Landing in George Town, Exumas, Bahamas

Arrived in George Town, and Dropped our Anchor beside “Tia Anica” for the night. (c) Copyright 2009

Anchored along Stocking Island just across from George Town, Exumas. (c) Copyright 2009

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.

At the Chat & Chill Bar.   (c) Copyright 2009

Having Dinner with one of the staff’s kids, at the Chat & Chill.   (c) Copyright 2009

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.

Roxane made boat-made muffins for breakfast.   (c) Copyright 2009

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.

Take a look at the size of that lobster tail. Caught at a reef near Stocking Island.   (c) Copyright 2009

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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