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Published: December 20th 2007
December 17th, we arrived in Georgetown, and are looking forward to enjoying Christmas here. Our son Steve, and Sharon’s sister Patty will join us in Georgetown, and we are very excited to see them!
After arriving in the Bahamas November 30th, we cleared in at Port Lucaya, and stayed there for a couple of days. Port Lucaya was very nice but we were anxious to get further south. We headed for the Berry Islands, and anchored for a couple of days at Great Harbour in Stirrup Cay. Stirrup Cay is where cruise ships take passengers for “a beach day on a deserted Island” . It’s a little unrealistic as they have all these buildings, beach chairs, loungers , snorkel hut, bars etc. It is very nice though but pretty crowded when you put a whole ship on a little beach. From Great Harbour we sailed to White Cay, also in the Berry Islands. White Cay had beautiful white sand beaches, and a walk to a Blue Hole to the sea. The shelling was pretty good in White Cay and Sharon found some nice ones. She is being very picky, on how many she keeps, as we still have some shells
from our last trip at home.
From White Cay we went to Nassau, and stayed a night. We were very surprised at how Nassau has changed. The Atlantis resort on Paridise Island looks like Disneyland it’s so big. There is lots of building going on and generally Nassau seems very prosperous, although not as nice for boaters as it used to be. We could not anchor in Nassau , so we stayed in a Marina for a night, and topped up our supplies with a few things we forgot to get before leaving the US. With a forecast of very strong winds later in the week we headed south again to the Exuma chain of Islands. First stop was Normans Cay. It’s interesting in that it was the home of a Columbian drug lord in the “80’s”. After he was caught they have started re-developing Normans Cay as a tourist resort, but still there are reminders of it’s history, including a sunken airplane in the Bay. The Conch , and lots of reef fish are very plentiful here, as they are in all the Exumas. The reefs are spectacular, and it’s easy to snorkel on the reefs and see
the beautiful fish and marine life.
From Normans we went to Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park , and stayed on a mooring ball in Warderick Wells (in the park) for a week. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park covers 176 square miles of the Exumas. Throughout the park you can explore the underwater beauty of coral reefs, hike trails, explore pristine beaches and view spectacular sunsets. Opportunities abound for observing the many species of birds, fish, and other wildlife found throughout the park. It was very windy while we were in the park and it was relaxing, not to have to worry about our anchor on the windy nights. There were a group of us all held up by the weather, so we have made good friendships with the other boaters we met in the park.
After a week, it was time to leave, so we left for Staniel Cay, even though the weather wasn’t quite what we’d like, with still very strong wind. Fortunately Staniel Cay has a great anchorage so it was a comfortable place to stay. The next day we went to Blackpoint, a settlement just 10 miles south of Staniel Cay. We
had lunch at Lorraines Diner in Blackpoint with a group of other boaters we had met in Warderick Wells. We were all headed for Georgetown, and we talked about different options and timeframes to get there. Blackpoint is a very cool Bahamian settlement, and you get a realistic picture of how people in out island communities live. They do live a much more simple life, but they seem very happy. Also instead of driving around in cars they drive around in golf carts. Sharon and I went for a nice beach walk on the ocean, and found a couple treasured “sea beans”.
After our lunch with the other boaters, Sharon and I decided, we would relax in Blackpoint and wait for ideal weather to get to Georgetown. That was Sunday, and by Thursday conditions were supposed to be “perfect”. Well we got up the next morning and watched some of the other boats get ready to leave. Well…. We changed plans quickly and headed out with the others, going down Exuma Sound to Rudder Cot, then out in the ocean to Lee Stocking Island. It was a nice traveling day, except for some pretty shallow water just before we
got to Rudder Cut.
In Lee Stocking Island we were just 20 miles from Georgetown. With a strong cold front approaching, we left early Monday morning for Georgetown, trying to beat the nasty weather that accompanies the cold front. Well…. We almost made it. In fact we had just turned to make our approach into Georgetown when the cold front hit. It wasn’t how I had envisioned arriving but with white knuckles we arrived in Georgetown. Entering the harbour at Georgetown was quite a feeling, as it brings back many happy family memories of the 2 winters we spent here 10, and 12 years ago.
So what now….. It’s Christmas and we are anxiously awaiting family coming to help us celebrate. We will base ourselves out of Georgetown for the winter, and explore other out islands, coming back to Georgetown periodically to pick up supplies and company.
It’s been quite a year for us. At the top of the list is the birth of our first grandchild, Ella Sibley Nicholson. She is such a beautiful baby, and we really miss seeing her more. Dawn and Paul will bring Ella to the Bahamas for a visit in February,
and Stevens arrives on Saturday. Steve is in 4th year mechanical engineering at University of Waterloo and it’s been a tough semester, so he’s also really looking forward to the visit.
Second on the list is retirement and the opportunity to start this trip. Since we left June 29th, we have sailed 3261 nautical miles from Oakville to Maine then down the Eastern Seaboard to Florida and now to the Bahamas. That’s a lot of hours sailing, motoring, living and sleeping on a 40 ft sailboat that goes 6 nautical miles per hour, and has less volume of space than one room in most homes. So far it has been a truly incredible trip, far outweighing our expectations. We are so lucky to have this opportunity, and lucky to have so much to look forward to.
And Yes we do miss the snow. We know you had A major storm on Sunday, and we don’t miss that. It is hard to get into the real spirit of Christmas without snow, but we will try our hardest.
Sharon and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very, very happy, and healthy
holiday season. We really miss our friends at home, and enjoy the replies we get to our blog and emails with updates from home.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
Sharon and Doug
Aboard SV About Time
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