We've spent much more time than we anticipated in George Town. I can see why it's called velcro harbor by cruisers. After spending so much time in the Exumas where there are few grocery stores (and the ones you can find have less than the local convenience store, with similar pricing) and no way to dispose of garbage. Some places will let you throw your garbage away at $5.00 per bag. Don't get me wrong, we loved the Exumas, it was beyond beautiful and the people were always welcoming and friendly. So far, it was cruising like we dreamed that it would be. Then we made it to George Town.......
At times there were over 300 boats in the harbor between Great Exuma (where the town of George Town is) and Stocking Island (where the cruisers party begins and never ends). We made it to George Town in time for the cruiser's regatta. This is an absolutely amazing annual event for the cruisers. Some boats have been coming to George Town for over 30 years to participate in the regatta. Most of them come here for the regatta and return to the U.S. or Canada for the summer months. For almost two weeks there are events going on every day. Sailboat races, dinghy parades, volleyball, poker, infosessions covering everything from photography to cooking on a boat. It's crazy, I tell ya!
We enjoyed most of the regatta and when we couldn't take another minute of planned activities we moved across the harbor to the quiet and sheltered Red Shanks anchorage. Still close the the town, where we could dispose of the garbage, get internet and shop at a real live grocery store, but farther away from all the constant radio chatter and daily activities.
We enjoyed the company of most of the Texas Navy in Red Shanks and spent our days swimming, working on the boat and playing Mexican Train with the Texas Navy. Boats in the navy are:
s/v Sea Yawl Later - Rusty and Linda Sitton from Beaumont, Texas (founding members)
s/v Morning Glory - Ted and Milie Cook, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Storyville at anchor in Red Shanks
We shared so many memorable days together, playing Mexican Train, helping each other with boat projects, attending church services and happy hours and just getting to know each other. It's been really difficult to say goodbye as we start to head out in different directions.
It was especially hard to say goodbye to Steve since we have been constant companions and boat buddies for at least the last year and a half, if not more. We are planning to remain buddy boats with Pipe muh Bligh and we will all catch up with Steve when we make to to the Virgin Islands for New Years.
I am amazed that we have made so many wonderful friends that we will never forget. It sure makes it hard to say goodbye. We are planning for a mini reunion of the Texas Navy in George Town for the Family Island Regatta in late April. After that, with the exception of Pipe muh Bligh, everyone will scatter to the four winds and that will be a sad day indeed.