One of the big reasons that we decided to come back to the Bahamas (for the third time in a year) is that we never made it to George Town. It was invariably described as a Mecca for kids to hang out with other boat kids, but we didn't reach it because of our mechanical woes. Worse, due to our boat work delays, we were always a bit behind the migration of boat children. So we didn't really see many other kid boats most of the summer. So we really, really wanted to go to George Town, which reportedly attracts kid boats in swarms.
When we finally arrived in George Town a couple of weeks ago at the tail end of the cruiser's regatta week, the number of boats in Elizabeth Harbour (over 300) was a shock to our systems. A small city of cruising boats dotted the large harbor. VHF radio chatter was constant. At night, the anchor lights resembled a starry sky. My initial reflex was to turn around and leave because there were so many boats. Too many boats. In talking to other boaters, many have the same reaction. It's like camping out in the woods for a couple months and then arriving in Times Square.
I'm glad we didn't leave right away because I got used to the (relative) crowds and we have been having a great time. We have met old and new friends. Although a lot of the kid boats are already heading out, Mark and Conrad have met more new kid friends here than during the whole rest of our journey. With all the activities, it's like summer camp for the kids and the adults: volleyball, yoga, bocce, poker, Trivial Pursuit, parties, a scavenger hunt, softball, duathalons, beaches, snorkeling, tame stingrays you can feed and pet. George Town also has just about everything a cruising boat could ask for (except for a deck fill cap--the one for our port water tank seized up and prevented us from adding anymore water until Matt drilled it out and replaced the gasket on the old one).
Even though George Town is nice, we still want to see some of the other nearby islands. So we are planning to head east towards Long Island and then maybe south to the Jumentos as soon as the winds cooperate. We'll be back to George Town, though.
Perry and Shambala kids playing in the surf
in Leaf Cay (not George Town)