We are going to start our last issue in the Exumas at Black Point on Great Guana Cay and continue working south as I hit on the highlights.
This sleepy little town of 200 does not seem like it has much to offer, but that is deceiving and it all starts at Lorraine’s Café because of her hospitality, internet, and the unbelievable coconut bread! Don’t miss the Garden Of Eden, where a gentleman has turned his front yard into a gallery for his driftwood artwork, and if the winds are up and the tide is high on the opposite end of town there is an impressive blowhole.
The next island is Big and Little Farmers and it is worth noting the absolute best time to visit is for the 5F, otherwise known as the First Friday in February Farmer’s Festival. This is a local festival where booths are set up, the high school marching band plays, and everyone enjoys a huge BBQ. But the main event is a two-day regatta of traditional Bahamian sloops starting from anchored positions.
On the way to Farmer’s Cay make sure you stop at Oven Rock to check out a cool cave on land. If you don’t know exactly where it is you will not find it, so the coordinates for the trailhead are N23 58.929/W76 19.759 and the cave is at N23 59.037/W76 19.646. Once here you will be amazed as you climb down into the large open cavern and find water. In fact, half the cave is underwater.
Lee Stocking Island is next and it used to be a cool stop since you could tour the research center. Unfortunately, this world renowned coral and reef research facility ran out of funding and has recently shut down.
Our last stop in the Exumas is the cruisers’ mecca of Georgetown on Great Exuma Island. This huge harbor was a favorite haunt of pirate Captain Kidd and holds upwards of 400 cruisers each winter. The cruisers anchor on the far side of the harbor using Stocking Island for protection and have formed a small community. Each morning starts with the cruiser net on the VHF radio and then there are scheduled activities going on throughout the day. Including beach volleyball throughout the day and poker once a week. There is even a beach bar and a sit-down restaurant.
Across the harbor on the main island is George Town itself. This wonderful little town has plenty to offer once you dinghy under the bridge into Victoria Lake. Besides getting your provisions and boat parts you may want to shop at the Stray Market, see the beautiful, old Anglican church, and have lunch at a converted plantation cook house called the Peace & Plenty Hotel.
Plus, you can rent a car and tour the rest of the island. My two favorite sites were the tomb of Alexander McKay and family, an early 1800’s landowner, and Stuart Manor with the old jail and memorial to Pompey who led a slave revolt that helped ease the harshness of slavery and eventually ended it locally.
As great as the Exumas are don’t get stuck here, because there is so much more to see in the Bahamas! As you will see in upcoming issues.
Visit www.svGuidingLight.com to read more from Captain Shane about the Bahamas, Caribbean, life aboard, world traveling, and more. You might also want to check out his travel video series.