Georgetown, Great Exuma Island

Georgetown is often called "the southern most cruising headquarters" for boaters exploring the Bahamas and often also called "chicken harbour" by those heading further south.

As mentioned, we entered from the south at North Channel Rocks. Had a romping sail up and had no trouble spotting the rocks in the surf. No time to get the perfect shot with more spray though.

 

To the left in the panorama at the top of the page, is the northern and most common entrance to the area. In distance, in the centre, opposite the 2 sailboats in the foreground, is an area called Stocking Island with popular anchorages with notable names such as Hamburger Beach, Volleyball Beach and Cleaning Hole. If you were to continue around past the trees on the right you would come upon the entrance to Lake Victoria. Off to the south of this entrance is another whole area of bays and anchorages, one of which we selected - Red Shank. The whole area often has upwards of 400 boats although this year we are told the number is down somewhat. The stance of the driver of the dingy is typical here. It means only your lower half gets wet and you can more easily see the shallows. It's even better if there's someone standing in front of you! The sign over the bridge reads "Caution: bridge ices before road".

Just off our bow, in these persistent south-east tradewinds, is the notable Red Shank Yacht and Tennis Club. Often boaters gather with goodies and drinks to solve world problems. If the 4:30PM get-together occurs at hightide the available real estate can be at a premium so we just stand in the water. At sunset the conch horns come out to pipe down the sun. We were fortunate enough to have 5 horn blowers. On the far left is brother Lloyd anxious to give it a try.

One guide book reported Red Shank Yacht and Tennis Club [tongue in cheek]. It is said that the outrage at the lack of facilities, found by a German megayacht, could be heard throughout Georgetown.

Of course more weighty things get done at the Georgetown Administration building but boaters seem to prefer the beauty of the evening sunset.

Lloyd and I headed out on one of the few not so windy days for some diving on the reefs in the area. Lloyd spotted a moray eel, angelfish, a puffer and conch. But the prize eluded us - lobster, commonly called "bugs" down here. Pat on Lady Margaret shows off her prize just to rub it in, I think.

 

While in Red Shank harbour we got a call from Sand Dollar - an Aloha 34 - with Patricia and Wayne from Thunder Bay, Ontario. We had been kept up to date on their progress by Migs, of the Aloha 34 Owners Network. Thanks Migs. We plan to get together again to compare favorite spots as soon as these fronts pass and make dinghy riding a little more comfortable and dry.

Other wild life seen in the Georgetown area:

 

A spotted ray

 

A large barracuda looking for a snack under our dingy. Sorry for the quality but I think it was camera shake

 

A 4" moth dropped in one evening for a while and liked the match with our boat cushions

 

Our friends, Jim and Ardele, from Kincardine arrived at the end of a bit of a blow - just in time for several days of beautiful weather. It was decided that our little dingy just couldn't manage the 4 of us so they rented a 17' Whaler with a sizable engine. This allowed us the freedom to travel much further for more challenging dives. We got skunked on lobster but Jim and Ardele got enough conch for dinner and a shell for the making of a conch horn.