On our way to George Town
Monday March 30th and Tuesday March 31st
The winds were light when we woke up. In order to conserve fuel, we put up the Code Zero sail to give us a knot or two more. We were happy we did but it was slow going. 15 nautical miles took us over 4 hours and we arrived in Calabash Bay on Long Island. It was deserted. Only one other boat some distance away and the small resort ashore was boarded up and closed. The closures due to Covid-19 made it a ghost town. We caught up on news in the Bahamas and the world and knew we had to get to George Town the next day.
We motored, sailed (with the code zero) and motored some more to George Town. We wished we could of sailed the whole way but the light winds and wind direction prevented us from being able to sail the 30 nm. We arrived in the early afternoon and while finding the anchorage we had some excitement and almost ran aground. The waters are shallow here. The color of the water gives some indication of depth but the charts are inconsistent. Navionics said it was deep enough but our Explorer charts showed a more shallower depth. We were trying to take a short cut but when the depth got in the 3ft range we backed up and took the long way around. So far, the Explorer paper charts have been more accurate in this area.
Anchor down, we took the dinghy through the tunnel into Lake Victoria and tied up to the George Town dinghy dock. We knew Exuma Markets had fresh produce which we were happy to finally get. We were also on a mission to get money from the ATM. We were down to 80 dollars and most islands in the Bahamas do not have banks, don’t take credit cards so we needed cash. First ATM, error message. Second ATM at separate bank only accepted one card and had a limit of $200 per day. I went grocery shopping alone. After waiting in line for 20 minutes, only one person is allowed in at a time. While waiting for me to get groceries, Kevin was approached by the immigration officer in town. “Did you just get here?” “What is the name of your boat?” “ You aren’t supposed to move between islands!” Kevin said we have been in the Bahamas before the closure and we had to move for fuel and food. Of course, he was reprimanded but eventually the immigration officer walked away. While I was shopping in the grocery store, he also came up to me and said “What boat are you on?” “Did you just get here?” “I just spoke to your husband.” You shouldn’t have moved.” I just said Ok, Ok several times and he let it go. Of course, the whole time your head is spinning, is he going to report us? Is he going to kick us out? Is he going to fine us? Just when we felt a bit comforted being in the Bahamas, we also knew the locals may regard cruisers with worry and apprehension during these difficult times. But hey, we get to have a salad tonight! You can’t imagine how much you crave fresh vegetables.
The next day after spending an hour on the phone with the bank trying to get our ATM card to work in the Bahamas, Kevin went in to get more money. Card still didn’t work but at least we have a backup and now have a mixture of dollars and Bahamian currency if we need it.