We left Long Island on Monday and arrived in ‘cruising mecca’ AKA Georgetown by sundown. We would have arrived sooner but we got stuck (literally) at the Long Island fuel dock. Before heading anywhere we needed to fill our fuel and water tanks. With calm weather last Friday we pulled up anchor and headed over to the fuel dock only to be usurped by a work boat that pulled up to the dock right in front of us. The fuel company hailed us on the radio shortly afterwards and told us that they were testing the fuel lines and we couldn’t get in until the afternoon. Oh well, we anchored and dinghied over to Long Island Breeze for lunch. As it turned out, the wind picked up from the wrong direction and it was too rough to approach the fuel dock in the afternoon.
Long Island Breeze hosts the cruiser’s net in the morning and provides many helpful services for cruisers. I had heard that they wanted people to fill the boat in front of the resort with interesting ‘beach finds’. While beach combing the other day I was on the lookout for an item on which I could write our boat name. I first found a toilet seat but Skip vetoed it. So, I settled for a snorkeling fin!
Not to worry, we had a very nice lunch with George and Julie (Seaquel) who arrived the day before. They were on their way to a ‘vacation’ from Georgetown in the Jumentos. We thought about joining them but couldn’t leave without full tanks and the long term weather still looked iffy. After lunch, we went back to anchor in Thompson Bay where the seas were more settled. About 20 boats arrived from Georgetown so the anchorage was full of new faces.
On Saturday a group of newly arrived cruisers arranged a dinner at Club Thompson Bay. We joined about 40 other people for another delicious Bahamian feast courtesy of Tryphena. We were happy to meet up with Dave and Trudie from Persephone, a Sabre 402. We had met them at the Seven Seas Cruising Association gam last September and communicated via email ever since as we hop-scotched down the coast.
Quite a few boats left on Sunday but we still needed to get our tanks filled so we stayed. Angie joined us in the afternoon for a walk on the Atlantic beach (the one where the path starts off the road by telephone pole 108.) After much angst over the weather predictions we decided not to stray too far from the southern Exumas where we needed to be in a few weeks to meet our friends in Georgetown. Mike and Angie decided to head north to Calabash Bay and over to the northern Exumas. We had a lovely ‘farewell’ dinner on Moondance where I served ginger wine chicken (finally found some ginger wine!) Lady of Lorien left early Monday morning while we made another attempt at getting fuel.
We hailed the fuel dock on the radio so they knew we were coming but just as we approached a catamaran snuck in and tied up. Why does this always happen??!! It was approaching low tide but according to the charts we should still have enough water to get in once they finished. Sure enough, we were able to tie up and fill our tanks while our depth meter showed we still had about 6 inches under the keel. But, as we untied the lines and tried to leave the boat wouldn’t budge. Apparently, the extra weight from filling our tanks put us solidly stuck in the sand. We ended up waiting about an hour for the tide to rise enough for us to leave. I felt really bad that we blocked the fuel dock as a fishing boat was waiting to get in. I think we’ll pay closer attention to the tides next time we go in there!
The trip to Georgetown was uneventful — a motor sail with the wind behind us. The waves got pretty steep as we approached the cut. I would not like to do that in strong northerly wind! We anchored near Sand Dollar beach off Stocking Island. It’s the big regatta week and the anchorages are full of boats–close to 300!
We took Bailey ashore in the morning for a nice run. Later, we took a dinghy ride into Georgetown to check out the stores. The dinghy dock behind the market has a free water tap where cruisers can fill their containers. There’s always a line of people waiting! We walked around town (it’s not very big) and bought some beer–Kalik in cans!! We also found Mom’s Bakery truck and bought some fresh coconut bread. Mom is a well known and loved figure in Georgetown. She gave us hugs and blessings!
In the morning we heard from Valerie and Graham on Bonnie Lass who came in the previous evening. I had turned the radio off yesterday. The constant chatter can really get on my nerves!
By morning the winds picked up and the seas got choppy. We took the dinghy to the St. Francis resort on Stocking Island for lunch. I really wanted to meet more cruisers and find out more about the Georgetown scene. Lunch was nice and we met several people on shore. Coming back, we decided to move closer to the action and hopefully find calmer seas. We anchored off of Volleyball Beach where it’s a little more protected for now. The boats are pretty close together–not sure what it will be like when the wind shifts!