Georgetown to Long Island 2010

Date: 25 April 2010

Time has really gone by quickly the last month. Since the last email I sent from Black Point, Bahamas we have visited George Town and Long Island. Once again this email is quite long …. internet isn’t easy to come by. When it’s available it’s very slow.

George Town:

This place is a cruisers paradise. Off of the top of my head I can think of about ten boats that had children the same age as Corwin and Chantelle. This is more boats than we have met in our two and a half years of cruising. In fact one of the boats named Brydal Anchor had a girl named Chantelle that was the same age as our Chantelle. Yes, their names are spelled the same way!

While we were there we met up with three other boats from Jekyll Island, GA. Corwin and Chantelle enjoyed being with Paul and Nicole on the boat Passages. Philip and I enjoyed visiting with their parents Boyd and Faith.

The two other boats are Hook (with Parents Steve and Kirsten, and their kids Emma and Madeline) and Las Sirenas (with Parents Scott and Esme and kids Haley and Alana.)

The anchorage we stayed at in George Town was off of Stocking Island. It’s named Hamburger Beach after a restaurant. There are two docks here where we were able to tie up our dinghy. Once on land my children discovered swings on the beach and wonderful sand to play in. The water has finally warmed up enough that the kids don’t need their wet suits to swim in the water. They also found an area on the beach that was made up of clay. Wonderful pots and other things were made. We attended two art classes given by a boat named Avalon. We made Chinese lanterns and did Origami.

A beautiful Monument stands on top of Stocking Island. We made the hike and took some pictures of our boat in the anchorage and the surrounding area.

On the Atlantic side of Stocking Island there is a wonderful lagoon. At high tide the water pours over a very small rocky cliff creating water falls. The water becomes very frothy.

A short dinghy ride from Hamburger Beach is Volley Ball Beach. Yes, the adults play volley ball here every day at 2:30. They also play Dominoes. We went and enjoyed another set of swings, and a good climbing tree.

While we were there we were able to hand feed some sting rays. They feel like rubber and when they eat it’s a weird suctioning feeling.

In the beginning going to George Town itself was an adventure. When we first arrived the wind was blowing from the South East at 20 knots. This made for a very wet, sloppy three mile dingy ride. The first trip we made Chantelle said “I am never going back to George Town.” Thankfully the weather improved and all of our other trips were much more comfortable. I’m very thankful that we upgraded our 9.9 horsepower motor to a 20 horsepower motor. It makes for faster trips. I became spoiled here as they have a drop off laundry service. My dirty clothes came back clean, neatly folded and placed in a plastic bag.

In their spare time my kids always enjoyed swimming in the ocean.

We were lucky to be in George Town during their Family Island Regatta. It’s the Bahama national sail boat race. We enjoyed watching the long sleek boats with very large mainsails race against each other. We also had a chance to eat local food. Fried plantains are the best!

Right before we left we attended a pot luck with all of the other boats with kids. It was a busy night filled with lots of kids.

Long Island

Currently this is where we are. It’s a nice place to be to slow down after being at George Town. The grocery store is not only less expensive than George Town, but better stocked. Corwin says that “It’s a very small version of Wall Mart.” The first full day here we took our snorkeling stuff and swam on some reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean swells made Chantelle and I sea sick!

Everything is very spread out here. In George Town you could walk to everything that your need. (Bank, etc.) Here you need a car. So that’s what we did the third day here. We rented a car for two days. It was expensive but well worth it. We are anchored near the middle of the island. The island is 70 miles long and has a narrow one lane road. They drive on the left side of the road and our car had a steering wheel on the right hand side of the car.

The first day we drove South until the road ended. On the way we visited Dean’s Blue Hole. At over 600 feet deep it is the deepest one in the world. A blue hole is an underwater cave entrance.

All around this hole the water is shallow. At low tide the water is about 2 or 3 feet deep. My kids went out in the shallows and found sand dollars (the first ones we have ever found in the Bahamas) and awesome sea shells. At the edge of the blue hole schools of fish swim. We also saw a sting ray.

Just last week they had a competition to see who could dive the deepest. So when we arrived at Dean’s Blue Hole we were met by ESPN interviewing the diver who won the contest. Needless to say we had to be very QUIET!

While at the blue hole we also saw a Mermaid!! Actually it was a beautiful girl with an amazing mermaid tail. It took her 7 months to build it. It was complicated for her to put the tail on. She’s involved with promoting the idea of swim lessons for Bahamian children. She told us that 80% of Bahamians don’t know how to swim and that drownings are common. She said that she was going to be in an ABC special sometime in the end of May (May 19) or beginning of June (June 1). I was also told that she was going to be in a 20/20 show. Her web site is Mermaidsinmotion.com.

The second day we went back to Dean’s Blue Hole. Since nobody was there we could be noisy! Also there were more fish out. Next we traveled to the North end of the island. On our way North we stopped to look at the oldest church on Long Island, St. Mary’s. Yes, we met the ESPN crew again. So we were once again QUIET.

Once North we saw the Christopher Columbus monument. Long Island is one of four islands that lay claim to being the spot where he landed. This was one of our more adventurous outings. The road was a one lane, rocky dirt road. Our car hit the bottom two or three scary times. This was a remote road and it would have been a long, hot hike out if the car would have broken down. The view from the monument made the trip worth it. If we would have had the car another day, we would have come here again to snorkel.

Our next stop was the ruins of Adderley’s Plantation. It was one of the original settlements on the island. We learned some of the island history and also learned about the uses for various native plants.

May third is Corwin and Chantelle’s birthday. They are now 11 years old. For their birthday they want us to take them to the marina. At the marina they want us to pay for REAL hot showers (they haven’t had a hot shower for over two months), swimming in the fresh water pool and using the internet. I guess they miss civilization!