gathered natural sponges and other treasures.  That night we treated ourselves to a dinner out at Big D’s Conch Place, a bit north of the resort.  We agreed that the meals that Pen and I cooked in the villa were generally better, and indeed we cooked all but the one dinner out.



Alas, too many good things end.  We bid farewell to each other after breakfast at the resort on Thursday morning, March 11th, Pen and I packed off the left over food, and we set sail for George Town at 1130, while Neil and Ruth packed there things to catch an early afternoon flight back to New York.  We had the wind on our nose for the two hour trip to Conch Cut, the entrance to Elizabeth Bay, and we didn’t get anchored until 1430.  Expecting mail forwarded via UPS, we went in on the dinghy to see the agent in George Town.  The package was delayed in Nassau because customs thought there were import items in it, but one hopes it clears and arrives in a day or so.  We celebrated our arrival at the Peace and Plenty Hotel pool bar, and great little sheltered spot overlooking the bay, then while Pen shopped in a boutique, I went back out to the boat, picked up our empty propane tank (we have two), and took it back in to the UPS agent, who also handles propane.

Today we washed salt off Alizee, Pen made apple sauce and fresh salsa and cleaned the interior.  I went in a signed us up for internet and picked up the propane.  Still no UPS delivery, so I'll check again tomorrow.

More photos

Alizee’s geotrack

3 Comments:

Blogger Sheila said...

Hello Skipper! Long ago I retired my blog, but had to look up something and remembered our virtual friendship and checked out your blog. I am so happy for you and will have to come here more often to read of your fabulous adventures!

6:53 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Hello Skipper! Long ago I retired my blog, but had to look up something and remembered our virtual friendship and checked out your blog. I am so happy for you and will have to come here more often to read of your fabulous adventures!

6:53 PM  
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