Livin’ in G-Town

Life here in George Town is not like being at home.  While there are stores for most everything you may need, they are certainly different.  Exuma Market is actually very good just about everything you need.  Some things are actually a bargain, but most prices are eye opening.  When you consider that there is a 45% import tax on most products, you begin to realize the prices are going to be higher.

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Not a Super Stop & Shop, more like an old IGA market, but the best in town.

The Ace hardware type store here is Top II Bottom (Top to Bottom), going in here is like being in a 5 pound bag with 10 pounds of you know what!  They may have what you want but it will cost you.  Oh I’ve been there many times, I can’t avoid a hardware store.

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Top II Bottom and everything in between.

All our shopping and other services are accessed by entering Lake Victoria through a small cut through the coral that all the islands are built upon.   This was an inland lake until someone decided to open it to Elizabeth Harbor, then voila, the cruisers had a safe place to come ashore.  The dock is maintained by the cruisers by money raised by the Cruising Regatta Committee.  More on the Cruising Regatta in a later post.

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The access to Lake Victoria, looking back out to Kidds Cove and Elizabeth Harbor.

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The water hose at the dinghy dock, usually a very busy place.

Inside is a dinghy dock and at the dock is a water spigot that provides RO (Reverse Osmosis) water to the cruisers at no charge since the cost is absorbed by Exuma Market.  This is a godsend as water in most of the Bahamas costs between 40 and 60 cents per gallon.  Needless to say this is a busy spot most of the time.

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The dinghy dock in Lake Victoria.

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Loaner bikes at the top of the dinghy dock.

Most all supplies are brought onto the island by small coastal ships.  They come and go 24 hours a day carrying everything from passengers to cars/trucks and containers.  Seeing one arrive means there may be fresh veggies or staples like cookies available at Exuma Market.  Supply ships are a good thing.

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The Emerald Express

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The Cape Express off loading containers.

Next door to Exuma Market is Bikini Bottoms,  a popular meeting place for lunch and a cold Kalik, conch burgers, conch fritters, burgers or chicken sandwiches.  All are very good.  I’ve tried them all, with a cold Kalik to wash them down.

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Our friend Dan had his 60th birthday while here in Georgetown, it was special because his daughter Jackie was here visiting.  You may remember, Dan and Linda sailed here in their MacGreggor 26.  I baked a cake for his birthday, and brought it ashore for the jam session at Big D’s.  There was an empty pan about 10 minutes later.

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Dan, Linda & me.

Well today, Tuesday, was a special day, Ginnie returned from Connecticut, leaving snow and cold to arrive in warmth and sunshine.  She promptly set herself up on deck to work on the tan she lost while in the cold and nasty north.  Visiting with Sarah, Devon and Reese was well worth braving the cold and snow.   She will be returning in April to be with Sarah when her grandson is born.

The winds were still blowing when Ginnie came back to Georgetown so we decided to get back to the boat by water taxi.  The water taxi is run by Elvis , no kidding that’s his name.  He is also the harbor master here.  This yellow boat never seems to stop.  He is forever taking people from Georgetown to all the beach bars on Stocking Island and to the boats as well.  One time there must have been 20 people on board.  I counted six life jackets, oh well this is the Bahamas.  Cold beers were available for $3.00 though, so who cares about life jackets.

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Tonight we went ashore to Big D’s, here on Hamburger Beach for the Wednesday Jam session.  A great group of cruisers that gather and play till the wee hours, which is around 10 PM for us older more seasoned sailors .  The special on the menu was ribs that had been cooking since noon.  They were falling off the bone as we were picking them up.  Having dinner barefoot in the sand, listening to great rock and roll with friends made here and in other ports was the best.  We need to do this at home this summer.   Every Wednesday Big D’s has a bon fire on the beach, I can’t even imagine trying to do this at home without permits that are almost impossible to get.  Most of the time the winds are blowing 15 or 20 knots!  No problems so far.

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Big D’s getting ready for a Wednesday jam session.

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Tonight we are trying to decide whether we will stay here in George Town for the Cruisers Regatta or start moving north through the Exumas to Eleuthera and up to the Abacos.  It’s estimated that there could be as many as 300 to 400 boats here for the regatta.  But there is a good weather window starting tomorrow through the weekend for passages north…winds will be moderate, 10 to 15 knots from the east to south east…we’ll see how we feel after talking to more people about the regatta tomorrow.

We’re told that there are 315 days of sunshine here in the southern Bahamas each year, well yesterday wasn’t one of them, as least in the morning, but what an incredible rainbow that lasted a good 10 minutes.

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This photo taken with a 10 mm wide angle lens, makes the rainbow look small.