as promised here is part II of my Bahamas adventures and before I dive right in, I would like to tell you something about Georgetown.
Georgetown – The hub for boaters
Georgetown as I mentioned in part I already, is the hub for boaters who want to sail down south. It is also called Velcro-Harbour :) hahahaha believe me, if you have been there, you will understand – it’s so easy to get stuck there and not sail down south :)))
When you are anchored near there, of course you need to go into town every now and then to get supplies :) boaters do eat and drink too lol.
So everybody heads into town to either go to the Exuma Market to get some groceries hahahah jar of Nutella regular size 12 Dollar !!! – lovely people though :) or to go for a lunch at one of the restaurants there.
There are various options … town café – a small café where most locals go to have their breakfast – it’s run by a family named Marshal’s and its definitely worth – try grits or have a tuna sandwich.
An option to go for lunch is Melinda’s restaurant – a tiny place in a blue building opposite the petrol station you can’t miss it if you are there – she makes an awesome BBQ chicken and is always up for a chat :) Hey sister – I miss you!
Blu Restaurant I would like to mention because of its location and amazing food too – what a view to enjoy something to eat.
Ty who runs it is a great cook. If you caught some Conch-shell like Billy a dear friend of mine did on one day for us, Ty even cooks it to your liking. Best let him make a conch salad and have an ice cold Kalik – local beer with it.
One other location pops into my mind – Eddie’s Edgewater, everybody knows the place. This place is not only good for food, but also very famous for the rake and scrape on a Monday night. Rake and scrape is a typical Bahamian music style, with drums and a saw :) yup a saw … There I met Bud playing the saw and Lee singing and drumming – OMG it’s awesome to listen to them. Of course I couldn’t resist asking Bud to show me how to play the saw :))) I failed miserably, but I had a good laugh with Bud.
Tuesday nights it’s time to go to Two Turtles Resort – a small resort in the centre of Georgetown – Karaoke Time :)))
Actually I think, every day something is going on in this community.
I stayed in the Bahamas for about 3 month and of course I was in Georgetown a couple of times running errands. Locals see your face every now and then and out of a sudden there comes a ‚hey you are still here?‘ yup and slowly but steady you get to know one or the other face. Bahamians are awesome, great hospitality and always open for a chat!
Georgetown has also a library, two or three little boutiques and a straw market where lovely ladies selling some souvenirs and handy crafts and they are also quite happy if you have the time to chat – who hasn’t in paradise, no need to rush.
That sounds like its all about eating and drinking here :))) but it isn’t – not always.
Anyway the people of Georgetown gave me an awesome feeling – if you ever get the chance to be there, just walk the streets and experience it yourself … I really hope you do get the chance, enjoy!
50 shades of blue – the adventure continuous
so many more great memories ….
Being back from my first sail along the Exuma Chain, I moved to another boat and ended up being on the catamaran owned by Jettie and Donna – 2 lovely ladies from Texas :) what a blast to stay with them.
Their boat is named Dutchess :) and by the time we were 4 ladies on board – Tenille, Jettie, Joni and I and we became the ‚Dutchess Biatches‘ aka the Honey Badgers :)
With us were also 2 dogs – Sophie and Isi, so cute… always watching out for us.
As soon as we went for a swim they were excitingly running around making sure we are safe and return back on board. They are great watch dogs too – no stranger was able to enter the boat!
On Sundays we went to Chat ‚N‘ Chill on Stocking Island – the opposite side of Georgetown and just a water taxi ride away.
bit of a weather coming in …
This place is run by Shepard and his lovely team – he always looks a bit grim, but deep in his heart he is a lovely bloke. Sunday fun-day is literally about fun – having a good Sunday-Pig-Roast to eat, playing volleyball or just hanging in the bar or on the beach with some beers, chatting to all kinds of people. A lot of local families go there to have a relaxed day with their kids on the beach. And at the conch-shack one can have freshly made conch salad too. YUM!
St. Francis Resort nearby – run by Gillian and George a lovely South-african couple is another institution :)
Gillian and I :)
On Tuesdays and Thursdays they run the local Poker tournaments.
Jettie and Donna took me there, even though I had no clue how to play.
