We greeted my parents at the hotel, Peace & Plenty, they were standing on a veranda looking out over the water. When they turned around to see us it was a tidal wave of hugs and smiles. Despite having traveled thousands of miles under sail for several months, they kept repeating ‘ I can’t believe you’re doing this, that you’re here!’ That made us smile even more.
From the moment they stepped onboard I knew it was going to be trouble. Of all our friends who visited, it was my Mom and Dad, who couldn’t keep still. The second I turned my back they were running foredeck or off the side boarding ladder into the water. Aiyiyi. It was going to be a long week. 😉
We began in Georgetown, the capital grounds for cruisers in the Bahamas. Peak season is in the winter months, so the anchorages we explored (in May) were largely quiet and we had our pickings of where to anchor.
My Mom and Dad quickly made use of the clear water when they first arrived. We eventually & leisurely motored across the harbor to Stocking Island and made landfall at the Chat n Chill. It’s a beautiful beach with picnic tables scattered under trees, a volleyball net, tree swings, the ring game – this place is ‘never never land’. It was crafted for adults, a place where day drinking and laughter lifted all your cares and land worries away. It was easy to get sucked into this place. And yet, after all the hype of hearing about the infamous Chat n Chill, I was a little underwhelmed. It was a beach bar that seemed to serve you a beer and usher you back out. So back out is where we went and the place I enjoyed the most. We left the Chat n Chill beach area and wandered to the eastern side of the island wadding through a narrow channel to get to the next beach.
From Stocking Island we sailed all day trailing thunder clouds until we anchored in Lee Stocking Island, near the old maritime research facility, abandoned in 2011. It was once the Perry Institute for Marine Science a research facility started in the 50’s to pursue marine research and sustainability. Sadly, in 2006 Perry died and funding dried up, a caretaker now looks over the grounds. A couple of cruisers dinghied over and informed us this anchorage had a lot of mosquitos but further south the pristine anchorage of Williams Bay had no bugs. We pulled up anchor and sure enough, yes, Williams Bay was astounding. Twin beaches, interesting limestone formations and a sandy bottom.
We had a beautiful day sail to Farmers Cay in light wind and took the mooring ball in front of the yacht club in stunning clear water. The current was a bit strong but the wind was light. We tied our dinghy to the newly built dock and were greeted by Roosevelt. We enjoyed a traditional Bahamian dinner and even learned how to dance with Roosevelt once we were finished.
We explored the ship wreck across the channel and strolled the beaches around Little Farmers Cay. We made our way back to Georgetown at this point and stopped in Rudder Cut Cay. David Copperfield owns land around here and there’s a mermaid playing a piano underwater (made of stone in 15 feet of water). We anchored near the enormous cavernous limestone overhang, which was the highlight of the anchorage for me.
My parents asked to get as much time on the water sailing & thats exactly what we gave them. We had another full day of sailing, close hauled.
We stopped behind Rat Cay and enjoyed our afternoon with snorkeling the clear waters on our own secluded beach and enjoying ‘anchorage cocktails’ & bottle of wine.
We returned to Georgetown and strolled the small town and enjoyed the warm weather. We had our last beers together at the beautiful hotel, Peace & Plenty.
Thanks for gifts and giant bag of M&M’s, thanks for helping us sail, even more thanks for not crashing the boat into rocks, and thanks for coming to visit. Catch you state-side one of these days.