Many cruisers have sung the praises of Black Point and we now can sing a verse, too!
Thank you to Fred and Carolyn on Casablanca for suggesting that we bring school supplies to the Black Point All Ages School (Grades K-9). We brought flash cards for the lower grades and novels for the upper grades. Our friends, Kathy and Ralph on Simplicity, had donations for us to deliver also. When I entered the school I walked right into the computer lab/music room and the young principal was teaching a class of 8 7-9th graders. I’ve observed that all the school children in the Bahamas wear uniforms and each island has a different color theme. The kids are always very friendly on the streets, as are the adults, and even more so during my school visit. One boy surprised me with a hug when I departed and all were very appreciative. They were already placing dibs on who would be the first to read the books I brought. The principal asked to take my picture then she graciously took one with my camera. This feel good moment was definitely a high point of our trip. I have a new goal now: to collect supplies all year and distribute them to schools as we travel throughout the Bahamas next year. If you have new or like new educational materials or art supplies please let me know.
Our second delivery to Black Point was to Ida, the owner of the laundry mat which has it’s own dinghy dock. Ida is also a hair dresser and has a small room of supplies for sale. The large bag of walnuts were from Gigi and Vick on Salty Turtle in Georgetown. They were returning to the states due to a broken generator and asked us to deliver the nuts upon learning that we were definitely stopping in Black Point. They had brought the large bag of walnuts as a gift for Ida as they are quite expensive in the Bahamas. A good laundry mat is of prime importance to cruisers as most vessels don’t have a washer/dryer. If they do have the appliances, they require water and a generator which means one must burn fuel to do laundry. One must also burn fuel to make the water or purchase water for approximately $.50 per gallon. The additional feature of a dinghy dock means you don’t have to schlump your laundry through the town. Ida is a wise business woman because she also has pay showers for the cruisers to use. Needless to say, Ida is quite popular!
Two other important Black Point citizens are Lorraine and her mom. Lorraine owns a popular restaurant with air conditioning. We had lunch there and I, again, forgot to take pictures of the cracked conch! Lorraine’s mom lives in the house right behind the restaurant where she bakes bread. Her coconut bread has a reputation of being the best in the Bahamas. To purchase her delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, cinnamon-sugar-swirl-in-the-middle, coconut bread you simply knock on the door, go into her kitchen, and choose your loaf off the counter. A warm slice of toasted coconut bread is pretty irresistible.
At the town dock there is a fish cleaning station where there were always nurse sharks and large stingrays swimming below patiently waiting for dinner. We had seen rays and sharks every day almost every day since arriving in the Bahamas and I got excited each and every time!
We walked to the Atlantic side of the island to visit two beaches and I began my collection of sea glass: nothing spectacular but it’s a start. Our friends on Simplicity took us to a beach which had the best sand I’ve ever experienced. Not only was the sand white, it was also velvety soft. The outstanding beach sand extended as far out into the water as we could walk which was a long way. There were no rocks, grass, or holes, just soft, smooth, rippled sand. What a massage for the feet and what beauty!
After 3 nights at Black Point we traveled to Galliot Cut for one night then on to Georgetown the next day. Boy, was it crowded! The nearest boat was a mile away at Galliot Cut so it was a shock to see so many boats that they had encroached into the navigation channel. In fact, at one point there were 263 vessels. Georgetown had been described as summer camp for cruisers which was an apt description. There were activities such as weekly trivia nights, ukulele lessons, jam sessions, children’s play dates, church on the beach, yoga, water aerobics and many more.
A highlight of Georgetown was the Exuma Market. It was the best grocery store we had seen to date and it wasn’t even the day after the mail boat. Your average quart of strawberries was only $12.95. OUCH! The selection in all departments were amazing. They had more Bob’s Red Mill products than one would see in a Publix in Florida. We enjoyed it so much that we shopped 3x in 8 days.
Scott and I were so excited to visit Chat ‘N Chill on Stocking Island. Chat ‘N Chill has a reputation as being one of the best bar/restaurants in all of the Bahamas. However, we were quite disappointed in the lousy service which seems to be somewhat typical of the Exumas. The generous serving of grilled fish was quite tasty and unusual. This was the only restaurant we had visited that had grilled seafood instead of fried in batter. Feeding the stingrays totally made up for the lousy service and snarly bartenders. The first time one came from behind and rubbed against my leg I just about cut off the blood supply as I squeezed the woman’s arm next to me. The beach location with sand volleyball, corn hole, and rope swings made for fun for all ages.
Four friends from Punta Gorda joined us on Unforgettable for 5 nights so we had the opportunity to explore “downtown” Georgetown, walk the beach and attempt to climb to the Monument. It was quite windy during their entire visit which made for some wet-from-head-to-toe dinghy rides. One day it was so windy we stayed on board and played Mexican Train all day. Thanks for joining us Barbe, Paul, Carol and George and for playing “Name That Tune!”
It was such a pleasure meeting Ellen with the Exuma Humane Society and witnessing her dedication to the cats and dogs of Great and Little Exuma. She is a true workhorse for this fine organization. We, again, want to thank all of you that donated goods and money to help the potcakes. The donations were greatly appreciated. I encourage other cruisers to consider volunteering their time while anchored in Elizabeth Harbor or to bring donations; every little bit helps. Donations can also be made through PayPal. Thank you, Ellen, for taking us to William’s Town for lunch at Tropic Breeze and to Mom’s Bakery for the fabulous chocolate rum cake and pineapple upside-down cake. Also, thanks to our new friend, Roston, for helping us out!
Although we would miss the grocery store and services in Georgetown as well as the cruisers net on the radio every morning at 8:00 a.m. we were ready to continue our explorations. Time to work our way north to New Providence.