Welcome to Snowbird Haven

We’d traveled to Great Exuma Island where our destination was Georgetown. Not only were our friends aboard Por Dos at Georgetown, but here we’d also be able to re-provision, re-fuel, and find a cozy nook for an approaching cold front. We’d heard rumor that Georgetown has become populated with cruisers during winter months; 300 boats supposedly there. We weren’t sure just what to expect but we knew it would not be a quaint getaway. Sure enough when we arrived we found three anchorages all packed to the gills with boats.
Monument Beach area:

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Stocking Harbor area near the Volleyball Beach:

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Our plan was to anchor at Kidd Cove, nearest town. This would enable us to easily re-provision. Then we could contact Por Dos on the VHF and move to their location. They share our liking of avoiding crowds so we knew they’d be in a great spot. That night we marveled at the skyline of mast lights which looked like skyscrapers, realizing that the island behind them has no town, no buildings. It was quiet and calm. We reminisced about Newport, RI where there was music playing from shore and dinghies zipping around. We thought it odd to be this quiet on a Friday night with this number of boats, but then cruisers midnight does come at 9:00pm.

The next morning, hearing an announcement for the Georgetown Net on the VHF, I switched to channel 72 to listen. This is a daily Net that provides information such as: weather, announcements from local businesses, daily activities, tomorrow’s activities, boaters’ general, safety & housekeeping, and arrivals/departures. There are many, many Canadian cruisers here in the Bahamas and at Georgetown, so a portion of the Net is French announcements. Can’t say I blame them wanting to escape Canada’s winter season. Listening I was intrigued because I suddenly realized that we’d landed at the paradise version of Brooksby Village! I asked Brian, “would you like to play Pinocle this afternoon, or should we head over to the beach for yoga followed by a walking tour?” We stuck to our game plan and after the Net headed ashore for groceries and fuel.

Busy, busy at the dinghy dock! People were waiting in line near the water hose for free, drinking water. The grocery store was on the street at the end of the dock. We found fuel at the neighboring Shell station and filled our jerry cans.

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Never thought I’d be in a dinghy traffic jam.

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After our errands we connected with Por Dos and made our way toward the Red Shank Cays on the south side of Crab Cay. There was a bit of visual navigation required as we had to avoid coral heads. We’d planned our move at high tide so we’d have appropriate depth to tuck behind these islands. Below I’ve got a chart view, our location is the blue triangle. We entered from the east where you can see a course line rounding below Red Shank Cays. Below the chart I have a photo of our view on approach.

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We’d made it inside and anchored successfully. Here is our starboard view, and our port view of the neighboring cove where Por Dos was located. Time to go play with our friends! Hooray!

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Inquiring Minds Want to Know, How Do You Dispose of Garbage?

Have you thought about where your garbage goes after you toss it into the designated can? While I lived on land, I never gave it a second thought. If it was in the garbage can I knew the truck would pick it up on Wednesday and I would feel refreshed having another entire week to fill the can again. What happened beyond the truck…landfill, incinerator, recycling…didn’t matter to me because my garbage can was empty. I’m going to guess that most Americans give the same amount of thought to their garbage and unless they are on a recycling spree they don’t really ponder the end result once the truck pulls away from the driveway. (I’ll admit even thinking about it for this post I haven’t made any effort to research where landlubber garbage actually goes; although had read this article Recycling Is Garbage which although outdated was news to me. Thanks to Stuff that Matters for keeping my inquiring mind busy.)

Enter life aboard a boat where now I not only have to think about where to put items that we need and/or want, but also have to think about how to stow and properly dispose of garbage. Outside of the states disposal of garbage is a bit different. We can’t just throw everything in the designated can and take it ashore to throw into a larger designated can (at a marina or boat ramp or dumpster we spotted across a parking lot). Our locations have become more remote, not offering a garbage can at every stop. So what are our options from the water? Here I will caution my environmental friendly readers…you may not like the answer but I can assure you we are following suit with the nautical world.

Garbage on Rode Trip is being separated into categories: plastics, paper/burnables, cans and glass, and food/compostables. These categories are stowed in four separate places so they are pre-sorted for disposal. My challenges for stowing four separate garbage cans are managing odor and managing clutter. Those of you who know my level of clean and organized will understand that I’ve had a fast turnaround for finding solutions to both issues, which I hope will continue to improve. Here is how we manage our four garbage categories.

