Thursday, January 19, 2006

Christmas in Georgetown December 2005

Picture of Island Dreaming, resting after Junkanoo

This is our second Bahamian Christmas, so we are getting accustomed to hearing Christmas carols talking about nasty cold snowy weather as we enjoy the gorgeous sand beaches, blue, blue water and the fabulous warm temperatures. Do we miss the former? Only our friends and family up north, but you soon develop a cruising family to compensate.

Our son Paul has flown in to join us. He spent all day travelling by shuttle bus, 2 planes, another shuttle bus to get from Barrie, 60 miles north of Toronto, to Miami, only to find his flight to Georgetown had been cancelled. The airline did give him a hotel and a couple of meals, and put him on the morning flight the next day. Since he will be here for over 3 weeks, the day delay isn't that bad, but if you were only coming for a short time, it would really reduce your holiday time. We had moved over to town, booked his taxi pickup and were trying to figure out how to get Paul and gear to RAFT dry, with the winds blowing 15-20. The next afternoon, when he did arrive, it was sunny and calm so the guitar stayed dry!!

His first week, the week before Christmas, was spent adjusting to Bahamian time, slowing down, for a last year university student, this wasn't difficult. We hiked Stocking Island to the monument, walked the beaches snorkelled the reefs, tried to get or even see lobster, volleyballed and beered at Volleyball beach. We spent one day sailing around Stocking Island, dragging fishing lines hoping to catch a fish. We had a couple of strikes, loosing our ballyhoo bait fish, but nothing to cook for supper. For Christmas day, there was a cruisers potluck dinner, attended by over 50, complete with live entertainment.

In Bahamas, Christmas and Junkanoo go together. Last year when we were in the Abacos we saw 3 different Junkanoos over the Christmas period. Here in Georgetown there is only one, and it happens at 4 am on Boxing Day (Dec. 26th morning). Seems like a strange time to start a street party, but it goes until dawn. Paul didn't want to go, having seen too much junkanoo last year. Ross and Bev thought about going, but when we got up at 3 am, and the wind had picked up, blowing 10-15 from the west, which put RAFT very close to Voilleyball Beach, plus the dinghy ride to town would be straight into the winds and waves, a wet ride. Also yesterday we figured out the antenna on our new handheld VHS radio was broken (it had worked poorly all fall and we didn't know why). So I decided that going to junkanoo wasn't worth the risk of the dingy trip in the dark so we went back to bed.

Dawn arrived and we discovered Island Dreaming, one of the boats that we were to go to Junkanoo with, had drifted onto the sandbar off Chat and Chill. Someone had gone to town to get them, as tide was falling. Ross and several other guys helped Bob and Jeanie set 5 anchors, with winch lines, but they had to wait for high tide in the afternoon to get off. No damage done, and by 3pm, Island Dreaming is reanchored having provided the anchorage with lots of excitement.