Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leaving George Town

After a couple of weeks in George Town it was time to leave.
The Great Dinghy Flotilla to Sand Point

We had a great time and enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow cruisers, but the Cruiser Regatta was over and the cruisers were scattering.

We are “buddy boating” with the Izzy R, a 49’ DeFever CPMY like ours, as we head south.
Our first leg was to be George Town to Rum Cay, but we found the wind and seas to be rougher than predicted, so we pulled in on Long Island, just south of Cape Santa Maria.

Allegedly, Columbus’ flagship the Santa Maria hit one of the reefs in the area.  I decided that they must have been trying to escape the surge in the anchorage when they hit the reef. 
Note the sky in the above photo.  It became apparent that our “weather window” had vanished and we were in for several days of big seas and high winds.

Some of the sailboats may like those conditions, but not us.

So, we did what most good cruisers do, we joined a party.  The George Town to Long Island Rally (20-25 boats) had pulled in to Thompson Bay on Long Island so we joined them.  They had an awards banquet and dance at the Long Island Breeze that was a hoot.
Our first Seniors Bus Tour
The next day we joined about 30 other cruisers for a bus tour of Long Island.  The most notable thing about Long Island is that it is long, about 76 miles by 4 miles.  Density is not a problem on Long Island as the population of 3,500 is spread between about 40 settlements.

Our first stop was a 16th Century church built by the Spanish and later used by the English when they took control.  Unfortunately preservation in the Bahamas usually takes a backseat to more pressing concerns.
Next was a nicely done museum that attempted to capture the history of Long Island from pre-Columbian times to present.

Another stop was the SS. Peter and Paul Church of Clarence Town built by Father Jerome of the Cat Island Hermitage fame.
The bell towers seemed to be a hit.
Reportedly, the view was great.
And look, I went in a church and didn’t burst into flames.

Our next stop was Dean’s Blue Hole.  It is the world’s deepest known blue hole with seawater.  It plunges 663 feet.  It is used by many international free divers.
The tour was completed by a great lunch prepared by the bus driver’s wife.

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