You have heard me mention Georgetown a lot in this blog. We spent the first 5 weeks of this trip here and this place has a long and dear history for me. We are getting ready to leave Georgetown and island hop our way north through the Exumas and I really don’t know when we will visit again. Georgetown was a constant for me through my teenage years as I moved in and out of 3 high schools. Whether it was spending time here on our family’s boat or visiting friends here, I can close my eyes and visualize all those turbulent teenage moments and emotions. I have visited a few times in the last decade to visit my parents, but what a great opportunity to be able to spend time here 20 years on and see my kids enjoying Georgetown. As a teenager in Georgetown you had quick, but intense friendships. I have fond memories of playing volleyball, going to town in the evenings, sailing around the island with a group of teens, camping on the beach, potlucks and bonfires. My children have had a different experience due to their age: conquering the rope swing, learning to make friends with anyone under 4 feet, participating in Regatta events, swimming with the rays, making forts in the woods, making and selling woven bracelets.
When we left Georgetown a couple of weeks ago to sail to Long Island, Georgetown was at its peak population for the season. The boat count was close to 400; a combination of bad weather keeping boats put and also that magnetic quality of Georgetown that keeps people here with its summer camp-esque social activities and amenities. And if you have kids, the fact that there are so many other family boats and kids here make it a great place to spend time. It happens every season, but it was still quite a shock for us to return this week to Georgetown and find the harbor empty. Well really there are still 175 boats here, which would hardly qualify as empty, but itfeels so quiet and we miss the action and activity of Georgetown a few weeks ago. The tradewinds have finally moderated, allowing people to move south to the Caribbean and many boats start heading back to the US this time of year. There are hardly any kids on the beach anymore, no Volleyball, no dominoes, no endless lineups on the dingy dock for water, and the morning VHF net only lasts 15 minutes tops. It also feels like the anchorage has been taken over by the Spring Breakers on holiday. Volleyball beach is packed with vacationers with their pale skin, blasting music, speeding through the anchorage on jetskis and all sorts of pleasure craft. So we are ready to move on, and we are excited to explore the Exumas for the next month. But it is a little bittersweet, since I am not sure when we will return to this place so close to my heart.
We have been cruising now for 6 weeks and yesterday as we were hanging out on volleyball beach I saw how much Ella has grown in such a short time. Ella is our sensitive child who misses home, misses her best friend Olivia and was very anxious about making friends down here. When we first arrived in the Bahamas I watched how she struggled with confidence making friends and how she worried about making friends. Yesterday, our kids were the only cruising kids on the beach and we looked over and Ella was chatting away and playing with a couple of tourist kids. Amazing! Six weeks ago she would have wanted us to introduce her to them and would have doubted herself. It is so great to see her come out of her shell, gain confidence and maturity and thrive. We worried about Ella on this trip and how she would handle it and my brother Steve assured me that it would be a really great experience for a kid like Ella. Seeing that little scene yesterday put all my worries aside.
I meant to do a blog post about the Georgetown Cruising Regatta – a week long event in mid-February full of fun activities and I meant to do a post about the town of Georgetown. Instead I am including some photos of Regatta and Georgetown.
|Just a typical day at Volleyball Beach|
|Borrowing a kayak|
|A boat birthday at Monument – happy birthday Lily!|
|Family boat potluck|
|Regatta – Small Boat Races|
|Paul racing on Mojo|
|Regatta Childrens’ Day – Egg Toss|
|Regatta Childrens’ Day – Lily and Miles 3-legged race|
|Enjoying the swings|
|Ella loving the face and body paint station (Regatta Childrens’ Day)|
|Paul – 2nd place Regatta Poker Tournament|
|Regatta Regulation Volleyball Tournament|
|Paul – 1st Place Volleyball Tournament|
|Kids Spanish Lesson on the beach – counting while skipping|
|Crew of Mojo for the In Harbour Race – Regatta|
|Boys watching the boats race through the harbour|
|Regatta – Kids’ Duathalon|
|Ella entered the Regatta T-shirt design contest – she was entry #4|
|Shopping at Exuma Markets|
|The dingy dock Georgetown|
|The super cute, super great, Georgetown Library Childrens’ Area|