Plastics: As opposed to ‘Plastics’ that we all know and despise from the movie Mean Girls, our plastics are typically zip-lock bags (not washing them all…yet), food containers, wrapping from food and misc. items, and also styrofoam such as egg cartons and meat trays. Plastics are stowed away until we have an opportunity to dispose of them on land if we know that locals dispose of plastics responsibly. For instance, in many locations garbage cans and dumpsters from shore are loaded onto boats and dumped at sea. If we know this to be the local practice, we’ll save our plastics for burning. As for recycling plastic, we do wash and reuse some juice and soda bottles. We make lemonade or put drinking water into the juice containers and we make ginger beer in the soda bottles.

Paper/Burnables: We no longer get the Sunday paper, so our paper/burnables category actually takes the longest time to accumulate. This category consists of tissue, wipes, paper towels, and cardboard. This category may be burned, which we have done when we found a proper fire ring on a beach. This category may also be dumped into the ocean when in deep water far from shore (US Coast Guard regs in the states mandate 12-miles from shore). We have gotten into the habit of not bringing cardboard on board as it may bring bugs along with it. But sometimes, for instance cases of beer, bringing cardboard on Rode Trip cannot be avoided. These larger cardboard items we discard on land in garbage cans or dumpsters if available.

Cans and Glass: We’ve tried making an old school VHF from our discarded aluminum cans, but running strings from boat to boat poses a safety risk for passers-through; things get tangled people in dinghies get clotheslined…not pretty. So instead aluminum cans are rinsed with salt water, then crushed and stowed. Glass is also rinsed and stowed. Both of these items are dumped into the ocean in deep water far from shore; they sink and the saltwater a.k.a. lava will deteriorate aluminum quickly. Also we’d like to keep the sea glass flowing for beachcombers. If able these items go into garbage cans or dumpsters when available. These items add to odors so a good rinsing is necessary and I’m still looking for an ideal stowage space as they accumulate quickly.

Food/Compostables: Rode Trippers do eat nearly anything, but sometimes we have scraps from food preparation that we just can’t stomach. This category includes anything that you’d think to compost such as egg shells, fruit and/or vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc. Unfortunately I cannot add these items to my composting toilet, yes the thought crossed my mind. And these items do add odors and quickly. So these items are set aside in a plastic storage container and whenever possible dumped overboard. These items become fish food and those that aren’t eaten very quickly deteriorate in the saltwater a.k.a. lava. At unpopulated anchorages the food/compostables go overboard in the evening and the container is rinsed. At populated anchorages we wait until we are traveling to dump overboard as we wouldn’t want to spoil a pretty anchorage with onions and carrot peels floating around. Not everyone is so polite and we have seen floating vegetables.

That’s the cycle of garbage aboard Rode Trip. Instead of Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. I’d like to think of it as Reduce. Reuse. Manage.

Walk with Us at Black Point

We stayed a second day at Black Point. The forecast wasn’t predicting much wind and rather than motor all afternoon in the hot son (oh, the horror!) we decided to take advantage of an opportunity to walk. There were two points of interest at Black Point; the White Horses bluffs and the Castle.

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From the dock near Black Point Settlement, we set out along the [only] road heading north toward the White Horse bluffs. Along the way we were sidetracked by this road.

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Our sidetrack led us to this beach; on the chart we think the larger beach just north of the pond (the one cleverly labeled “Pond”). It was a steep walk in soft sand along this beach. There was garbage strewn along the high tide line. From the south end of the beach Brian was able to view the pond from tip-toe.

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Back on the northbound road we continued after our beach detour. Mid-way Brian risked himself for my safety and jumped ahead to put himself in-between me and a tiny, harmless snake that was sunbathing on our trail. He cautioned me, “turn away, stop for a minute and DON’T LOOK.” Phew, he shooed the snake off the road so that it’s slithering wouldn’t make me jump. We walked to the end of the road where we got a close-up view of these lovely piles of sand that we’d seen from the harbor.

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We continued onward. The end of our path was near the number 6 on the chart. We were not on the ocean side of the White Horse bluffs, so did not have a view of them. We did find a tide pool at the end of our road.

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Back toward town, our legs were getting weary having gone 4 miles already. We weren’t sure how much farther it might be to the Castle but thought to give it a try. Word on the street is that the castle, on the southwest side of the island, was built by a Californian couple who now reside there. We walked across the island and at 6 miles, totally parched we thought it better to head toward the store for a cold drink than to continue onward.

That evening we relaxed with newfound friends, Ron, Simone, Kim, & Skipper aboard sv/Romone. Ron and Simone are German. They shared wonderful experiences of their previous cruises and of their new adventure cruising while parenting. We exchanged English and German lessons. We hope to spend some more time with them in Georgetown.