Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Chicken Harbour"

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas
23 30.7N 75 44.6W

We are safely anchored in George Town at the southern end of the Exumas chain of islands. We have really enjoyed the Exumas, clear water, great fishing and white sand, plus we have been lucky with the weather and not had too many cold fronts sweeping down from the States so it has been warm and sunny and we have been able to find sheltered anchorages easily despite the 7'6" keel.

George Town is very different from the uninhabited Cays of the rest of the chain. With a great natural harbour, superb beaches and a small town, with by Bahamian standards good shops, it is the final destination for many cruisers. Many boats spend 4 months here playing volleyball on the beach, socialising etc and then returning north once the snow has melted to resume land based life. Others spend weeks here agonising about going further but never do - hence the moniker "Chicken Harbour" and hopefully we are part of the other group of cruisers, the ones that use it as a staging post prior to the big trip to the Virgin Islands.

At the moment there are well over 100 boats here, and by April that will have swelled to 300-400 boats, thankfully we will be gone by then! That said we are enjoying socialising with lots of boats we met earlier on in the islands and even in the USA earlier in the year, and it certainly beats renting a condo in Florida for winter like many other Americans and Canadians do.

I have said for a long time that Linda and I should live somewhere where they speak French so I can finally get fluent, the trouble is Canada is cold, so we have never done it. We have now found the place, the Bahamas! - about 40% of the boats are from Quebec so for the last 2 months I have spoken more French than English!

We hope to set off this week bound for the Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic and then on to Puerto Rico, it's about 1,000 miles of sailing and sadly nearly all upwind, so there will be lots of waiting for weather before hopping on to the next place. This means we have ample excuse to sit in George Town sipping drinks with other cruisers discussing weather windows, routes and destinations, which when combined with games of volleyball, soft ball and getting the boat ready for the voyage leaves us very "busy".
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