Monday, June 04, 2007

Big Galliot Cay to Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

39.5 nm
Wind: SW-S 10-15 knots, dropping to 5-10
Seas: flat
Latitude: 20°30.54’N
Longitude: 075°46.14’W
Maximum speed: 5.5 knots (motor-sailing)
Average speed: 4.3 knots

We did it. We made it. All for a round of the Hallelujah Chorus. I know I certainly am hallelujahing away. It was a beautiful motor-sail, too--we didn’t try to sail it for better pointing and to use up the dirty diesel in our tank. Getting the batteries fully charged was a nice side-benefit. The whole sail was a lot less eventful than all the buildup. A nice simple close-reach down in flat seas. It’s enough to make you believe in this whole wait for weather thing, despite all my complaining.

The fun part was lunch--we ended up staying up past midnight last night catching fish! A red snapper, whose tail caught us a yellowfin tuna!! I only wish we’d been catching fish all this time instead of on the last night. So Karl was up late, spreading blood and guts all throughout the cockpit, and hacking heads off fish. I always feel guilty about leaving him with those dirty, stinky jobs, but the tuna was certainly delicious fried up with garlic and olive oil for lunch, over the tabbouleh I made for dinner last night. And we still have the snapper marinating for dinner tonight.

We sailed into Conch Cut, tacking back and forth to avoid the shoals like real pros. I guess we remember how to sail. The sky was perfectly blue, reflected in the water, the coral visible beneath the water. Everything was perfect, just as we had planned--the perfect slack-tide cut entrance. Georgetown Harbor is a lot more picturesque than I had imagined. I can see how people get stuck here. There’s town on one side of the harbor, and white-sand beaches on the other, with great anchorages in every corner and little beach shacks selling food and drink. We dinghied over to town after we anchored and walked around in dumbfounded silence. Civilization! We were in awe of the Shell station and the grocery store and the pay phones dotting the place. I’m sure we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies, or refugees right off the boat.

The stores, unfortunately, were all closed by the time we got to town, so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow for cold drinks and fresh fruit. Just fresh non-algae-crusted water is a blessing. We sailed in with under a quart, completely dehydrated. So the free water on the dinghy dock here tastes fantastic. We’ll get stuff done in town tomorrow, and tonight we still have fish to eat.

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