Landing in George Town, Exumas, Bahamas
We arrived to an anchorage in George Town a couple of hours before sun down. We anchored along side “Tia Anica” the large boat we were racing to George Town. They landed just before us, and these were the only convenient spots left to anchor. There are usually hundreds of boats anchored in George Town. So we joined the long line of boats anchored just between the deep mail boat route to George Town and Stocking Island. We were awakened at about 5AM by bright lights and loud engines to find a large container like ship about 200 or less feet from us. This was the Bahamian Mail boat making it’s way through. We were not in it’s way, we had our anchor lights on, and he could see the long line of boats usually anchored here. But for the boat to navigate this difficult shallow route, it must stay in the deep area carved out by the current, it is a sporadic route with bends and turns and it so happened to pass very close to us. This was a normal daily adventure for these mail boats to have to endure. For us it was a bit of a surprise and our worst nightmare at sea, waking up to a container ship a few feet from you about to run you down. I had to shake my head a few times to make sure I was not dreaming.
Later that same evening we wanted to do some exploring. We were told there was a restaurant just around the bend and down a little ways. We jumped in our dinghy and were on our way. We were worried about our electric motor getting us there and back, so we kept the speed to a slow battery efficient pace. Definitely – if we come back to the Bahamas, we are going to have to get a decent gas motor. We eventually found the little island with a cute little place called the Chat & Chill. It is actually very well known by cruisers and celebrity visitors. We had a nice dinner there, and the kids enjoyed playing with a local boy who’s mom works at the place. You’ll notice all those t-shirts hanging from the rafters. These are actually crew boat shirts – with boats names on them. They are left there as mementos of the visiting boats, and leave their mark there for others to see. They have an amazing guest book, with hundred of boat crew signing there names, we also left our mark in it. Then back in the dinghy and heading back to Black Diamond in pitch darkness. Good thing we left our blue spreader lights on, they really glow in the dark, and make finding the boat easy amoung hundreds of other anchored boats. One more problem, the battery was getting very low. But, I noticed we were going down wind, so to preserve the juice, I turned the motor off, took off my shirt. The four of us each held a corner of the shirt, and made a down wind sail out of it, and we actually sailed all the way back to Black Diamond with battery juice to spare. The kids thought this was one of the best parts of our trip, sailing the dinghy back with daddy’s shirt.
The next morning, Roxane made some great boat made muffins. The boys and I loved them. She was actually able to make bread, pizza and a birthday cake on the boat. In the picture below, we are having dinner with the skipper of Tia Anica. As I was saying our dinghy did not get very good range. This gentlemen was very helpful and generous, in assisting us on scouting out a few hurricane holes where we might be able to leave the boat for a couple of months while we go back home for a little while, more in the next post on this subject. But below you can see us dining on some of the largest lobster tails I have ever seen in my life. These were caught at a reef just outside Stocking Island. I bought them from a local fishermen, these were the smallest if you can believe that. It is possible to dive down and get your own, but I did not have any luck with that.