Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

George Town Trailer Park

15 March 2022
Russ Whitford
We were in Georg Town six years ago as part of our trek from the US, through Bahamas, to the Caribbean and beyond. George Town is known as the "sticky harbor." Cruisers come here, one of the southernmost parts of the Bahamas, intending to sail down to the Caribbean. Many just spend the season here and never move south, "stuck" in the fun and camaraderie of Georgetown.

But it is crowded here. This week there were 245 boats counted in the anchorage. Covid has these numbers down. We have been here when there have been over 300 boats and some have reported 500 boats here.

Lisa and I sailed Uproar to our favorite anchorage in Georgetown, Sand Dollar Beach; three days ago. I said, "Let's anchor near that dark blue boat." Lisa said, "There is more room near that white ketch." OK, I steered toward the white ketch. Now, I'm pretty good at that time-distance-speed-spatial relations thing. When I enter an anchorage, I factor in the wind, depth, current and try to find the exact spot to drop the anchor. Lisa lets out the proper amount of anchor chain and we drift back into our spot. Any miscalculation and the spot we end up in may not fit with the neighborhood. But we mostly get it right on the first try.

We set the anchor, equidistant between two boats. I snorkeled on the anchor to be sure it was well, buried in the sand. It certainly was. With our Spade anchor and new anchor chain, we sleep really well.

Our passage here was 55 miles on a moderately rough sea so it was time for an anchor beer, Uproar tradition! We noticed the boat to our south was running their generator. Boats need to run some sort of a generator from time-to-time to keep batteries charged. But this boat was running a Honda, gas generator, one of the noisier ones. And they were not on their boat. Why endure the noise of one's own generator? Just go ashore and let her rip. Make your neighbors listen to it. We consider this bad form. If you can't stand the noise of your own generator, don't expect your neighbors to. We dubbed him "generator boy."

We then got a call on the radio from the ketch to our north. "Uproar, Uproar." Lisa answered. He said his engine didn't work and if we dragged anchor, he could not get out of our way. He also said he had 160 feet of anchor chain down. What? It is only 12 feet deep here. A 5:1 ratio is considered safe with modern anchors. He only needed 100 feet out (that's what we put out). Putting 160 feet out in a crowded anchorage is like parking across three handicapped spots in a Walmart parking lot. We dubbed him "ketch 22." Lisa assured him we wouldn't drag and that we would watch out.

It felt like we were in a trailer park where someone is blaring country music!

There are morning announcements on VHF channel 72. These cover all activities in the anchorage, new arrivals and departures, treasures of the bilge (swap, buy, sell), business announcements (mostly restaurants and water taxi service), and some fun activities like Yoga on the beach, etc. It ends with thoughts for the day, etc. Morning cruiser's net takes up to 45 minutes!

We had just arrived and expressed interest in a water taxi ride to Eddie's Edgewater for a Bahamian rake and scrape band. Gillian, who was organizing it asked me to take over and log boats who wanted to attend. I agreed. It was a few hours on the VHF radio of herding cats as boats wanted to join in and some canceled. Finally, I just told all to come to Chat N Chill beach and we would somehow get everyone to rake n scrape band. We did and Lisa and I met a lot of new friends.

Incidentally, the band played my request, "Don't Lick Nobody." I believe this is a good community message during Covid! (Try searching for Stone McEwan version. I can't find it)

When Lisa and I were here six years ago, we participated in the Georgetown Cruiser's Regatta. It was ten days of fun. We called it adult daycare. There were softball games, talent shows, pet shows (Sophie won oldest pet!), Conch horn blowing, dinghy poker runs and of course sailboat races. Team Uproar won not only first in the three race series but won the rum punch drinking contest during the awards presentation. We snuck away after our prize to the rum vat!

I remember quite a few years ago, we organized a cruise to White Lake, Michigan. Jeff McClellan and I walked through a crowded trailer park. We were amazed that people enjoyed just parking their campers and hanging out. Then we walked to the marina where our boats were. We both agreed, we were just like the trailer park except they had trees!

Tonight we heard on the VHF, "Everyone look up between George Town and Chat N Chill Beach. The space station is zooming east." We did and it was! Cool!

Oh, that dark blue boat we initially aimed at in the anchorage turned out to be Vela, friends from Milwaukee who started their cruise this summer! They invited us over for dinner of grilled hamburgers. So cool that we could connect. It will be roast pork on Uproar tomorrow.

Generator Boy and Ketch 22 seem to be behaving. While this is not the secluded anchorage we often seek, I just love it here!




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Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Sophie our Jack Russell Terrier
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