Georgetown on Great Exuma Island marked a milestone for me. It is a common place for people headed south to either stop and hunker down for hurricane season or to turn around and head back to North America. It also marks the last island of the Bahamas with a population of more than a few thousand (most cases a few hundred -if that). My dad surprised us mid-trip and carefully coordinated timing to fly into Georgetown to meet us. He had a flight out of Long Island a few days later. We stocked up on provisions in Georgetown and headed south towards Long Island. We decided to take the west side of Long Island south in order to leave him at the airport a little less than midway. The west side requires you to go offshore quite a ways because it is so shallow and the coastline is unsurveyed for most of the coast.
It was rough seas most of the way down. About midway south there is a small cay called Sandy Cay, in the middle of nowhere, that we attempted to go into to anchor. I knew it would be close getting into the channel but my heart skipped a beat when I felt her touch the sandy ground. I threw her into reverse and aborted that mission. We hadn’t seen another boat out navigating since we left Georgetown and knew help would not be near if needed. That meant we had another 6-7 hours of a beat down in rough seas to get to the southwest tip of Long Island. Once we finally arrived after a 12hr beating journey, it was an eerie (and rolling) anchorage with two ships wrecked close to shore and breakers all around. We went to the beautiful beach ashore to get off the boat during the daylight but we were ready to haul anchor in the middle of the night. We left at 4am, it was our first official night sail and we were scared to death leaving that anchorage in the pitch black of night. It was 100% navigation by GPS because there was no moon. Tomas and I both had adrenaline pumping getting out of there and heading out into the open waters off the southern tip of Long Island.
They say that the Out Islands of the Bahamas have some of the nicest people found in the Bahamas. We concur with that. Some of the most helpful and friendly people that we have met thus far were from the Out Islands. Tomas managed to hitch a ride (barefoot) to negotiate the purchase of some (very expensive) beer from the backdoor of a closed bar during voting (no alcohol is sold). We had a few very expensive beers and had some real talk about life aboard so far. The heat, the head odors, OH and the maggots!
And we made our way from Long Island to Crooked island and then down to Mayaguana, the last island of the Bahamas, and about 200 miles from Georgetown.
Onward south bound!