The Family Island Regatta
22 April 2010 | Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma
We have been in Georgetown for three days now and it appears we arrived just in time. The wind picked up Monday evening and has been building some each day. Tonight is supposed to have the most wind, 25-30 with gusts over 30 and if the squalls come in we could have gusts in them close to 40 knots. Crossing the one and a half miles of Elizabeth Harbor to the town is a wet proposition. Going west wasn't so bad Monday but coming back east we got soaked. We took the dinghy over to the beach and walked over the dune to the ocean side. I sure am glad we aren't out there trying to get here and I'm sure the Atlantic east of Long Island is worse. It was worth the long passages to get here before the bad weather. I wouldn't want to be sitting at anchor off Mayaguana or the Acklins for four days hoping the weather would get better. Next week is the Family Island Regatta and it is a big deal here. Local boats from the surrounding islands come here to compete and it's a big party. There is one activity peculiar to Georgetown that we have rarely seen in the Windwards and Leewards. When crossing Elizabeth harbor in a dinghy the regulars will stand up and hold on to the dinghy painter with one hand while steering with the other. Although not terribly safe it is one way to reduce or eliminate the soaking you get from the wind blown chop that is usually present in the harbor. Sue and I just put on our rain pants and coats for the one mile crossing to town from the Stocking island anchorages. Today (4-19) the wind clocked around and came from the NW so we were swinging on or anchor 180 degrees from when we set it last Monday. We didn't have to worry about it resetting because this bottom is deep sand and all we can see when we snorkel the anchor is chain. The forty four pound SL Claw is buried so deep you can't see any of the shank. It makes for sound sleeping at night. We spent most of today cleaning up the boat. Some chores are constantly needed like polishing the stainless steel and cleaning stains off the gel coat plus the endless little projects that pop up like replacing bulbs that have gone bad and fixing small leaks, from above NOT salt water coming in. We are also doing things to get Unchained ready for sale when we get back to Florida in about five weeks. It is now Thursday and I am going to upload two blogs since we are in town and I have good WiFi. Be sure and check out the one just below this one. We took the dinghy out into Elizabeth harbor yesterday and watched one of the fleets of Bahamian sloops in the first race of regatta week. The Family Island Regatta is a really big deal here. The picture was taken as they rounded the upwind mark. Notice the "rail meat" out on the hiking plank. Some were very fast and some reminded me of Unchained in regattas back home, close to last if not dead last. Our guests arrive the day after tomorrow and we are excited. The Georgetown cruising community is sooooo much different from the cruisers in the Windwards and Leewards. The group here is less transient and more like a summer (winter?) camp. I may have mentioned before it is referred to as "Adult Camp". We will move Unchained from the Sand Dollar anchorage off Stocking Island across the harbor to Kidd Cove area after the regatta (too crowded now) so we can be closer to town and our guests. Sorry for delay in the blog update. I'll try to do better this last month.