Friends & the Family Regatta

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Kidd's Cove, Georgetown, Bahamas

It’s time to put your hands up in the air like you just don’t care, even if Lorde is kind of over being told to do it, because we have made it to Georgetown! On Easter Sunday (looks like we did definitely miss out on celebrating that on Long Island), we fueled up in Nassau and made the run over to the Exumas. Starting out fairly early, we had our butts handed to us by about nine other sailors that passed us along the way. Who knows if they were motor-sailing or were just plain better sailors, but on our downwind course, we were the last to arrive. Which meant the spot we were hoping to tuck into in Allen’s Cay was full and we were forced to drop in front of the beaches at Highbourne. Not a big deal unless the winds were coming out of the west. Which they were. And probably why every boat before us hightailed it into Allen’s where there’s protection from the west. Oh, that and to see those cute but ferocious looking iguanas that roam the island. So we were left to spend the night pinned against a lee shore, bouncing and bobbing between all the mega yachts that surrounded us, dead still themselves, and had kind of a horrible night at anchor. We joked for a little bit that we should have dropped anchor directly behind one of them, letting the mamouth structure block us from the wind.

With winds shifting to the NW the next morning, we took our cue in the early afternoon with slack tide and made a run out of the cut there and to the Exuma Sound. The goal was to travel overnight and make to Georgetown at first light, getting in just in time for the start of the Family Island Regatta. The sail was very comfortable, especially after the night we’d just had while not even moving, and for the first time probably ever, I was happy to be on passage rather than at anchor. Trying out some new cords that Matt had bought for our chart plotter back in Florida, we turned it into our own little movie theater for a couple of hours, connecting it to our hard drive and watching episodes of Entourage while clocking our heads around every 10 minutes to make sure there was no other boat traffic. Coolest.Thing.Ever.

Even though we originally thought we’d have to slow ourselves down for the 85 mile journey so we wouldn’t be arriving in the dark, our speed slowed down sometime during the midnight hours and decided to stay there. Instead of an 8 am arrival to the Conch Cut, it didn’t happen until 11. One hour and paying meticulous attention to the entry waypoints later, we scouted all the anchorages with our binoculars and found our friends Kim and Scott on s/v Anthyllide in Kidd’s Cove and put our anchor down just a few hundred feet from them. These people are the whole reason we’re down here in Georgetown, and the reason we’re saving the rest of the Exumas until our way back up. Kim and Scott were literally the first young cruisers we met on our journey, way back in Cape May, NJ, just five weeks into our trip. They were the ones who introduced us to Brian and Stephanie on s/v Rode Trip, and together, our three boats made a little armada on and off down the Eastern Seaboard, picking up just one more batch of young cruisers on our way (shout out to Ryan and Tasha of s/v Hideaway!).

Once we had gotten stuck in St. Augustine though, Kim and Scott were holding a faster course than we were able to catch up with and we hadn’t seen them since. When we found out they’d be in the Bahamas at the same time as us, and in a location we could reasonably get ourselves to in the time allotted, there was no way we were going to turn down that opportunity. After cleaning up the ‘Dip and understandably passing out for a few hours, as we always do when settling in after an overnight passage, we watched their boat and at the first signs of life aboard, went on deck waving our arms and shouting out to them. It turns out they had actually spotted us and were leaving to come over and say hi. Welcoming them aboard with huge hugs, there were so many stories to dive into between our 16 months apart. We’d just been cruising babies the last time we’d all seen each other, not having experienced anything other than the ICW and a little bit of Atlantic passaging. This time we had stories up the wazoo, a lot of them involving places Kim and Scott had already been to. Who do you think informed Brian and Stephanie about the Rio Dulce who then informed us? Funny how things work out.

entering Elizabeth Harbor

sailboats in Elizabeth Harbor

Cracking open a box of our finest Chillable Sweet Red Wine, we sat in the cockpit and swapped stories until we realized it was way after dinner time and none of us barely had a bit to eat all day. That was ok though, because after dinner were the beginning of the festivities in town to celebrate the regatta. Each night beginning around 7 or 8, locals and cruisers will raid the streets of Georgetown where there are strings of booths set up offering Kaliks, conch salad, and conch fritters. How were we to turn that down? Best of all, it was also going to be a chance to meet up with new friends Drena and JR of s/v Journey. Drena and I knew of each other through the blogging community and would occasionally send messages back and forth to each other and Like different things on each other’s Facebook pages.

It ended up being a much more quiet night in town according to Kim and Scott who and been in the previous night.  We still had a great time though, drinking 3 for $5 cans of Ass Bush Crack and eating 6 for $1 conch bread fritters.  Drena and JR showed up just a little bit after we got there, and it was really fun meeting not only more young cruisers, but someone who’s been following our adventure.  Then Kim introduced us to her friend, Emil, a Bahamian from Long Island that is racing on a class-A boat, Rupert’s Legend.  What’s really funny though is when Emil first walked up he looked like any gringo cruiser that was probably from Texas or something, and then he opened his mouth and began talking in a Bahamian accent.  It was something that left you scratching your head for just a second, but then you have to keep up because you realize you’re terrible with accents and just missed half of the conversation.

It was a great welcome into Georgetown and we’re so happy to be in the company of friends again.  With races and festivities every day until the weekend, I have a feeling we’re going to be pretty pooped come Monday.  Fine with me though, I’m ready to hang out with friends and go have some fun.

ordering fritters

Jessica, Drena, & Kim

 

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