|Here we are in George Town, our destination for this winter after 8 months of traveling, 4,660 miles through Ontario, 9 US States and 717 miles of Bahamian waters.
The trip is more about the journey than the destination, however we experienced a variety of emotions as we reached the climax of this chapter of our cruising lives. For many of the boaters here, including us it is the turn around point, although we are tempted to venture another few short miles to see the next island south of here.
There is a feeling of accomplishment that we made it all this way in our trusty little vessel. There is a bonding that we experience with the boaters we meet along the way, wherever they are from, whatever their age or previous occupation, the language that they speak or the size of their boat. We all share a way of life that few can even imagine, not only the ups but also the downs, the good, the bad and sometimes even the ugly.
We have read about it in our cruising books and magazines, heard about it from boaters we met along the way, listened to the songs about this place and now we are here.
The annual cruiser's regatta in early March attracts approx 500 boats and is a week long cruiser's party including daily sailboat racing, awards ceremonies, variety show, contests and a wide variety of events. There is quite a structured community with a daily cruiser's net on the radio at 8 a.m., beach volleyball, seminars, pig roasts, even Sunday church services on the beach.
The town seems smaller than I imagined and the harbour is larger. It takes a while for the sheer number of boats to sink in because they are spread out over such a huge area. We know that there are many anchorages that we cannot even see from here, places that we will explore over the next few weeks.
Kidd's Cove is where we anchored for the first few days, close to George Town on Great Exuma Island for reprovisioning, laundry etc. We hauled 90 gallons of water out to the boat in our 5 gallon jugs, waited for the supply boat to come in so we could shop for groceries, replaced our clear bottomed bucket, bought gas for the dingy, beer and pop and ice for the cooler.
Once we had all our supplies we pulled up the anchor and crossed the bay, one and a half miles across to the other side of the harbour and anchored along Sand Dollar beach on Stocking Island, out of the wind. Our wireless internet (a bargain at $15/week) compared to most places in the Bahamas works all the way over at this side of the harbour and I'm thrilled to be connected again.