But newcomers are always welcome and they even have cheat sheets to teach you :) hahahaha I was miserable in it – but always cheerful like a little girl when I won a hand – which was seldom the case hahahaha.
poker :) more fun with silly glasses
One day I walked through St.Francis Resort to the other side of the island – I thinks it’s the Atlantic side – rougher, but breathtakingly beautiful too.
The beach so pristine !
But the whole island group is best to see when you go for a hike starting at Monument beach
walking up to the monument, so I did … see for yourself! Isn’t it amazing?! See the 50 shades of blue?
Through Jettie I also met Vanessa – one of the toughest local ladies in Georgetown :)
She used to own a Restaurant called Redboone, but unfortunately it burned down. Now she is starting from scratch and I hope she will make her dream come true again.
We later had an awesome night out, where she took me to some local clubs … thanks darling – what an experience, missing you!
The adventures of the Dutchess Biatches
oh there were a lot of amazing stories, but a lot are x-rated :) so nothing for your eyes and ears :) … I don’t need to share EVERYTHING ! Ladies what happens on Dutchess stays there hahahahaha.
Me steering the dinghy for the first time :)
Our crew of 4 ladies and 2 female dogs headed out up north, because Jettie and Donna wanted to take the boat back to Texas and invited me to sail with them. Why not enjoy the Bahamas a bit longer and off we went toward Nassau, stopping wherever there was something to see, where we could ‚play‘ for the day … actually wherever we wanted to. One can anchor nearly everywhere. In natural reserves one needs to register with the authorities, pay a fee and that’s it.
Some of the spots I had seen already on my first sail up north, but being with the Dutchess was different.
pirates for a day :)
Two rescue missions in 50 shades of blue
You remember the piano of part I, do you ? We went there again… but this time it was different, because I needed to be saved !!!!
We tried to anchor the catamaran. Usually when done, one jumps in with fins and snorkel gear – in this case me – to check how the anchor lies and to make sure everything is safe. I mentioned already that there is quite a strong current. I was in the water to check and told the captain that the anchor doesn’t lie safely, because it was dug into grass, which isn’t a good hold, because then the boat could be dragged by the current.
Jettie and the other two ladies lifted the anchor again and tried it again at another nearby spot. I was still in the water. I think, I am a pretty good swimmer, but …. I tried to swim back to the catamaran and didn’t move a bit THAT strong the current is been. WHAT ?!
I thought f…. I can’t reach them. And by then they were already further away. Being always an optimistic person, I was sure they will search for me, they knew I am in the water after all.
Meanwhile I tried to stay calm, just enjoying the snorkeling hahahaha. And my reward swum right below me – I have no idea how you call them, but a huge leopard dotted ray passed by. He was at least 3 meter in diameter :) WOW … for a second I was distracted, held my breath because I was so amazed by it and even followed him for a bit!
Damn… now I was even further away from Dutchess – they were anchored now. In the hope they see me, I hand signaled that I was in distress. Thankfully they saw me and Jettie jumped in the Dinghy to pick me up :) An Anchor-Beer was due!
This time it’s a story about Sophie – this little cuteness of blonde fur. OMG!
Sophie likes to sit on the front right part of the catamaran, but when going through rough waters it’s quite bumpy there. She then gets scared and doesn’t move a bit. We knew about it, so while sailing out of one spot through a cut, we put her in one of the cabins just to make sure, she is safe.
Out in the open water, Jettie and I were setting the main sail, which usually takes a bit of time. Shortly before we were finished, out of a sudden Sophie is on deck, her belly a bit wet. We saw her, but needed to quickly finish setting the sail. Maybe 5 minutes later we checked on her, but she was gone, not to be found anywhere on board.
Jettie quickly jumped on the helm of the boat and checked the plotter which records our course and turned the cat around.
Now … you have to know .. it’s damn hard to find a dog in the ocean. But Sophie our little adventurer is an awesome swimmer. Jettie spotted her little head bouncing in the waves, but we were still quite a bit away from her. Getting closer, I decided to jump in and swim over to her. So I called Jettie to let her know that I am getting over board.
