Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Welcome to Georgetown! Sand Dollar

Only 4 kts of wind?  We'll take it!

I apologize for this a long-winded post.  When we sit somewhere more than a week, the day # & dates become necessary because we quickly lose track of time down here!  "What's today?"  "No, what day of the week?"  At least I have our boat log to tell us when we arrived and departed and Facebook for "check-ins" I can look back on!

Where did the Captain wander off to?

Lee Stocking/Georgetown (Fri, Jan 8):  After a couple nights of excitement, we finally got a decent nights sleep, and get started a little later than planned. It's a 30 mile run to Lee Stocking Island but we want to have enough daylight to consider Georgetown. For the first time in what seems like weeks, we can see the sandy bottom through the clear water. The anchor appears to be buried up to the top of the roll bar. (Wish I had an underwater camera!)  It doesn't want to come up with windlass so The Captain has to coax it loose. The main is up, and we're off by 7:30 am. Sasha hails us on the radio to ask about our plans--NOAA is reporting possible 6-9 ft swells outside.  Instead of heading down the banks, we motor over to the cut & peek out.  It looks calm. Out we go with a report back of "gentle following 1 ft swells & 2 kts of wind."  I turn across a line of fish nets before I see them and before we know it, there are a line of boats behind us. We are motoring at 5 kts on one engine and the occasional puff of 4 kts keeps the genoa out.  When Sasha catches us about 10:00 am and advise they are turning towards Georgetown.  Some quick math reconfirms we can make it despite the late start. The second engine is cranked up & we're doing 6-7 kts--with the occasional 5 kt puff.  Kelly Nicole is texting--is it calm out there?!  It looks calm out there in the pic?!

An accidental jib in 4 kts of wind.  Who's driving this thing?  Me?  Ok, I'll put the camera down!

We pass Musha Cay--David Copperfield's place. Guess we'll snorkel the mermaid and piano next time. We cruise by Lee Stocking with a Georgetown ETA of 4:30 pm--well before sunset.  By afternoon, the water is a deep purple and as smooth as glass  (Everyone keeps telling us how weird the weather is this winter.  Who would guess the banks would be rough and the ocean would be like glass?!)  As we make the turn for the Elizabeth Harbor entrance, Kelly Nicole is texting with dinner plans. 

As soon as we enter Sand Dollar anchorage, Kelly Nicole is circling us in their dinghy.   We hop in and they whisk us off to the Fish Fry for a Bahamian pub crawl with Dos Libras, Magnolia, Agape & Manana. Welcome to Georgetown!

Stats:  total time 9:11, avg speed 5.9, total mileage 53.9, 1/2 motor sail on 1-engine/genoa, 1/2 motor on 2.

Sunrise at Sand Dollar over sv Kelly Nicole

Georgetown Day 2 (Sat, Jan 9):  It's so quiet & calm here, it feels weird. The boss is up early & we're in the dinghy by 8:00 am anticipating a long ride across the harbor to Minn's Watersports with our borrowed weed whacker (it turns out to be a little tricky to steer!). It's interesting entering an anchorage with so many familiar boats. Blogs we've followed before buying a boat, blogs of boats that crossed with us, boats we've been leap frogging down the Bahamas--and there is Sasha!  We're early, so Minn's sends us next door to the Driftwood Cafe for breakfast. Perfect!  Eggs!  A meal I didn't cook!  We confirm the mechanic is in, but he needs a couple hours, so we go for a walk through town and end up at the grocery store (run into Sasha again!). $133 later, I made a dent in resupplying (we neglected to buy dinner but the Captain is happy with his can of olives & can of beets. We ate those a long time ago! )

"First time in G'Town over here--where the hell is the dinghy dock?"  The tunnel to Lake Victoria

We were the entertainment at Minn's Watersports today.  When our mechanic, Al is ready for us, the weed whacker made him crack a smile. Then he balked at our broken transom. "You aren't going to lose this new outboard in the middle of the harbor are you?"  Is that included in the warranty?  "Please don't."  Finally, we piled into the dinghy--new outboard, the two of us, $133 of groceries, the weed whacker, the old aux fuel tank and new aux fuel tank.  "I should have brought my snorkel gear.  I could have swam back!  Do you want to come with us? We'll take you to lunch!  No?"  He was laughing and shaking his head as we motored away.

