People have mixed feelings about Georgetown in the Southern Exumas. Some cruisers love it and spend the entire season here. Others come for Regatta when there are lots of activities and then leave. Cruisers who don’t like crowds totally avoid coming to Georgetown because there are usually hundreds of boats here, spread out over numerous anchorages, but still a lot of people. Yet, it is quiet and it is possible to find a place to anchor by yourself.
Georgetown is a small town with many facilities a cruiser needs. There is a well stocked grocery store, the Exuma Market, as well as another smaller one. These are the only grocery stores in the Exumas that aren’t in houses. There are several banks, places to get fuel and propane, a Customs and Immigration office where you can either check in or extend your stay in the Bahamas. Restaurants, rental cars, bus excursions, a Batelco (phone) store, a computer shop, laundromats, a cell phone store, various small shops and much more are available. A pumpout boat comes through the anchorages three times a week and new this year there is a trash boat. This is the first year that cruisers in Georgetown have not had free garbage disposal. Instead there are several ways to get rid of garbage, all for the cost of $2 a small bag and $3 for a large one. Water is free and there is always a line at Exuma Market on the dinghy dock where cruisers fill five gallon jugs to bring back to their boats. Even though we have a watermaker, we still get some free water from town. It’s RO (reverse osmosis) water, and very good. Every morning at 8 am there is a “cruisers net” on the VHF radio. You get to hear the weather, local businesses advertise, and cruisers can come on to try to sell or give away things, share rides to the airport, ask for help, etc. At the end of the net, people are invited to introduce themselves if they just arrived or say goodbye if they are leaving.
Since we arrived here eight days ago, we have walked on several beautiful beaches on the Exuma Sound side and the harbor side. We have played Mexican Train with friends and eaten dinner at the St. Francis. We’ve gone swimming several times at a beach called Flip Flop. We also went with ten other cruisers to Flip Flop Beach one late afternoon for sundowners. Today we went to a talk by a local historian who shared information for more than an hour about the Bahamian culture.
Normally by the time we get to Georgetown, we need to purchase food and perhaps get money from the local bank ATM, but since we came here so quickly we don’t need anything yet. Tonight we had BLT’s with tomatoes from our “garden” and every morning I have fresh picked strawberries with my yoghurt.
We’ll probably stay here until the end of March and then start heading north through the Exumas, very slowly. If the weather cooperates, we’d like to spend a few days in Long Island, a short sail south of here before heading north.
Unfortunately, Sailor does not like us to leave him alone on the boat, and he LOVES riding in the dinghy. So we are taking little steps to let him know it’s OK if he isn’t always going with us. Mark has gone ashore alone a few times and Sailor is adjusting to that, although he does stare towards where Mark went until he returns and whimpers a bit. Just as he learned when we were at the dock in Stuart that we will return, he’ll eventually learn that here too. We have discovered that he loves to swim. He swims out to us and then swims back and forth between us “letting” us hold him while he rests.
Our anchorage today was so still there were no ripples in the water. In the photo below you can actually see the sandy bottom. We also saw a (harmless) five foot long nurse shark swimming by our boat.
The Exuma Sound beach here is usually deserted with lots of room for Sailor to run off leash and for us to walk. We usually swim on the harbor beaches where there are no big waves.
In the Bahamas, our dinghies are our “cars” and below our dinghy and our friends on Interlude’s dinghy are anchored while we swim nearby on Flip Flop Beach. In the distance are buildings in Georgetown, across Elizabeth Harbor.