|The Adventures of
"Good god! We're still in George Town!."©
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(Occasionally, editorial comments from Don of S/V Destiny Calls, host of this web site and southern waters frequenter, will appear in green italic)
The non-typical George Town cruiser's home
Well its time to leave..we have been in Georgetown for a month, and frankly we have had enough excitement for thirty days. What with the Christmas blow, and the Christmas Eve explosion... yes you read right, EXPLOSION! I cant remember if I had mentioned that our stove was acting up, and finally decided to pack it in for good. Well a couple on a boat near us had heard of our plight and offered to lend us a portable butane stove. We gladly accepted the kind offer and warmed up some soup for lunch that we had along with a sandwich. I really needed a stove or something to cook with as we were going to the potluck on Hamburger Beach for Christmas Day, the next day. As I was preparing a curry chicken, KABOOM...a huge fireball rose. It was short lived as the butane tank was small and I was quick on the fire extinguisher. There are damages but they are cosmetic and we are already planning redecorating.
But to show how much cruisers are ready to help each other, later that afternoon, having a beer at the Two Turtles bar we recounted our story and were immediately invited over to Xmas eve dinner on Relaxin Manny Normans 33 foot cat ketch. A few days later as I was untangling the mess that my anchors had got into, Jan from Rubaiyat came over in his dinghy to see if he could lend a hand. When the stove finally did arrive I asked Dean on Braveheart if he could assist in putting the new beast in place. All of these folk offered their help with a smile... its the cruisers way. I in turn have done my share offering help to people who dont understand America On Line... people who have run aground. But my hat goes off to someone who isnt a cruiser.... its Johnny, at the Exuma Dive Center. Johnny can be heard every morning with his distinctive voice advertising his diving and moped rental business. He is also some what of an agent for Reggie Air, that will deliver both goods and passengers to Georgetown. I had gone there to look through his catalogs to check out the dimensions of a stove I might be able to purchase. Finding one that was in stock was the problem... not to worry. Johnny put me in touch with Bob at Sideline Marine. What Bob does is search through the greater Ft.Lauderdale and Miami area looking for what you need. Johnny has the catalogs for 3 large mail order places.... but there are literally hundreds and hundreds of boat stores in Ft Lauderdale. Well Bob put me on to a fellow who sells reconditioned stoves... and the rest is history.
Janette and I sometimes talk about cruising ... getting a bigger boat... or just adding more stuff to ours. But before we decide we have to ask ourselves what kind of cruising lifestyle do we want to have. In Georgetown the average boat size is about 40 feet which makes our 33 foot boat small. Then again we are gone for only 6 1/2 months, whereas most people here are cruising for much longer than that. Some people are here as snowbirds, arriving every fall, only to go home every spring. Some cruisers here even have satellite television. You will also see the extreme here. We met one couple who hail from Maine, and they are content to sail around in a 22 foot sailboat. With not much in the way of amenities, but they say they have everything that THEY need in order to make it work. Others would only be seen in thier 10 million (yes 10 to 15) dollar mega yacht. There are a few more toys I would like to have.... a water maker would be very convenient. You can buy a lot of water for $3000.00, but just being able to have water on demand. Also a generator of reasonable size, so I could run a microwave, bread maker (the bread here is not very good) or a bunch of other things. A weather fax along with a decent single side band radio to transmit and receive, but so far we are happy, we have the basics and then some so we really cant complain to much. And a windlass would be nice too. (Santa can you here me?)
We can see why many cruisers make George Town the end of the road. The people are friendly, the beaches are great, the basic amenities are readily available and the weather is nice usually. After a while, it feels like there are roots growing. There are many Canadians and many Quebecers as well as a large German community. And of course there are many Americans from all states from Washington state to Florida. There is a certain security knowing where the best laundromat is, where you can buy the cheapest meat, and where the beer and liquor is cheapest, the water is free at the dinghy dock and fresh bread is baked daily by Moms bakery. There is a real community here: beach church every Sunday, daily organized morning beach walks, yoga and aerobics classes on the beach and of course volleyball at 2 to 3 p.m. daily. A watercolours group meets often during the week. And the softball season started this week. But for those seeking a more serene less social life you can have that too.
During our month stay here we met many folk from early retirees to older seniors (80+), from folk on leave to folk who stopped working for a while. By the last week we had our own clique - Kidd cove based - we were five boats: Pyxis, Rubaiyat, Relaxin, Braveheart and Borean. We had met at the 2 Ts. We toured the island, visited Crab cay island, dined together and partied together. But the time to move on had come for three of us on January 16th. We will meet up again with them either here or in Canada or in the States. We plan to return to GT on the way back in April.
Until then au revoir. We are off to Long Island, Rum Cay and a few other islands before we get to the Turks and Caicos.
The bread in the Bahamas isn't all that good. I mean it's edible, but dollar for dollar it ain't a great value. Maybe it's because Jim and I both live in Montreal, one of the great places in the world for food, why we're so spoiled into always expecting excellent chow. Especially the basics:
It's funny that Jim is wishing he'd brought a bread machine. Fresh bread on a boat is really nice.
Coincidentally, the subject of bread machines on board came up this very week before I got Jim's update. I frequent a web bulletin board hosted by Cruising World Magazine and I got a bit beat up when I defended my preference for having a bread machine on Joni and my tiny little 27 foot boat when down south. Purists make it by hand; both Jim and we used to. One web patron even told me that I should just buy bread from a bakery like everyone else.
In Montreal a real bagette, one that'll you'll dream of in the Bahamas, costs only the equivilant of $ .75 US. In the Out Islands, a loaf of bread, one that might be okay for a so-so cheese sandwich, will cost $ 3.50.
Check out my bread pages, we have found a few different ways of baking it.
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