A couple of minutes later and I was with Sophie holding her tight in my arm while swimming back to the boat. She actually wasn’t as nervous as I thought. As I mentioned, she is a great swimmer :) Thankfully.
Back on the boat I wrapped her in towels and the Dutchess family was complete again. Even Isi our second 4 legged crew member was agitated, so she was lying with me as well. What a day !!!
We later discover that Sophie had chosen the tiny hatch in front of the cabin to escape from safety, clever girl. She was then washed off the sugar scoop – stairs at the back of the boat.
After anchoring safely at our next destination another Anchor-beer was due, actually two.
From being Mermaids
My boater friend Jill always phrased it so nicely – let’s play a bit today :)
Together we explored the islands by kayak and I enjoyed our days out soon much, always ending up with a beer on the beach somewhere! Thx my dear friend, love you loads.
Tenille, one of the Dutchess Biatches had some mermaid tails in her luggage hahahahha …
One day we were having our breakfast as she suggested: ladies .. let’s turn you in a mermaid hahahahaha and off we went to the next beach. Putting on a mermaid tail and swimming with it and of course the obligatory photo shoot – FUN, a girls dream come true!
What is the easiest way to get into a dinghy?
Have you ever been snorkeling somewhere with fins and all and then you struggled to get back into the dinghy (the little rubber boat)?
As we were snorkeling the grotto, Jettie told us about a video she had seen somewhere on the easiest way to get into the dinghy when you are in the water.
Being anchored, dancing to 80ies music, having fun, we thought come on lets try it. Unfortunately for you, we were skinny dipping at the time, so there wont be any footage to proof it works but…. next time you have the chance, try it.
Here is how it works: turn your back toward the dinghy, grab the handles with both your hands, one right one left, then dip your head backwards in the water and flip your feet up and pull. You wont believe how quickly you will be in the boat hahahahaha. it’s actually pretty awesome! I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about it!
Waderick Wells Cay – 50 shades of blue? or more?
Waderick Wells Cay is the headquarters of the land and sea park. It’s one of the most beautiful anchorages I have seen.
But it’s a challenging one too, because you need to fix the boats on a mooring ball.
Mooring buoys are a kind of big screw which is fixed into the ground of the ocean. On it are two balls, a small and a big one with a loop where you pull your line trough to be fixed on the boat.
To tie a boat on such a ball has at least two reasons I can think of.
First … the natural reserve is protected, because you don’t put your anchor down. Second, the current there is so strong, the anchor wouldn’t hold anyways :)
You might see where I am heading with this. Being a rookie this was a tough anchorage and pretty exciting. What we needed to do is to catch the rope of the ball with a long stick/hook and then quickly put our rope through the loop and fix it on the boat. Jettie was trying to hold the boat in a proper position, but with the strong current it constantly moves and we needed to be very quick! Hahahaha me and Joni standing at the front of the boat – the theory sounded simple – practice different! In the first attempt we caught the ball but silly me, I tied the wrong end of the rope to the boat so it got loose again. With the second attempt we lost the long stick and it nearly sunk … qick jump into the water to safe it lol
With the third attempt we finally made it :) – good things come in three and lesson learned!
We went to the office of the park to register and coming back we saw another catamaran anchored there .. it turned out to be one of Jettie’s old friends Billy :) He sails with Leo a cute little Jack Russell Terrier.
Billy, Leo and I
Billy has been a couple of times to Waderick Wells, the perfect guide for the next day.
Hiking up BooBoo Hill
We went to the beach and started our walk from there.
ON the beach where the bones of a 53’ sperm whale lying. He died after swallowing a plastic bag :( no further comment needed!!!
The short hike up to BooBoo Hills.
It is worth the effort. The view from up there priceless!
On top of the hill is a pile of signs with boat names on them – boater collect drift wood and write their names on it. We did too :)
Visiting Rachel’s Bubble Bath
Billy took us the next day to Rachel’s Bubble bath, a little ‚lake‘ where the ocean pushes big waves over some rocks.
It’s like a natural jacuzzi :)))
Snorkeling at Rocky Dundas and another rescue mission
Another day in paradise and we went for a short sail to our next destination – Rocky Dundas.
