Limping along from Black Point, we made it down into Elizabeth Harbor problem-free. The jury-rigged exhaust hose worked well and helped us get to a place that has a few options for marine hardware and parts. It might have been just as easy to leave Black Point and sail back north to Staniel Cay where there is an airline service, Watermakers, that will carry parts from Florida. Instead of backtracking and dancing around Staniel as the winds shift, we opted to continue south to a larger town.
George Town was bustling with cruisers all over the place when we arrived a little over a week ago. Maybe two hundred boats were anchored in the popular areas: Monument, Volleyball Beach, Sand Dollar Beach and Kidd Cove.
We nestled in between Monument and Volleyball Beach where there were only a small handful of boats. We like to be close enough to the places we want to go, but far away enough from everyone else so it’s not a total zoo.
Anchoring on the west side of the harbor would have been closer to Lake Victoria in town, but the winds were coming out of the east so it was better to anchor where we did. We braved the soaking-wet ride across and found the small cut to Lake Victoria where the dinghy dock is. Timing is critical to make sure other boats aren’t trying to exit at the same time. The tides and chop made it feel like a gauntlet as we blasted through. Much easier going in than coming out!
While searching for marine stores, refilling our 10lb propane tank for the BBQ was high on the to-do list. Peter is the kind of man that needs meat with every meal. Our marine BBQ may be small but we rely on it daily for grilling up steak, fish, chicken or pork.
The morning cruisers net on VHF 72 announced the propane guy was going to be there Wednesday morning across the parking lot from the dinghy dock, but Wednesday wasn’t good for us. If you want to get propane on a day other than Wednesday, the power plant is a great option. There is a cut in the trees looking west from the harbor, north of Lake Victoria, where you can go by dinghy. There are small buoys marking a mini channel that leads to a restaurant dock and resort. Across the street from there is a hill that leads to the power plant. As soon as we came down the other side of the hill, a nice man came out to greet us and took the propane tanks. We had brought along one of SV Baccalieu’s tanks to fill as well so we both didn’t have to make the trek. A 10lb tank costs $11 to fill, which isn’t bad at all, and it takes less than 5 minutes. Not sure what it costs at the guy who is in town on Wednesdays but I’ll bet it takes longer than this place does!
The Napa store was a good mile and a half walk north from where the power plant was. It was recommended to see if they have the parts we need but there were far more household and automotive items there than marine supplies. Turns out they had nothing useful to us, and they had no way to order any of the parts we need. Go figure.
Next, we took a LONG dinghy ride to Brown’s Marine, south of George Town. They could order pretty much anything we needed out of a marine catalog but their markup from the catalog price was 25-30%. We would need to find a customs broker (more fees) to handle the paperwork and pay the freight charges on top of that! Even though we can import the parts duty-free with proof of our cruising permit, the customs fee still applies. It was still an option, but getting parts through this shop would surely cost an arm and a leg.
Of course it was the weekend again which makes it harder to find parts or any mechanical help whatsoever. There was one store left that we didn’t check out, Top 2 Bottom. The word on the street is that they didn’t have 2.5″ exhaust hose and we knew we’d have to order the exhaust elbow regardless. Time to do a little more research on the best way to ship parts to Georgetown. Patience is the key to our success… good thing we’re not in a hurry!
Meanwhile, we enjoyed the scenery. Volleyball Beach is where the Chat n Chill bar is. It’s a sandy, barefoot, slow service beach bar with a great vibe. There are posts for tying up your dinghy on the beach and picnic tables in the sand. A cheeseburger, fries and a diet coke has become our staple meal here :)
Gunner’s birthday was March 28th and he got to celebrate in style running on the beaches in the Exumas!! Our sweet boy is 13 now and he’s doing great. Instead of being home alone while I’m at work, he gets to hang out with his mommy and daddy and sister all day everyday and run like crazy up and down the beaches in one of the most beautiful places on earth! What a nice way to enjoy his old age. Lucky dog.
It’s the little things in life that bring us joy. Even though we are having a few issues with the boat, our home is in paradise. There is beauty all around us and we wouldn’t trade this life for anything!