While Perry was traveling the globe (literally, as he was in Kabul, Wellington and Tbilisi) and our friends on Casstaway were sailing back to Florida, I spent the month of April by myself on the Lily Belle safely tucked into Emerald Bay Marina on Great Exuma. The marina is affiliated with the Sandals resort there in the Bay where the water and sand are simply magnificent! There is also another large resort adjacent to the Sandals called Grand Isle. A little local trivia – if you have ever heard of the Fyre Festival debacle, it took place right next to the marina on Roker’s Point. The organizer is still in prison for his fraudulent activities! There is a documentary on Netflix about the festival and concert event.
I spent my month reading, cleaning, watching Netflix, walking for exercise, and enjoying the beach. There was also some entertainment in simply watching boats come in and out of the marina all day. There were some monster boats that came in and out of there! Cruisers are also a friendly crowd so there was always someone new to chat and share stories with. The only downside was that other than the two resorts, there wasn’t really anything else around the marina and non-guests are not permitted at the resorts without paying a rather extravagant resort fee. I did, however, treat myself to a “spa day” at Sandals. I could also eat at the restaurant at Grand Isle for no additional charge which was a nice treat. I could also walk all the way across Emerald Bay and out to the main road to get fresh Bahamian bread any time I wanted.
With George Town proper a solid 45-minute drive, I rented a car once to make a grocery run into town. At $80 a day, that’s not something I could do frequently. I also had to take a taxi one day to the closet convenience store to supplement my previous grocery run. I also got to spend several days recuperating from food poisoning from one of the local restaurants I visited with my trusty rental car. Not fun. All in all, there are truly worse ways to spend a month!
A couple of highlights – I attended Easter service at a local Anglican church. One of the parishioners was kind enough to drive me to the church and back to the marina which was just a couple of miles away. I was the only white girl there and didn’t mind a bit being stared at as I fully participated in their wonderful service! I’ve attended Anglican services in the States for several years now so it was most interesting getting to use the CPWI (Caribbean) version of the Book of Common Prayer.
Another treat was being invited to ride on a friend of a friend’s yacht down to Elizabeth Harbor in George Town to watch the annual Family Regatta! I haven’t been on a large motor vessel since our wedding, I think. This lovely couple knocked on my boat after learning from some Florida friends that I was there in the marina and graciously let me spend the night with them at anchor on their 70-foot boat. Most of the action at regatta was at the opposite end of the harbor, but the day I was there, a turn buoy for the race was dropped really close to where we were anchored. Talk about a front row seat! The nice young lady that took me to church was able to drive me back to the marina the next day after my friends took me into town in their tender. They were such delightful hosts and spoiled me rotten while I was there. Once Perry got back in town, we were both able to go into George Town and stay with them at anchor for a night in the harbor.
With Perry back on the boat, we had a week to prepare for our daughter’s visit! This involved more cleaning and a rental car into George Town for more groceries. Perry also had some time to rest and unwind from his long month. Lauren arrived while we were still at the marina so we gave her a day to recuperate from her red-eye from Los Angeles and show her the sights of Emerald Bay before taking her name sake down to Elizabeth Harbor/Stocking Island to anchor for the rest of the week. It was only an hour and a half ride down the Sound to Elizabeth Harbor which was just enough boat time for our non-sailor! We were completely blessed with amazing weather the week she was here so we got to play in the water, paddle board, hike all over Stocking Island, play Corn Hole at the Chat ‘N Chill and show her the teeny settlement of George Town. She adapted well to life at anchor which is pretty much just like camping. That includes showering off the back of the boat, and having “boat hair” for a solid week! After a week, we dropped her on shore in George Town to catch a taxi to the airport. It’s an understatement to say we enjoyed our time with her on the boat and letting her experience what boat life is really like!