A perfect place to snorkel and explore the under water world, loads of beautiful fishes and corals! Amazing! Jettie and I were in the water for hours. I didn’t take my Go pro with me, because the strong current there requires the use off all your extremities. Happily swimming around we forgot the time and circled around the whole island. There was one more corner to take to reach our dinghy anchored nearby. BUT … the current was so unbelievably strong and we couldn’t make it to the other side. We tried to swim close to a wall, but we were already in the water for at least 2 hours, exhausted by then and the current just dragged as away with every attempt we made.
That’s when friends come in handy and rescue you :) Billy was wondering where we are and came over in his dinghy to check! Thanks Billy xo
Allens Cay – Iguanas on the beach
second last stop before heading to Nassau
What a cute little bay we anchored in. Beach of Iguanas :)
Every adventure has an end :(
Our last day sailing the beautiful 50 shades of blue took the Dutchess to Nassau.
Arriving in Nassau caused a big lump in my throat, because it was time to say good bye soon.
Nassau itself isn’t beautiful at all…. huge cruise ships anchoring there for a day – people thinking they have seen the Bahamas when they have been to Nassau. If they would know how breathtaking the waters down south are! Even my pictures don’t do it any justice.
In the evening we went to the bridge in Nassau. There you find small food shacks where locals go and eat. Of course we went there too to once more experience the authenticity of Bahamian life.
We had the hottest conch salad ever and some beers and enjoyed the evening dancing and chatting with some locals.
Time to say good bye
The next day was my last one with the Dutchess biatchess. As I mentioned already they needed to take the boat back to Texas. Jettie asked me a couple of times to join them and to cross the gulf stream with them. But I had other plans ….. it still breaks my heart when I think of it. Stepping off the boat was so hard, I cried so many tears…. and they are running down my cheeks again now.
Jettie, Donna, Joni and Tenille – the most generous and inspiring people – Ladies the time will come when we will be reunited. I love and miss you loads and I am deeply grateful for the time we had together!
I flew back to Georgetown and spend a couple of days more there.
Joanna and Keith another Canadian couple who became dear friends – a last beer at Two Turtles and they saw me off. It’s been a pleasure to getting to know you all. I couldn’t mention all of you beautiful souls here, but you will always stay in my mind.
Joanna and I , Keith isn’t really into selfies :)
Good bye Bahamas, Good bye Georgetown …. for now. I hope to return sooner rather than later! My love goes out to you, it’s been wonderful!
Another awesome article Winnie. You have me traveling down memory lane! Our time together was precious and 50 shades of blue is the perfect way to describe the Bahamas! I look forward to sailing with you again in the future. What an incredible journey for the Dutchess Biatches. And thank you for saving my dog! Love ya
awwww Jettie :) thanks for your lovely words xo
Amazing read!!! Am sat now in a hotel in Houston thinking’the carribean isn’t so far’
Winnie you are amazing, beautiful pictures/videos and the bit about trying to moor the boat on a buoy using the hook really made me laugh!!! I have been in the same situation but it was January in the north of England in the snow and we were in a rush to catch a flight… i too lost the hook and needless to say JP and I had a rather silent journey back to Sweden.
Thank you for a wonderfully entertaining hour and hope to see you soon. Xx
Hahaha Karen :) I think loosing a hook in warm climate is ok but in the North of England in January brrrrrr :) was a pleasure to entertain you! Part II coming tomorrow! xo
Getting emotional now….best trip ever…Miss you all so much!
Can’t wait for our next adventures together!
:) I am so with you Tenille – shed so many tears going down memory lane! xo
Winnie! Its always soo great following you on your journeys, we miss you lot and cant wait to see you and hear it all. Stefan
Hey Stefan :) happy that you enjoy it! Looking forward to seeing you again too!
Great articles and pictures Winnie!
And happy belated birthday and New Year.
Where are you off to next?
Thanks a millian Julia :)
Well done, Winnie. Lovely memories and pics to cement the times in our minds and hearts. Miss you, gf. XO
:) thanks for your sweet words .. we for sure will never forget it! missing you too xo
Such a lovely story my dear Winnie! I am so happy for your adventures and wish you many more to come!
Hey Astrid :) thanks a million! xo