Mar 22, 2017

Old DockReport from beautiful George Town

After ten weeks in George Town, aka Adult Summer Camp, we have left the harbour and started north. George Town is the place to be in the winter if you want temperatures in the mid to high 70's, a place to provision, good anchorages and plenty of activities to keep you occupied. There is an amazing sense of community in the harbour that you realize after you have been there a short time.

Adamant 1 - Blog 10 - 3 TurtlesThe mornings start early: 6:30 am is when Chris Parker will give the weather report for the Bahamas on the ham radio network. Then at 8 am there is a cruisers' net on channel 72. [I should mention that the hailing channel in George Town is channel 68, channel 16 is used by the local businesses.] The net is a controlled net meaning there is a person who manages the traffic and the schedule. He will give the tides and weather, call out for anyone who needs information or help, then a “buy, sell or trade” section, then new arrivals and departures. It is fun to listen to and if there is anything you need help with, you just put out the word and wait for the responses on channel 68 when the net is over. One fellow asked for help to get his jammed roller furling main fixed. Immediately seven dinghies converged on his boat. One unfortunate family hit a reef on their way into the harbour and broke their rudder. A fleet of dinghies went over to help tow him in and get him anchored. Then he had all the help he needed to rebuild his rudder, with donations of time, cloth, epoxy, paint and a number of guys to help reinstall the new one. You can never repay that kind of help, and instead you will pay it forward. He ended up being the photographer for a friend's wedding on the beach.

Sandy BeachIn the mornings, you can choose to do yoga or water aerobics. Pat and I chose water aerobics. I will admit that there were some mornings when I reluctantly got into my wetsuit, as the thought of getting wet at that hour wasn't appealing to me! But we really enjoyed the classes and faithfully attended most mornings. After exercise class you can choose to attend painting lessons on the beach, where you can learn to paint inside a coconut shell. You can also learn to weave baskets, though those classes are hit and miss. After lunch you can go back to the beach to play Mexican Train, Rummy Cube, volleyball, bocce ball, or just laze in the sun. Sunday mornings there is Beach Church with a fellowship hour after.

ArchitectureAfternoons are when the dinghy sailors, paddle boarders, and snorkelers come out. If you don't have a piece of equipment, there are places to rent them, and instructors and guides if you need them. At least twice a week there is a dance somewhere in the harbour, alternating between great dance music and the local “rake and scrape” which to my untrained ear is awful! Really, really awful!!! But, some people like it as the bars are usually full of cruisers on “rake and scrape” nights.... or maybe they just need a few drinks in them in order to like that music!

BayOn the daily routine side are the laundry and shopping days. George Town has two Canadian banks, Scotiabank and Royal Bank. There is one grocery store, about 2,500 square feet in size, a laundromat, a liquor store, and numerous restaurants/bars and gift shops. You need to time getting to the grocery store so that you get there within a couple hours of the supply ship coming in. Most days they are out of bread and veggies. We have learned to freeze extra loaves of bread and resort to canned veggies. Just outside of town there is a butcher shop, a building center, a Napa store and a pharmacy if you are willing to pay $30 for a taxi to get to them, or you can just hitch-hike, which is what the guys did.

Big BoatsThe anchorages in Elizabeth Harbour are on the west side of Stocking Island, about two miles from George Town. Depending on the day, it can be a pleasant ride into town, or a wet one. Most often it's a wet one! The wind is generally from the east so going over is usually not bad. Coming back over to the anchorage is another story. I rate our trips to town by how many eggs made it back to the boat without breaking! There is a small round lake called Lake Victoria right in the center of town. It can be reached by going under a stone bridge, just wide enough for one dinghy at a time. If the wind and tide are opposing, getting back into the main harbour is a very wet ride! At all times, clean laundry and groceries are covered with tarps or garbage bags in an attempt to get them back on board the mother ship reasonably dry. Adamant 1 doesn't have a water maker, so when we start running low on water [we use about 100 gallons every 3 weeks and we have 200 gallons capacity on board], we will take Adamant into the only marina in the harbour to fill up. They charge $.40 a gallon, which is not a bad price considering they have to make that water on the island.

Blue WatersOne thing that has greatly improved since our last trip here in 2008-2010 – communications. I invested in a Bahamian phone and put a data plan on it. Getting all that done is a blog in itself. Sufficient to say it was a learning experience for me and the Bahamians. For instance - they sell a 7GB per month plan, but have no way to upload it to your phone. I tried, they tried, they called Nassau, they tried! You have to upload 4 GB and when that runs out you can then upload 3 GB. If you try to do both the same day, you cancel out the first one you did. I learned that the very hard way! But the data plan gives us the ability to call home using Facebook messenger or Skype. The only time we could do that on our first trip was in a marina, which we rarely went to. There have been only a few times that we were out of range of a Batelco tower, which was not a big deal.

