Thursday, March 30, 2006

Staniel Cay to Georgetown

It was a lovely sail down to a one boat anchorage off a white beach near the Galliot Cut into Exuma Sound. Scott and Sean circumnavigated the island snorkeling (until they saw a shark) and exploring the high cliffs on the east side. Then we sat on the beach and watched the sun go down with drinks and snacks. The next morning early we carefully went through the cut and sailed down the sound to Georgetown. The fishing was fun but again we caught only barracuda, a fearsome looking fish and unedible in this area due to cigatera contamination.
Conch Cut into Elizabeth Bay was easy and calm and the sail down Stocking Island pretty with over a hundred boats anchored all along the beaches for miles. The channel into Georgetown harbor was very shallow and no one seemed to know anything at the Marina. They didn't even know it was high tide (it was). We went aground just off the docks and after a very scary fifteen minutes managed to get off and find someone to point out a way into a slip. There were only inches below us, if that, at low tide. Still it was very helpful to get water, groceries and settle Sean's
flight. We found a travel agent to help us and discovered he couldn't leave the next morning as planned, the timing was too short. This was very disappointing and meant he had to leave in just a couple of hours and spend the night in Nassau. The agent made reservations at a motel that Sean later reported was his first experience seeing cockroaches where he was about to sleep. They didn't wake him in the morning as requested but luckily the cab driver whom Sean had befriended the night before came up to his room and woke him up (at 5:30 in the .morning).
We left the marina at high tide the next day and anchored off Volley Ball Beach. There are many volley ball courts there and at least one was in constant use. A small beach bar, Chat and Chill, and a conch stand round off the facilities. Many hiking trails wind all over the island and there are only a few small homes and one brand new tiny hotel. The beaches on the east side have breakers crashing on them and coral reefs off shore while the beaches on the west side are quiet - all are dazzling white and the water every shade of blues and green. We hiked up and down the hills in between - cruisers have placed benches facing lovely views and the vegetation in between is cool and restful out of the sun