We arrived in Georgetown just in time for the Annual Cruising Regatta. It should come as no surprise that the weather interfered with some of the planned activities which were delayed several times during our week-long stay, so while we left before the big boat race we were able to see some of the other events.
Incredibly, out of all of the available anchorages in Georgetown’s giant harbor, which during the week we were there was filled with well over 300 boats, we pulled up right behind Godspeed! We all thought we would probably never see each other again, when suddenly a familiar looking boat was spotted, drawing closer and closer… I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising considering we both heard the forecast, and great minds think alike when it comes to finding the best protection from the wind.
Our first order of business upon arrival was to get to the grocery store for some much needed fresh food, and then to the dock for free water. We spent a day running around the settlement to complete all of our errands – laundry, ATM, fuel, buying charts – so that we could relax for the remainder of our stay on the other side
of the harbor, where there’s nothing but a bar and some beaches.
I think it was about this point that the rowing dinghy really began to frustrate us. Though we’ve been told over and over that we have to have an outboard, we’d managed just fine without one. But we do sacrifice some convenience. For example, we wanted to go in to town for the variety show that was part of regatta week, but it was three miles away from where we anchored. Even if we had wanted to row that far, it really wasn’t possible with the conditions that night. There was a water taxi service, but that was still about a mile row from us. We chose to row the mile but by the time we got to the water taxi dock full of people still waiting to get across, the bar right in front of us started to look like a much better bet for a fun evening. And it was.
Another day we arrived at the beach to watch the small boat races, apparently just after the blind rowing competition was won by the young couple with the only other rowing tender we’d seen in the Bahamas! Aside from the blindfold, the race basically reflected what the four of us do everyday, so as they joked, it was an event we’d been training for all year. And we missed our chance to compete because we were busy rowing over! The next day, after another trip to town in the big boat (which could’ve been avoided if we had a dinghy with an outboard) we found a spot closer to the main beach. I was excited that I would finally be able to
row to yoga in the morning. Then it was announced that yoga had been moved to the beach where we had been anchored before, a mile away. It was a calm day so I rowed over anyway and was rewarded with a very lovely and relaxing class, and some sore arms the next day.
So although the rowing thing hasn’t been that much of a hardship (or at least, not any more of a hardship than living and traveling around in a small sailboat is in the first place), if we happen to find an appropriately-priced small outboard engine anytime soon, we will jump at the chance to buy it.
The most memorable activity we took part in while we were in Georgetown was a dinghy raft up: 75 inflatables (and 2 hard rowing dinghies) all tied together and hanging on one anchor somewhere in the center. Appetizers were passed from boat to boat, and I held my breath watching my favorite ceramic bowl literally teetering on the edge of someone’s inflatable. I’d like to say that all of our dishes made it back unharmed, but later in the evening a very drunk person jumped into the front of our dinghy without warning, landing on one of our heavy duty plastic wine glasses and breaking it into shards. Our visitor (presumably ignoring his bloody feet) expressed surprise at finding himself standing in a hard dinghy, and proceeded to tell us why no one in his right mind would cruise the Bahamas without an inflatable. Maybe so mister, maybe so.
At that point, most of the sensible people had turned in for the night and our flotilla was no longer anchored. Instead we drifted here and there and were sporadically redirected by various intoxicated people with outboards, thereby making us a hazard to the big boats anchored all around us. It was high time to break it up. The last group of holdouts went one way, and our little dinghy island of cruisers under 30 (okay, so technically Jon and I did not belong) reorganized itself into a chain, and The Most Interesting Woman in the World took the form of mother duck and towed us all to her catamaran full of booze and snacks. Like so many of our nights off the boat in this country, it was very fun… and also very strange.
The next morning we woke up to listen to the weather, said goodbye to the harbor on the morning
cruiser’s net, and took off for one of the most perfect sails of the trip so far. The seas were flat, there was a gentle breeze, the wind-vane steered with a little babysitting from us, and Jon finally caught a fish we could eat! We were having such a great time; there was nowhere to go but down.
But that will have to wait until the next episode of Sailing Baby Blue.

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