You can leave George Town but George Town will never leave you
Mar 30, 2007
|A break in the wind resulted in a mass exodus of boats from George Town, Diamond Lil included. We listened to the morning net as we left the harbour and navigated through the cut to the ocean, sailboats surrounding us and seen over the horizon.
The list of boats responding to the invitation to announce their departure was long with us among them. One woman offered the words of wisdom that I have chosen as my title. Many of the cruisers make the trek to George Town annually, semi-annually or have been here many times and saying good-bye to friends is an emotional moment.
We had spent the last several days preparing for our departure. Once we had filled up with water and stocked up on groceries we needed to find a calmer anchorage so that John could line up where the lifting davits would be installed on the new dingy so that we could hoist it onto the swim platform for traveling.
As I stepped on the windlass control to bring in the anchor I noticed that the anchor roller had broken off. We could bring the chain in but the windlass wouldn't pull the anchor onto the pulpit without damaging it. We traded positions, I went up and drove slowly around the harbour, between the reef and the other boats while John assessed the situation. He was able to pull the anchor up by hand and we reanchored in the same spot, using our secondary anchor.
Finding parts in the Bahamas is a nightmare so the Captain removed the roller from the secondary anchor mount. Using his grinder he shaved about ¼" from the side to make it fit and before long we were on our way to Hamburger Beach. The hardware that bolts into the dingy had to be attached below the water line so off we went to the beach with the rechargeable drill, hardware and tools.
We were both pleased to be underway after three weeks in George Town. I was relieved because we are meeting Suzanne and Russ in Nassau one week from today and was beginning to worry that we would never get away. The Captain had a back up plan if necessary but it would have meant a much longer trip around the west side of Great Exuma Island.
After four hours of travel on the "outside" or ocean we made it to Galliot Cut, leading into the "inside" where we could travel over the shallower and calmer Bahama Banks all the way to Nassau. The seas were 4-6 ft, which Diamond Lil handles well. It certainly isn't the kind of water you can come downstairs and prepare meals by any means and there were a few, well quite a few items tossed about downstairs but it certainly was doable, unlike the recent 30 ft seas we had heard horror stories about from freighter Captains.
We anchored at Big Majors, home of the wild pigs near Staniel Cay. We counted 22 boats when we arrived around 3 pm and by nightfall there were 48, including some monsters. We compared one to an advertisement in one of our magazines; 118' True North can be chartered for a mere $45,000 per week, not including food, drink and fuel.(2005 rates).
We missed snorkeling the Thunderball Caves last time we were here so we are ready to go today, with slack tide at around 12:30, perfectly coinciding with the sun high in the sky and armed with a brand new disposable water camera. We have been advised to bring food for the fish because they are very friendly and will eat from your hands. I can't wait!