The “Big City”

After 10 days, we have left George Town. Not soon enough for Murray.

For those who haven’t seen it, Elizabeth Harbour is about 5 miles long and the mainland is protected by a series of barrier islands about a mile across from the main island. With prevailing easterly winds, most vessels anchor along the largest of the barrier islands, Stocking Island. These anchorages have been named ie Sand Dollar Beach, Hamburger Beach ( there is a hamburger stand ) or Volleyball Beach. But, when the wind blows from the northwest or southeast, it can get very bouncy. And, when the wind blows, boats drag. They are anchored so close together that they crash into each other’s anchor lines or even boats.

The town of George Town is accessed under a small bridge into an inland lake, Lake Victoria. Inside there is a dinghy dock and free reverse-osmosis ( a process where salt is taken out of salt water to make fresh ) water. At the head of the dock, is Exuma Market, the local grocery. They also provide garbage bins for the cruisers. In town, there are banks, hardware stores, laundries, a straw market and many restaurants.

On Stocking Island are walking trails and many beaches. Chat & Chill ( a bar/burger joint ) is on Volleyball Beach. Here there are many courts for the game the beach is named for. Also, basket weaving, bridge and domino games, painting classes etc etc take place daily. Picnic tables and card tables have been built to accommodate all of the activities. This is winter camp for adults.

Saturday, we went on a “rock walk” with a marine biologist. He told us about stromolites, which are found living only in the Exumas and Australia. They are bacterial mats that exude a sticky substance. This then gets coated with sand and hardens into rock. Sort of rock – if you press on the “rock”, it is soft. These stromolites are billions of years old, 3.5 billion actually. The ones found in the Bahamas are only about 3 thousand years old. Stromolites give off oxygen and are thought to have contributed to forming an atmosphere where humans could live. It was very interesting and we walked for several miles. Sure was glad that the knee worked!

Every morning, the cruisers net starts at 0800, with weather and announcements. After that, it is a feeding frenzy as people make plans for the day. In fact the radio is never quiet. If you use a channel reserved for business, someone is very quick to point it out. There are activities on the beaches almost every day – cocktail parties, music, etc.

Hoping to get further south, we stuck it out. But, there were too many people for us. With the weather report not favourable for the next week, unless we wanted to motor 35+ miles, we headed back north yesterday. We traveled a distance of 10 miles and are anchored alone, with a couple of boats in sight. Nice. As the wind died, we barbequed some chicken and had a lovely dinner in the cockpit. The wind is expected to blow from the north for the next while, so we may be here for a week. The freezer is full of food but we will run out of fresh things. No worries as we have lots of cans.

So, that is what is happening here. Hope all is well up north. Write when you have time.

Hugs, Heather & Murray