Retirement to Bahamas

Mike and Judy have been sailing for some 25 years. We have dreamed for years about retiring and sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean. We are living our dream!

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The Life of a Georgetown Cruiser

19 February 2009
Rather than chronicle each day of our stay here in Georgetown. I thought I'd generalize by giving you a snap shot of this lifestyle in this cruiser friendly place. There are two nicknames which I think illustrate what this place is about:

Chicken Harbour - many ambitious cruisers, with designs of sailing the world, the Atlantic or even more locally elsewhere in the Caribbean, use Georgetown as an intermediate destination; a place to rest a bit, provision and socialize before they forge on. Well, many, many of these never make it past Georgetown. It's just so comfortable here and there are big seas, very challenging passages and far fewer boaters as you move on. So, folks, "chicken out" of their cruising ambitions and spend weeks here only to return happy, content and safe back to the US to return again next year. We had no plans to go further south so we don't have to accept the "chicken" moniker.

Summer Camp for Cruisers - There's something for everybody here. There are lots of events, socializing, competitions, lectures, parties, challenges. And these cruisers, for the most part retired couples between 55 and 75 revel in the adolescent charm.

So, a typical day on Sea Sharp. I usually wake around 6:00 and read until 6:30. Then get up and tune in the short wave radio to Chris Parker's weather broadcast. Won't go into details but this guy offers a service which provides cruisers with precise, timely and relevant weather and his accuracy borders on uncanny. Around 7:00 I may go back to bed to read for a while more or do some chores (there are always chores to do). I put on tea (for me), coffee (for Judy) and food (for Chopin) then listen to the 8:00 cruisers net.

This event is the centroid of the cruisers' activities. It is a moderated forum on the marine radio, where announcements from local businesses are posted., information about the Regatta is provided (I'll explain more about this later), cruiser community events are announced, specific requests from cruisers are posted, weather forecast is broadcast, new boaters can self-announce and it always ends with a "thought for the day". It is very well done and informative. In addition to the information about what's going on, there is virtually no part, repair, advice or help you cannot get by broadcasting your request on this "net". For example, we've had problems with our virtually new inflatable dinghy and put our a request for some plywood and a jig saw. Immediately after the net, we probably received ten calls offering assistance. We rounded up the stuff, did the repair, and continued to get casual questions of concern from cruisers who recalled our request as to how we made out. It is very comforting to have this huge network of support.

So, after cruisers net, we have a light breakfast then over to the beach (a two minute dinghy ride from our boat) for beach Yoga. Quite often Judy will swim over and back while I take the dinghy.

After Yoga and chatting with our Yogaites on beach, back to Sea Sharp where we plan the rest of the day. If the harbour is not too choppy and we need stuff in town, we'll take the often-wet ride across to town. In the afternoon, we have a potpourri of activities to do; some organized some not. We may go over to Volleyball Beach for, guess what? Volleyball, or to partake in various other events including but certainly not limited to: art, basket weaving, dominoes, bocce ball, bridge etc. etc. If we're not in the mood for organized stuff, we'll take a beach walk or hike one of the trails on Stocking Island - sometimes we do both, - walk the beach and return by trail.

If it's Thursday, Judy will go to Beach Church Choir. And, if it's Sunday, we go to Beach Church at 9:30.

We almost always take Chopin for a walk later in the afternoon when the wind settles down and he's in need of some off-boat activity. There is a small but very nice beach just off our boat, so we load Chopin and me in the dinghy and Judy swims over. From there Judy takes him an a hike through his favourite path to an even more private and sheltered beach. I sit on the beach and read.

There is almost always a happy hour somewhere - sometimes organized sometimes a specific invitation. So we assemble some hors d'oeuvres and a couple of drinks and dinghy over to either the beach or the boat hosting the event. Back to Sea Sharp and cook supper (sometimes not if there have been sufficient munchies) where we watch the sun go down. If there's no evening event, we start to think about going to bed around 8:00.

We usually do some chore each day, be it laundry, boat cleaning, maintenance, blog update, etc.

All in all, while it may not sound like a filled day, there just doesn't seem to be any spare time and when evening comes, we are almost always ready for sleep.
Vessel Name: Sea Sharp
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter Legend 37.5
Hailing Port: Douglas Harbour, NB, Canada
Crew: Mike, Judy and Chopin (the boat cat)
Mike will be retiring in September 2008 after a long and rewarding career with the civil service in New Brunswick, Canada. I will end my career as President of Service New Brunswick, the "single window" service delivery agency for multi-jurisdictional government services to citizens and businesses. [...]
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Sea Sharp's Photos -

Preparing for Retirement Trip

Who: Mike, Judy and Chopin (the boat cat)
Port: Douglas Harbour, NB, Canada