Triad CrewThis year was the 37th year for the George Town Cruisers Regatta, a weeklong event held every year at the beginning of March. There are all sorts of activities planned every day and you can get involved to whatever extent you want. This year Pat and I sold regatta t-shirts one day. That was great fun as Pat hauled in every person who went by the booth and coaxed them into buying something. He also crewed for Triad, a super light and super fast trimaran for the in-harbour race and the round-the-island race. They lost the first race by mere seconds on corrected time, but came first in their class and first overall in the round-the-island race, coming in a full 59 minutes before the next boat in their class. The race committee had set up boats all around the course and on board were the reporters on the vhf radio. Listening to the relay of comments was a hoot. The reporters were so full of one liners and jokes; it was an event of its own! There was also a talent show, which was awesome. There are a lot of talented cruisers around.

Adamant1 MarchAs for the weather here, you pay for what you get! There is a pattern of 4-5 days of lovely temperatures, light trade winds and lots of sunshine. Then there are 3-4 days of high winds, maybe the odd squall. Three times we had winds up to 30 knots for 3 days straight. And though the winds are well forecasted, inevitably, as soon as they blow in, there are those who start to drag, mostly because where they were anchored, the sand below wasn't deep enough to dig in properly. Here is where the cruisers helping cruisers come in. There are always well anchored boats whose skippers will run out in their dinghies to help the ones in need. Most times, the ones who dragged will relocate to the center of the harbour and ride out the storm there. They will bounce around a lot, but at least there is good holding there. Storms like that are unnerving, as you never know if your anchor will let go, sending you through the fleet.

During the last blow, there were over 300 boats anchored in a three mile long stretch of beach. That's a lot of boats swinging about. Add to that three or four 200' yachts and you get an idea of the chaos that ensues. I have spent more than my share of nights dozing in the cockpit, scanning the area every 10 minutes or so to make sure we are still holding. I may be getting too old for this as it takes me two days to get over those nights!

LynnWell, it has been a great ten weeks and we will be back next year for more of the same. We spent a lot of time reading, Pat has taken up his acrylic paints again and I do cross-stitch. A truly wonderful way to spend a winter. We are now making our way up chain in the Exumas, heading for Eleuthera Island then the Abacos. Until next time..........

Longtime CY staffer Lynn Lortie and her husband Pat left Midland this summer to make their way into the Great Loop and head out on a three year sailing odyssey. Follow their progress right here in CYOB

 

 

 

Destinations

  • Prev
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) invites all sailors to join a cruising rally from the ...
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...
We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp ...
After much speculation Prince Harry finally popped the question to American actress and longtime ...

 Killarney

KillarneyStory and Photos by: Jennifer Harker

We’re aboard Attigouatan, a Pursuit 2260 that normally lives life as a friend’s cottage boat, running back and forth from dock to dock. This will be her longest run in four years, travelling the approximately 120 kilometres (80 miles) northwest from Parry Sound to Killarney, threading our way through the northern reaches of the stunning 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay’s eastern shoreline.

Her name evokes an early indigenous name for Lake Huron – Spirit Lake. 

Read more about Killarney....

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...
Jeanneau’s newest NC model is the NC 33, and it’s an exciting and innovative inboard cruiser ...
The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

 

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440By Zuzana Prochazka

There are few things more satisfying than watching someone thumb their nose at tradition and introduce something revolutionary that kicks convention to the curb. French designer, Philippe Briand, has done just that for Jenneau’s new line of Sun Odyssey family cruisers. By starting with a clean sheet, Briand re-thought how we move about on deck and below, and the results on the Jeanneau 440 are game changing.

Jeanneau unveiled the first hull of their 440 in Annapolis with dramatic flair. On command, the plastic that sheathed half the boat...

Read more about the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440....

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
CYOB readers often ask questions about their boats and system. For this issue, I’ve answered a ...
Modern marine engines run at very high temperatures and rely on a few methods to keep their ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
In the early spring, just after launch, with the hustle and bustle of engine checks, antifouling, ...
All engines, including marine engines (inboards, outboards and stern drives) have many moving parts ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
I once heard an argument at a yacht club. Two old salts, patiently itching to let go lines and ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.
The 2018 Northwest Boat Travel Guide just arrived. This time of the year is the perfect time for ...
We are all looking to gain a little more time these days, and technology is often the route we ...
While they are no longer a part of the CPS Flare Program, Fogh Boat Supplies and Fogh Marine, both ...
We have all had the experience of heading down below on a nice boat only to encounter an unpleasant ...