Week 15: George Town, Exumas

A slim new moon hangs above a nearby anchor light as I write. Vinyasa is rocking in the trade winds, and sounds resonate in the early morning darkness: the whistle of the wind, the lilt of water flowing along her hull, the twang of a halyard.

A few hours of chores await as do the small, teeming reefs near the boat in our anchorage off Elizabeth Island, beckoning us to slip into the water to admire their colorful denizens.

We moved to this comparatively secluded George Town anchorage after spending a few nights anchored in the bustle just south of Volleyball beach, where twice Allan needed to call out to boats dropping their hooks too close for comfort to please leave more space between our vessels for safety’s sake.

Yoga class by Margaret of SV Loca Lola on Volleyball beach.

We arrived in George Town on Saturday, and by far it is the most densely populated collection of anchorages we’ve been in, with more than 300 vessels sprinkled across the harbor. It took three tries to find a spot where we felt comfortable with our anchor’s swing radius, finally settling in just south of Volleyball Beach.

We left Big Majors on Valentines Day, aiming for George Town and soon realized we would not make it before dark given the sea state and wind direction, so we made a right turn out of the Exuma Sound through Dotham Cut to collect ourselves at Black Point, where we had previously anchored. After a bit of lunch and a quick paddle on the SUP to drop off trash – a mundane experience enhanced by an eagle ray swimming around the dinghy dock and two nurse sharks crossing in an X beneath the SUP – we decided to motorsail south to Galliot Cay to improve our chances of making it to George Town during daylight the next day.

Going through cuts still keeps us on high alert. The current was ripping as we passed through Galliot Cay at slack tide.
Sunset view from Volleyball Beach anchorage.

On Sunday we dinghied over to the Chat n Chill for plates of their weekly pork roast. Our modest expectations were exceeded: the food was really good!

The conch bar at Chat n Chill.
After lunch contentment on the beach in front of Chat n Chill.

The morning Cruisers Net on VHF channel 72 provides the 411 about activities such as aqua aerobics, yoga, Texas hold ‘em as well as practical, mechanical sessions and when or where to procure propane or dispose of trash.

The narrow dinghy entrance to Lake Victoria, where cruisers can buy groceries and other necessities.
Only small boats and dinghies can make it under the low bridge into Lake Victoria.

George Town has a reputation for being a “sticky” anchorage. Some cruisers spend the season in George Town, returning year after year from the U.S. or Canada. We intend to linger for a few more days, and then make our way to Thompson Bay, Long Island. More about that next week.