Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | May 6, 2011

Georgetown, Exuma Cays, Bahamas

View of Georgetown anchorage; Mar Azul is the little boat in the background

We are still in George Town. Bob wrote an article on the engine monitoring system he uses on the boat, and it was published online today (you can find it under “Links” if you are interested). It is a nifty device that can be customized to provide alerts to subtle changes in various engine dynamics, before an official alarm sounds or the engine stops running. Hopefully will help us avoid any breakdowns at sea. He needed to be available for e-mail correspondence, so we are hanging out here with good internet access. Likely will depart Friday for Long Island, then plan for Conception Island Saturday, Rum Cay Sunday, and an overnight to Mayaguana Monday-Tuesday. All tentative, however, and will recheck weather forecasts tomorrow before leaving.

 The fridge was starting to look bare, and Nassau was my last good provisioning opportunity. The Turks & Caicos, a week or so away, will have markets, but presumably are pricey. The Dominican Republic could be a month away. The tough part about shopping is trying not to forget any essential items that we might later regret. With limited refrigeration, freezer and dry storage aboard, we can’t stockpile too much, either. My dry storage is already bursting at the seams.

 The Exuma Market, the biggest food market in town here, is about 1/5 the size of a modest Publix supermarket. It was much bigger than the shops we found in the more remote Cays, which were about the size of an average living room, with extremely limited inventory.

 We found most items we needed at prices a little higher than home. I was disappointed to find that the local Bahamas Best eggs I had found in Nassau were out of stock, and due in the next day. Since we didn’t want to waste another day coming back to shop, I went through the remaining imported Ohio eggs, most of which had passed their expiration date by a month, to find the last 4 dozen with a May date. Of course, they don’t routinely date stamp the Bahamas eggs, which simplifies decision-making. The meat was marked “packaged on 5/23”, which I assumed might have been the “use by” date? Anyway, you have to trust your senses to figure out what is fresh.

 One the way to the market we offloaded garbage, which we hadn’t done since Nassau. Trash facilities are scarce in the islands. The city generously allotted one dumpster for cruisers to use free of charge. You pull your dinghy onto a nearby beach, which at low tide requires wading through the water to cross the street and dispose of your bags in the dumpster on the designated pier. We dragged 6 bags of garbage accumulated in the 2 weeks since Nassau, about half of it representing items discarded after our boat organization project earlier in the week.

 We priced all the items we wanted to buy before getting cash from the ATM, which required preliminary visits to scout a couple of stores. Bob’s primary credit card was cut off after fraudulent use about a week ago. We figured that might have occurred in Nassau, as he made several credit card purchases there. It is going to be hard to have a replacement card sent to us right now, and we are being very careful where we use our remaining cards. Getting cash from the ATM seems a better option. We didn’t want to get too much cash, since the ATM’s give you Bahamian dollars, which are worthless to us when we leave the Bahamas. After going through the pricing drill, I found the ATM at the Scotia Bank dispensed US dollars if you wished. US dollars are accepted everywhere, with change given in Bahamian dollars.

 Bob purchased dinghy fuel from the local gas station at $6 per gallon for regular gas. Hope gas is still lower than that at home!

 After shopping, we loaded our purchases in the dinghy. I forgot to bring my Publix bags and insulated bags, which would have made carrying and loading easier. Then had a 10 minute bumpy ride upwind across the harbor and back to the boat to unload our treasures. The eggs survived the ride 🙂  In summary – lots of time required to take care of essential needs.

 -Elaine

 

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