Leaving Black Point we went only a few miles before anchoring at Jack's Bay. We travelled along the rugged coast of Great Guana Island. Aside from Black Point this, the Exumas second largest island, is mostly unsettled.
One building that stands out is known as The Castle. The dream of a young couple who wanted to build a resort and marina. Rumor has it that they were able to get all the permits needed only after paying a "special fee" to the right politicians. Unfortunately, when new officials were elected, in 2006, the permits were rescinded until another "special fee" was paid to the new authorities. The resort project was abandoned!
After a bumpy evening at Jack's Cove we headed to Lee Stocking Island. This private island was once home to the Caribbean Marine Research Center, http://www.perryinstitute.org
Opened in 1984 and run by The Perry Institute, this major research base was one of the most productive marine laboratories in the world, until its closing in 2012.
After its closing the facilities were allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. However, even though the island remains closed to the public, once run down buildings are being brought back to life with maintenance workers and repair crew operations going on daily.
Not wanting to, but for lack of a better weather forecast we motored into a stiff ESE wind and 3-4' seas the 20 miles to Georgetown.
In the shadow of the harbors stone monument we anchored with 20 other boats, and were greeted by a call from another boat, " Welcome to the Monument"!
This anchorage, is known as Monument Beach, for obvious reasons. Other Anchorages in this 4 mile harbor include Hamburger Beach, Volleyball Beach, Honeymoon Beach, and Sand Dollar Beach.
The resort atmosphere includes daily activities with everything from water aerobics, volleyball, yoga and much more. Cruising boats flock here year after year anchoring in the same location. Some people have even been known to NOT seek protection from a nasty weather system just so they won't risk loosing their "spot" in their favorite anchorage.
In the past, this time of year, the average "boat count" is 300-400 boats. This year however the count hovers around 100. Reasons for the decline run from hurricanes, to the cruising population that enjoys this type of Adult Day Care aging out.
For us, two nights at Monument were enough. We hauled anchor and travelled to the far end of the harbor, Red Shanks. It's still reasonably close to town for fuel, water, ice, & groceries, but the distance from social activities in town discourages many.
We were told by another boater that they hadn't seen any Bahamian Starfish from their dinghy. Of course, he was also proud that his 12' inflatable & 15 HP Yamaha could go 25+ knots.
We still smile at our speedy friend as our 8' Trinka with little outboard passes over starfish after starfish on the slow ride into town.
Enjoy the YouTube
Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy