Journey to George Town

Ever since we decided to spend the winter in the Bahamas, we have heard about George Town as a destination for sailors, and the legend of George Town as a kind of mecca seemed to take on some almost mythical qualities. Well, now we were going to check it out for ourselves.

We were up early on the 29th at Oven Rock after a rolly night and little sleep, and we held our breath and prayed as we attempted to get the dinghy motor up onto Oestara before raising anchor. (We tow the dinghy itself on a line behind us when we’re underway, but the motor comes off and goes onto a block at the back of Oestara.) Typically it’s no big deal; Patrick gets in the dinghy, pulls off the motor, and hands it up to me on Oestara as I am standing next to the lifeline gate where the dinghy is tied alongside. This morning, though, the wavy sea state meant that the boat and the dinghy were bouncing around pretty dramatically, and not at the same time, so the timing of the handoff would be harder to pull off. We managed to make it work without too much cursing, and got busy readying Oestara to leave the anchorage.

We went up on reef one and sailed over to Galliot Cut, where we would exit the bank side of the Exumas out into the Sound, with 3 Lil Birds and Pelican following behind us. Coming out of the cut was not too bad; we timed it pretty well with the tide almost slack versus coming in against us.

Once into the Sound we had some big swells off our aft port quarter as we turned south toward George Town. We settled in, sailing downwind at 120 apparent, and with the waves, our speed was all over the place from 6s to 9s. It wasn’t a bad sea state, just a bit pushy on occasion.

As we worked our way down the Sound side of the Exuma Cays, we passed a group of catamarans sailing with jibs only, and scratched our heads a bit at that choice. It looked like they were just wallowing in the waves. Of course, we don’t know what they were dealing with on board, but adding a mainsail might have gone a long way to helping them keep good forward momentum and more stable motion!

We arrived around 3 pm at George Town, and picked up a mooring just off Sand Dollar Beach, passing friends Starry Horizons and Ragged Dragon at anchor off Monument Beach, and Lucky and Pyrat Soul II in a mooring field a little further northwest. 3 Lil Birds was moored right next to us, and Pelican decided to anchor at Monument when he arrived a little while later.

After sailing most of the day, it was naps and relaxation on the mooring for the remainder of our daylight hours (and not much remained! Sunset was around 5:25 that night…but every day it’s a minute later or so, now that we are past the winter solstice).

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