The Shopping Mecca!

Well… that might be overstating things a tiny bit. But we have migrated to Georgetown on Great Exuma Island, which I think I can say without argument has the best grocery shopping for 150 miles in any direction, at least on Monday and Thursday afternoons after the supply boat arrives.

Our trip down was an unusual delight. With a (mostly) steady wind from the north, we spread our downwind poles and had 1600 square feet of canvas pulling us along straight downwind, making much better time than we expected–so much so we had to do a couple laps outside the harbor waiting for sunrise to light our approach through the shallows.

Right now we were told there are something on the order of 400 (!) boats here, from sub-30 foot pocket cruisers to 180 foot super yachts. Certainly too many for us to casually count. This is a major social gathering place and resupply port for cruisers in the southern Bahamas. Many boats come here for the entire season. For us, it feels very crowded–almost claustrophobic. There are compensations however: Meeting people who are either old, or new friends. And the grocery shopping.

On many of the smaller islands there is nothing that we would recognize as a “grocery store.” Which kind of mystified me for a while. After all, there are people who live there, and they have to eat… The answer is not very complicated. They actually ORDER all their routine groceries to arrive directly to them on the “mail boat,” bypassing any local market.

Just a few (VERY FEW!) of the boats in Georgetown today.

Our shopping here is going to (hopefully!) supply us for a couple weeks, because from here we are going to the most “out” of the “Out Islands.” The Ragged Islands, and the Plana Cays. Mostly uninhabited, and certainly lacking anything that might be even remotely referred to as a “super” market. These are more challenging places, less well charted, less well documented. Very limited harbors of refuge, but lots of opportunity for exploring, shelling, and fishing. Our favorite kinds of places.

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