The Search For Bright Waters

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Our End Destination: George Town

We arrived in George Town a week before the Bahamas Family Island Regatta which gave us time to get used to the busy city.

George Town is the destination of a lot of seasonal cruisers.  They all know each other and come back year after year.  The local dinghy dock is basically a parking lot.

We also met up with a lot of cruisers we have met along our journey.  Joseph and Ruth and their dog Kiwi were familiar faces.  We first met Joseph when we ran aground together outside of Fernandina Beach, FL.  We then saw him again in Miami, Nassau, and Staniel Cay.  Kiwi and Nala finally got to meet as well.

We finally met up with another blogger Matt and Kristie aboard Kaleo,

We got to see our cruising expert friends George and Janice aboard Calamus.  And we saw Celtic Rover who we got snowed in with back in North Carolina!  It was a fun reunion to enjoy the wonderful town with fellow cruisers.  We also made some new friends Art and Brenda aboard Zippidy Doo Daa, and Shawn aboard Manna.  Shawn hailed looking for guitar strings which I had extra of and he gave me an electric tuner in exchange!

We have a reasonably priced grocery store here.  New shops and restaurants to hang out at and we do plenty of relaxing.  We have been reading almost full time.  Christine must have passed the 100 book mark since we left and I just finished the whole bible. Sadly Christine's Nook broke so she has to have a cheapo version sent here. Cheapo version because import duty is 40%.

We love finding small empty beaches to call our own.

George Town island cat

We learned a new form of music, Rake n Scrape!  It involves using a broom with a string attached as the bass and a saw to make the scraping noise.  They get down!

The regatta was a big festival and everyone was partying!

We got to try essential island dishes like Sheep Tongue Souse (soup)

But the most important part of the regatta was the races!  They have three classes, C (17ft), B (21ft), and A (28ft).  The A class boats win a big prize and are eternalized among the greats.  This is the 58th annual regatta. Some boats have won multiply years and are fan favorites.

We walked down to the docks and met with a C class skipper.  Mr Moxey here just built this boat (Revelation 3:19) and was racing it for the first time.  We cheered for him out there but he came in last :(

We could see the races from our boat and at some points the boats would sail through our anchorage, right by our boat!  During the course the boats have to tack upwind, then sail fast across the wind, and lastly sail down wind.  They do three laps.  Some of the races were boring because one boat took a quick lead and held it, while other races were really exciting with boats passing each other, colliding, and even some fighting photo finishes at the end.

Although we could see the races from our boat we liked to watch them from the local "wall" which was where all the locals watched and it got real wild with shouting and cheering.  There were 13 races including a kids race.

My favorite and a local favorite was Red Stripe.  They won the first race and third in the second race.  The third race tonight will decide the over all winner. GO Red Stripe!

Update: Tida Wave won the 2nd and 3rd races and took the overall crown for a record 15 times over 58 years.  That is one fast boat!

Heres Red Stripe, maybe next year.

Today is the last day of the regatta and we are gonna watch some local competitions including onion peeling, conch cracking and greasy pole climbing!

The finale was a high school marching band and then the Police Force marching band.  They were both very good and entertaining

Monday, April 18, 2011

Staniel Cay and the Big Major Pigs

We loved Staniel Cay!  

Our anchorage was calm.  We arrived to a FULL rainbow from Club Thunderball to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club

The town was very pretty with a few restaurants and grocery stores.  

The lady in the yellow house sells fresh bread.  The pink and blue houses were small grocery stores.

We even found a tennis court to get some fun exercise.

And then the moment we had been waiting for.... The Big Majors Pigs!

We loved these fat ole wild pigs, especially the baby pig.  When we dingied close to shore they swam out to us and we threw them bread.  Then we went ashore and fed the baby pig.  When we ran out of food it started squealing like a big baby, we felt bad.  Then it would follow us around.  When we pet him he would roll over on his side, very cute for a pig.

The three other adult pigs were SO fat.  We heard that they would try to get in our dinghy so we kept an eye on the one fatty that was standing next to our dinghy the whole time.  He would sink that inflatable so fast.  Luckily he just observed.

We claimed an empty beach and had fun exploring.

We went to the infamous Thunderball Grotto from the James Bond movie Thunderball.  Unfortunately our underwater camera broke so we will have to take pics on the way back.  We definitely want to spend more time here on our way home.

It was really neat and we were surrounded by colorful fish.  Once we swam under the rocks it opens up into a beautiful cave with the sunlight shining through.  From there we fed the fish old bread and watched the frenzy. We will get pics next time.

We left Friday and anchored by Normans Pond Cay and then Saturday we arrived at George Town.  Turns out the Reggata is next week from the 26th - 30th.  So we made it to our ultimate destination goal and will continue to enjoy the scenery :)