Thursday, 3 May 2012

Georgetown is the bilge of the Bahamas cruising world. Almost all the boats we have seen along our journey so far have ended up here, and many may never leave. There are boats that spend the whole 6 month cruising season here, it is quite the hub.

Georgetown is only part of the area, but the anchorage consists of a few anchorages in about one square mile. We anchored off of the lee of Stocking Island, in the area aptly known as volleyball beach. The first few days the weather was nice, but it quickly deteriorated. This makes the 15 min dinghy ride across to town a little wet, at least coming back into the wind.

We arrived at the start of the Bahamian superbowl, the Family Islands Regatta. Bahamians have turned up from all over the country to race sailboats made, and restored again and again, in the islands for the past 70 years. It was 5 days of Bahamians, and some cruisers, drinking and partying. Jennie and I did our best to keep up with all the fan fare, but things run on island time, and could easily be resceduled last minute by an hour or a few days.

We did manage to watch a lot of sailboat racing, and the parade. The parade route was about 100 meters in length and had two bands, the highschool and government bands.each taking turns. It lasted about an hour and was one of the best parades I have seen. The crowd was seriously into it. They had all the officianato there, even the governor general. It was quite a performance.

After, we wandered around all the street stalls, it was like a big night club out on a jetty. Many of the cruisers left on the water taxi, but we had dinghied over to save a few bucks. When the water taxi left, Jennie and I started to feel a little uneasy. The crowd was getting a little more hostile and we were definately the odd ones out. We got the feeling they didn't really like us joining in on their fun. Or maybe it was the 400 years of slavery and rum flowing like water coming to the forefront. We decided to get out before someone made a persuasive argument for us to. The wind was picking up, and rain was coming too. By now we had metup with Captain Mike, captains hat and beard included. He had missed the water taxi, and we felt a responsibility to Christy his wife to take him home. We just had to pass that 15 minutes of waves and water. So all three of us climbed into our tiny dingy, and away we went, through the tunnel and into the night.

Lots of people were worried about speed boats hitting them, and the rain and spray,.so they to.the aformentioned water taxi. As we were heading out Jennie had the flashlight on, but with the glare off the dinghy I couldn't see so we turned it off and motored across with no lights. I figure even with a little flashlight, if drunk people on a speedboat are going by, it's best if you see them, because they wouldn't show any courtesies to us. We had even beard of a young guy snorkeling with a diver down flag up, near his boat in the anchorage, and he got run over in broad daylight. We took in a lot of spray, and finally made it across. What a sight, three adults in a small 8 ft dinghy, one the image of a salty sea captain near the bow. We all got home safe, and no one was robbed or drowned. Someone did throw a bottle cap in my cup when I wasn't looking, but no harm no foul.

Now the harbour is empty of ragatta madness, and the cruisers are funnelling out. It's rainy and overcast, your quintesential hangover day. Back to business as usual for everyone tomorrow. Jennie and I have been talking to other cruisers and looking at the maps, we are coming to the conclusion that it is time to go to Panama. The Bahamas has great cruising, but it is expensive and not as tropical as we thought. Probably heading out in a week or so, down Long Island, and off to Bocas Del Toro.

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