On Holiday in the Exumas - Page 2

15 March 2019   Elizabeth Island to Georgetown, Exumas
After breakfast, we motored over to anchor off Georgetown.   It was scarily shallow and, at one point, we touched the bottom causing me to quickly reverse off.  We gave up trying to get close to the shore and anchored at 23 30.59N 075 45.59W in 3 metres depth on fabulous white sand.  We’re about ½ mile from town, but that’s much closer than anchoring at Stocking Island.

Lunch at Peace & Plenty

We took the dinghy ashore and went for a walk around Georgetown, basically circling around the lagoon.  After visiting the tourist souvenir market, we went to Peace & Plenty hotel for lunch.  It was expensive at $25US per head for sandwiches and a soft drink, but the food was very good and we were in a lovely location looking out across the emerald water towards Stocking Island.

The afternoon was spent chilling out and packing suitcases.  Craig brought an extra bag, so we filled that and another cargo bag with stuff that we no longer need on the boat.  He’ll be storing it in his loft alongside the 15 boxes that we already store there.

At 17:00, I took Craig and Kristen ashore in the blustery conditions to catch a taxi.  We managed to stay dry for most of the way, but unfortunately, as we approached the channel into the lagoon, a big wave caught us from behind, tipped us nose down, causing our heavily loaded dinghy to plunge into a wave, which sloshed over the front of the dinghy.  We’d put the luggage into bin liners, but some of their bags were a bit wet.

Back at the boat, Glenys and I remained in the exposed anchorage overnight, which was okay.

16 March 2019   Georgetown to Monument Beach, Exumas
Having guests for a week had severely depleted our provisions, so we went ashore to do some shopping and dropped off a big bag of laundry, which I was able to pick up a few hours later.  Later in the afternoon, we motored over to Stocking Island and anchored at 23°31.54N 075°45.90W off Monument Beach amongst 50 other boats.  It’s a well-protected anchorage, but we’re not used to being in the middle of so many boats. 

17 March 2019   Monument Beach to Elizabeth Island, Exumas
We had a very quiet night, but the anchorage is far too crowded for us, so we upped anchor and moved down to Elizabeth Island again.  The anchorage is a little more exposed and a bit bouncy, but there are only two other boats here.

Another Bahamian Sunset

Time is marching on and we want to head off to the East Coast of the USA soon, but the weather isn’t playing ball.  There’s a front coming through on the 20th, which will send the wind around the clock with at least 24 hours of westerly winds.  We don’t want to be in any of the anchorages further north because they are totally unprotected from that direction, so it looks like we’ll be stuck here until Thursday, 21st and even then, we might be motoring into north winds to get moving. 

We sent most of the morning looking at alternative routes to get to Florida.  Our original intention was to sail to Cape Canaveral, but it looks like the canal leading to the Intracoastal Waterway has shoaled to less than 5 feet and we won’t be able to get through.  Another option is West Palm Beach, which is one of the closer ports and has a customs office in the port, but we’d be a lot further south and have an extra 2-3 days of motoring up the boring Intracoastal Waterway.

After a lot of debate, we’ve decided to make our landfall at the Ponce de Leon Inlet.  It’s not a big ship port, but the channel looks to be fairly well marked and isn’t too shallow.  Customs and Immigration are at Daytona Beach airport, which is about 12 miles away, so we’ll have to sort out the logistics of getting there to clear in.  We have a friend, Tony Uragello, who lives in the area, so we might be able to impose on him.

So, our plan is to leave here in a few days’ time, stopping at three anchorages along the Exumas.  We’ll leave the Exumas at Highbourne Cay and have a 32 mile passage across the shallow White Bank, for which we need good weather and good light.  Once we get into the Tongue of the Ocean, we can either stop for the night at the west end of New Providence Island or carry on a further 320 miles to Ponce de Leon Inlet, which will be two nights at sea.  Hopefully, we’ll be in Florida by the end of March.