02/28/2008, George Town
Feb. 24th... Georgetown
02/28/2008, George Town
After the nets, ( Weather at 6:30, Georgetown 8:00, Cruiseheimers 8:30 and
Tech. Net at 9:00) Craig from "Tilt" came over to show me how to download weather charts from the SSB as well as how to set things up for automatic weather forecasts.
When we finished plans were made for a trip across the harbor for lunch at Palm Bay resort. The water is almost calm today which makes such a trip possible. After a pleasant lunch, we walked about a mile down the road to another place on the beach called Fish-Fry Town, which is an area where there are 6 or 8 smallish native establishments and lots of picnic tables. It is set up like a kiosk in some big mall.... But open air, sand and picnic tables.
On our way back to the boat we made a run to shore to pick up some ice and then .. spent the rest of our Sunday afternoon reading. It was over 90 without any wind so shade and Rum punch seemed appropriate. After dark we grilled a steak and steamed some broccoli for dinner.
Feb. 23 Georgetown, Exuma
It was too windy to cross the harbor to town so we busied ourselves cleaning. I transferred all the fuel and water from our jerry cans to our tanks with the idea of filling the jerry cans in the next few days. Then we worked on stainless steel for the remainder of the morning. At about 2:00 we went to shore and I ended up playing bridge again and Kathy chatted with the basket weavers. We watched some four on four volleyball before heading back to the boat.
At about 4:30 we took the dinghy to Sand Dollar Beach for their weekly party. There were about 50 in attendance and lots of food. We chatted with some of our neighbors who are from Iowa and are home schooling their kids on board. We also reacquainted ourselves with Dave and Joan from "Next Dimension" whom we had not seen since Annapolis in September.
Before returning to Sapphire, I ask Craig from Tilt to stop by in the morning walk me through to process of downloading GRIB (weather) files.
Elizabeth Harbour is really a long wide channel between Great Exuma and Stocking Island. The Harbour is about 7 miles long and between a mile and a mile and a half wide. The town of Georgetown is located on the northern side of the harbour on the Great Exuma.
Although there are about 5 perfectly protected anchorages located in tiny little bays, they are filled to capacity early in the season. The vast majority of the boats are anchored in 5 locations in the harbor itself: Monument Beach (sometimes referred to as Hamburger Beach) Volleyball Beach, where most of the activities take place (and there is a little bar / restaurant, and Sand Dollar beach. These anchorages are all on the north side of Stocking island and follow one after another. There are also lots of boats anchored off Georgetown on the other side of the harbor in Kidd Cove. In all there are currently something like 250 boats.
There are all kinds of activities besides volleyball, bridge and basket weaving that I have mentioned. There is choir, softball, jewelry making classes, bridge classes, clubs, dominoes, bocce ball, beach golf and countless other things to do....
Most of the people are between 55 and 65 but there are a surprising number of younger folks with families too. There are a number of large resorts in the area and so the area is not entirely inhabited by boaters.
Fun on the beach
02/28/2008, George Town
Feb 22 Georgetown, Exuma...Bahamas
We had a squall last night at about 11pm that really did a good job of rinsing the salt off Sapphire for the first time in a few weeks. The wind blew about 25 knots and it rained quite hard for about 30 minutes before abating. The wind held at 20 knots all night but the roll was forward to aft as opposed to side to side...which made sleeping pleasant.
With coffee we listened to all the nets ran some radio tests with some 'Kokomo" which is a boat currently about 50 miles to the south of us . I have made some changes in the grounding and antenna with the hopes of being able to transmit further. We are not having difficulties with long distances that require atmospheric skip, but the intermediate range seems to be weak. The test seemed to go well but we will not really know until I begin to talk more on the SSB.
Tests finished, we readied ourselves for the trip across the harbor to town. Georgetown is about 2 miles away and the harbor is almost always rough. Most people just put on their swim suits and take dry shirt along in a bag to wear once they get there. We loaded up a sack of garbage and 5 water containers for the trip. As advertised, we arrived wet but not cold. It was already over 80 by 9:30. The breeze made it bearable but it was hot in the sun.
Our first stop was a internet café which was located in a shack run by Julius who was a wonderful guy. There were about 8 people crowded around a bench while their spouses waited patiently in the shade. The height of the door was 5' 9" which meant that most everyone had to duck to come or go.
While Kathy was working on the computer, I wandered across the street to attempt to get some cash form a very nice looking new bank. It took a couple of tries but eventually I left with a large wad of $20s... which was the largest denomination that they had on hand.
From there we wandered the town and happened to pass the dinghy dock to see that there was no line at the free water spigot so we headed over and loaded up about 30 gallons before moving on to the "Peace and Plenty Hotel" for lunch. We both had the Bahamian Special of the day which consisted of baked chicken wings, mashed potatoes with canned beef gravy and mixed vegetables. It was bland and had no redeeming qualities that we could find. The high point was the rum punch that we had with our lunch.
Our next stop was the grocery which was huge compared to the shops we've been in during the last three weeks. We picked up a few vegetables, a sirloin steak that looked good and a few things that we can put together for snacks to take to beach parties.
Our trip back to the boat was slow and rocky but we made it without getting too wet. After unloading our haul, we put on some dry clothes and went in to Volleyball Beach. The volleyball courts were busy as usual, there were people weaving baskets, others playing chess, or bocce on the beach. I wandered over and watched some bridge hands before finding a seat and playing for about 45 minutes before going back to the boat.
While I was loading water in town, Kathy had received and invitation for us to "Tilt" for snacks and a drinks. We put together some cheese and crackers and motored over....
We had a great time with Kris and Craig before returning to Sapphire shortly after dark.