Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Georgetown, Exumas 23º21.48N | 75º45.94W

Underway to Georgetown.
That sketchy cut at Emerald Bay was kind to us. There was swell, but it only tossed us around a bit. Nothing scary. We had a brisk and exhilarating, door-to-door sail today in 18 to 20 knots of wind with good swells. The wind direction wasn't ideal (is it ever?) so we tacked way out into Exuma Sound and back in -- several times. Picking our way into the enormous Elizabeth Harbor, we dropped anchor right next to Unicorn for a long awaited reunion with yet another cruising couple we met in St. Mary's at Thanksgiving and hooked up with again in Vero Beach.

Within the cruising community, Georgetown is either famous or infamous, depending on whether you're a supporter or a detractor. Hundreds of cruising boats anchor here, some all winter, in Elizabeth Harbor east of Georgetown, the largest town in the Exumas. This is, at some level, a boon to the local economy even though cruisers are not known for throwing around cash. However, with hundreds of boats provisioning and going out for beer, I'm sure it adds up. Some of the cruisers have found ways to support the community, raising funds for various projects. (I'm sure there are other ways that cruisers give back. If you know, please comment on this post.) On the other hand, a big percentage of these hundreds of boats pump their waste into the otherwise clear harbor and have been known for pressing the limits of "free" offerings such as water and wifi.

There is an actual governing committee for the floating community here with a "cruisers' net" in the morning for news, weather, local business ads and allotted time for arriving boats to check in and departing boats to say farewell. A cruisers' exchange follows for boaters to offer and partake of goods and services. There are organized activities such as poker, volleyball, swimming classes, basket weaving (really), bridge lessons, and their ultimate week of activities surrounding cruisers' regatta culminating in a ceremony and talent show on shore.

We timed our arrival in Georgetown after the crowded Cruisers' Regatta (unfortunately missing a few friends) and before the Bahamian Music and Heritage Fest, a few days after most of the cruising boats left the still-crowded harbor.

Double reefed. The new reefing rig is working great.
We're once again anchored down amongst friends and looking forward to some Rake and Scrape!

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