A Quick Decision
09 March 2012 | Elizabeth Harbour, George Town
Last night we checked the chartbooks for the timing of the tide in George Town. The only tide tables published for the Bahamas are for Nassau. All other places are referenced as so far ahead of or behind Nassau. I looked through both our chartbooks that cover this area but couldn’t find the timing of the tide in George Town. We decided it must be the same as Nassau. The reason we wanted to know is that we were planning when to sail to George Town. We wanted to be sure not to get to the cut to the south end of the harbor on an ebb tide. That would mean the tide was opposing the wind, and with all the wind we’ve had we figured there would be pretty big rollers. Based on the Nassau tide we’d decided to go Saturday, giving one more day of lighter winds (although the wind is supposed to build Saturday later in the day) for the waves to settle down.
Then this morning while we were walking Fuzzy another cruiser came ashore with his small dog, Goliath. We started talking to him and he said they were leaving for George Town. He said the George Town tide was supposed to be about 40 minutes later than Nassau, which would make low tide about 3 PM today and close to 4 PM tomorrow. Since they wanted to wait until after low tide to enter the cut, they wanted to go today, as waiting until 4 PM would make it pretty late by the time you sailed the three miles or so up into the harbor and then found a place to anchor.
On the way back to the boat in the dinghy Bud and I decided that we should probably leave today, too. We’d planned to take showers, and so had just put on our dirty clothes from yesterday to take the dog ashore. Now we rushed around and got everything ready to sail and set out at about 9:40 AM, still in yesterday’s clothes. The wind was still fairly strong in the morning, but we were sailing downwind, so had the full main and jib out. We couldn’t carry the jib for long, as the wind was too far astern. We did manage to keep sailing with just the main for several hours. Finally, the wind dropped to below 10 knots (it wasn’t supposed to) and our speed was below 5 knots and we put the engine back on. It was a pretty pleasant sail, the swells as we came to the cut were only about three feet and we had an easy time of it.
George Town is still packed with boats from the Cruisers Regatta, which started, I think, the last day of February. A lot of boats are still here because of the winds over the last week. We couldn’t even find a place to anchor off Monument Beach, where we’ve gone in the past. Instead we’re down between Volleyball Beach and Sand Dollar Beach. Volleyball Beach is where all the action is, and there’s something going on tonight. It may be the awards ceremony from the regatta. This anchorage is working out. It’s closer to town and I have free Internet, yeah! But you can see from the photo how many boats there are here. Compare that to yesterday’s photo of Thompson Bay. George Town is always a bit of culture shock after you’ve been out in the “out islands.”