George Town Blues

Love it or hate it, George Town is the primary cruising stop heading south in the Exumas. Our experience has been mixed. Some call George Town ‘Chicken Harbor’ as most boats heading this far south decide to turn around and go north vs. heading to the Caribbean. We of course, are heading to the Caribbean.

Here is my ‘Love it’ and ‘Hate it’ summary.

Love it


Provisioning. We’ve found most of what we need in George Town at ‘reasonable for the Bahamas’ prices. Yes, it is more expensive than the US, but in some cases a lot less expensive than other islands down the Exuma chain.  Definitely a good place to stock up before heading south.

Central. George Town is a good location to jump off and see other islands. The best areas so far have been the Ragged Islands. We can hop down to the islands in just over a day, and be worlds away from the chaos in the harbor.

Worlds away with buddy boat s/v Sea Mysty - Ragged Islands
Kid Boats. This is a good place to meet other kids. Every day around 2pm ‘Volleyball Beach’ gets a few kids from other boats ashore – after home schooling – to play. Michael and Elizabeth have really enjoyed meeting new friends and swimming with stingrays and the occasional reef shark.
Dinner with friend aboard s/v Virage
Captain Frank and First Mate Julliane s/v Virage
Field trip with friends from George Town on secluded beach
Fishing. While not especially spectacular in George Town proper, George Town has great access to the Jumentos and Ragged Islands where the spear fishing is exceptional. In one hour a local fisherman pulled out @100lbs of lobster tails – by himself. We’ve had days aboard Field Trip where we were ‘sick’ of lobster (no violins expected…).

Successful morning of spear fishing
Three kinds of lobster in one catch. 

Hate it


Crowded. There are about 300 anchored yachts in the harbor. That is just crazy. We like this lifestyle because we can be secluded on remote islands with no one or a few boats hanging around. George Town is like living in a city of yachts.

Dinghys at Volleyball Beach
VHF Traffic. There is so much radio traffic, with boats calling other boats, that we literally leave our VHF off most of the time.

Chaos. Partly a function of being crowded, there are tons of dinghy’s zipping around. Some stopping by to knock on your hull at all hours during the day. While everyone has the best intentions to say hello, it is just over the top some days. I’ve thought about hanging a sign that reads ‘Knocking on other boat hulls, no one is home’.

Geriatric. No offense to anyone, but a lot of the people are fairly old. We’ve found boats with younger kids, and that’s been a plus. The vast majority of the people here are significantly older than our parents. You get the picture.

Some of us guys have had fun throwing the football on the beach, while dodging the occasional sand wheelchair…:-)

Throwing the football on Volleyball Beach
The boys having a beer after a long afternoon of football...

Conclusion


George Town is worth the stop. It's a must see, but only for a limited time. We can’t imagine how people spend a whole cruising season here going to Volleyball Beach every day. We will be heading south soon to the Caribbean. Bon Voyage.

Sunset with Field Trip at anchor in Jumentos Cays

Comments

  1. I enjoy reading your trips and adventures. Keep them coming its refreshing for us still in the Biz and wishing for something more!


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