Technically Georgetown and Calabash Bay are part of the Exuma bank but they are not cruising grounds. I consider them more like a harbor than part of the bank. We spent two nights in Georgetown anchored near Volley Ball Beach and the common anchorage for most cruisers. We had great ribs at the Chat-n-Chill bar. The Georgetown anchorage is across the harbor from Georgetown, along a small island. We did the dingy ride across the bay a few times. It was a 1/2 mile or so. It was easy to get to town but we got soaked everytime on the return ride all the way into the wind.
Georgetown didn't have much more to offer than Rum Cay. It's a much bigger place and very populated but we went looking for food the first night and finally decided our best option would be to go to the ATM for cash and then go back to the Chat-n-Chill on the little island near the anchorage. The next day we did grocery shopping. The grocery store was better than anyplace since Santiago D.R but it still wasn't much. It was more like a little country grocery with limited options. We did find some prepackaged lunch meat and good bread.
We also schlepped jerry cans back and forth filling up with water and diesel. I did another trip and did laundry. Each time I prepared for the trip fully covered with rain coat and covered the laundry with garbage bags.
On the second day at Georgetown, Wind Song arrived with Becky and Mark. I met them in Luperon, Dominican Republic. They followed us up to Caicos. They stopped on French Cay. We were four hours ahead of them and we continued on past French Cay. I did hear them a few times on the VHF during that that night crossing. I was also talking with two boats on the SSB that were sailing with Wind Song. I told Mark and Becky my plan to continue on northbound and they decided to stay with us.
In the morning we had planned on leaving at 0800. The wind was up. I called Wind Song and told them I needed an hour or so to further check weather. I did finally talk to Chris Parker on the Single Side Band. The weather was good enough to go the 40 miles up to Farmers Cay. We spent an hour criss-crossing the bay trying to follow a mess of waypoints for the exit to miss unmarked corral heads. I did a circles a couple times as we tried to determine the best exit route. We kept a close contact with Wind Song on VHF channel 19. I told them after an hour of slow tedious work to exit the harbor that, "we should go back and do that a few more times just for fun."
Wind Song stayed with us the entire day. As we got within a few miles of the Farmer Cay cut to enter the bank, Wind Song was a half mile back. They had slowed as we were arriving slightly early. We were timing the entrance to coincide with slack tide. We were two hours early. The entire trip in the deap water, after leaving Georgetown, was in 6 foot seas. Then nearing the end, Wind Song came over the VHF, "We just lost all our electronics." They started scrambling and told me they were trying to get a hand held GPS running. I told them not to worry. They would following me in and I would talk them in. While we were still a couple miles out I went over the harbor chart describing the plan and pointing out the turns and entrance depths. We both had the same harbor charts. I told them they would just need to follow me and I would continually talk them in and read the depths. As we approached the cut The NE wind was still kicking up heavy waves. I powered up and carefully pushed through. I told Wind Song, "I tend to do a quick circle if I get spooked so not to follow too close" and if they get to far back and loose my track then I would back track. After passing through the cut, it turned to complete calm water. We had ten to twelve feet of water. I told them on the VHF "it is perfectly peacefull in here". They were still powering through the waves getting kicked up by the narrow entrance.
We went another 1/4 mile and I called out depths for Wind Song. We found mooring balls that we had planned on using. We had called ahead and talked with Little Jeff, the mooring balls owner. Wind Song took one and we picked the next one. As I pulled up to the mooring, Ben took the hook to the bow. Ben hooked the mooring pennant and tried to pull it onboard. He couldn't get it up and eventually it pulled the hook out of his hand. I tried to back down on the mooring so we could grab the hook that was still stuck on the mooring line and now in the water. I couldn't get the stern positioned close enough with the heavy wind and current. The current is always strong near the cuts as almost half of the water on the massive bank exits through the cuts to the deap ocean, during a tide change. After two tries I gave up and told ben, "time for you to go for a swim." He pulled off his shirt and shorts and jumped in. We found out the pennant on the mooring was extremely short and couldn't be lifted out of the water. We put another line through the line in the water and finally got secured.
Later, I went over to see Becky and Mark. I went through his electronics and found his problem, a loose wire on the auto-pilot caused all the electronics to go out. Next, Ensign got her turn to go crazy running up and down the beach. After being stuck on the boat for a while, she goes crazy running on the beach. She's very good at fetch and loves to chase that ball and kick up a lot of sand. After each trip to a beach, I hold her over the water and she paddles in the air and dips her paws in the water to wash off.
That night we called on the VHF and arranged for dinner at the only restuarant. We sat at the table next to a TV. They had a table set for us across the room but I told the owner I hadn't seen TV in a long time. So she moved the table settings. We had a great dinners of steak and chicken. Each dinner included Conch n Rice. (you couldn't tast the conch.)