It looks like a dinghy repair shop over here!

The new outboard is hoisted up to the rail & the transom repair begins. A piece of corian from the free table at Brunswick is put to use. (Al approved!). Our lock also doesn't fit so The Captain does a MacGyver. He takes it out to play in the anchorage. "Did you see me get on plane?"  No, do it again!  Go buzz Kelly Nicole! Magnolia anchors behind us. I spend the afternoon emailing back and forth with a friend that wants to visit when I'm informed the dinghy isn't holding air because of a tear at the hull. Sympathy pains with Sasha?  I pull out our insurance policy and send an email to to report the damage.  As the sun sets, it's so quiet, The Captain hates to start the generator.  The stars are brilliant through our berth hatch!

Georgetown Day 3 (Sun, Jan 10):  Another great nights sleep. We listen to the morning net while I do bucket laundry which includes "newcomer info."  When I jump on to say thank you, R&R Kedger hails us (fellow Black Point derecho survivor) and we chat for a while.

The dinghy get's on plane with the two of us today!  It's terrifying and exciting all at the same time. If you saw a dinghy zooming across Elizabeth Harbour, giggling and yelling "Yee haw!", that was us!  Of course, we were bailing before we were halfway across the harbor--we have a BAD leak!  It was still fun!

A slow day at the Exuma Market dinghy dock

We stop at Sasha to drop off the weed whacker.  They give us a tour of their beautiful Island Packet --we had airline tickets to seen one but never made it.  (You know you are cruising the Bahamas when:  friends offer a tour of their beautiful boat, and at some point you say, "Look, they have potatoes!")  Another grocery store run results in overloaded backpacks with a stop at Red Boone for brunch (a popular cruiser spot next to the grocery store with free FAST wifi). 

The Captain does some more fiberglassing on the dinghy, trying to stop the air leak. We both go for a quick swim, but our anchorage is too deep with low vis for seeing anything. However, the swim reveals the chunk missing out of dinghy fiberglass hull.  Two of the boats that survived the derecho in Black Point arrive and anchor on either side of us--Alta Mae & Eclipse.

Red Shanks reconnaissance--any excuse to run around with the new outboard--clocked 17 kts!

Before leaving Black Point, I was already looking for our "all-around protection" in Georgetown. A friend had told us about "Crab Cay" and Magnolia confirmed they had been back in Red Shanks--"the secret spot. It's in Thornless."  We decide to dinghy over and check it out. It would be a great place for a blow. We put my iPad in a dry bag and tie it to the painter, then I sit on the floor in the bow and give hand signals around the reefs and down to the entrance. There are great little swimming holes and lots of reefs to snorkel. The water is pretty, calm and shallow along the reefs and cay. We only see two boats, a little sailboat on a mooring and a large powerboat (appear unoccupied). We investigate a sunken sailboat then take the shallow creek back around to town. It turned out to be 7.8 mile loop! 

Georgetown Day 4 (Mon, Jan 11, Bahamian holiday):  Five of the six boats from the derecho/gale in Black Point have made it to Georgetown. We had a beach meet-up at Sand Dollar Beach with sv Sasha, sv R&R Kedger, sv Alta Mae & sv Eclipse today followed by a hike and lunch. Two of the boats confirmed they clocked 78.9 kts and were well aware our boats were unattended!  Whew!  Alta Mae was anchored in front of us and his bridle failed--twice!  That group can tell some stories! I forgot to get a group pic :-(

Kelly Nicole comes over to consume some beverages.


  1. So glad you guys got to meet Paul and Deb in Brunswick. I knew you would hit it off. I confess to being just a tad jealous of you both, derecho or not. We miss all you guys!!

    SV Kintala

  2. Wish you guys were here! I think the 6 of us could cause some serious upheaval! They upped and left us again, though. We'll sneak back by them when they are sleeping in...