Last year we were stuck in George Town and Red Shanks for close to a month as we waited out cold front after cold front. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with George Town and Red Shanks per se. It’s just that it’s not for us. So what did we do this year? The strongest front of the winter was coming, we were 25 nautical miles away in Lee Stocking, and we let the siren calls of the most well-stocked grocery stores in the Exumas suck us back in.
Two and a half weeks later, as we made our escape from Red Shanks in adequate but less-than-ideal-for-us weather conditions (the alternative was being stuck for another week), we vowed not to let it happen again. A cold front is coming? We’ll head to Pipe Cay. Provisions running low? We’ll put up with the extra cost and fewer choices in Staniel. We will NOT be going back unless we’re passing through on the way to somewhere farther south. Whenever we go there we get pinned in. It’s not worth it.
All of that being said, at least we were anchored in the best space within the best hole in Red Shanks for a strong weather front. Winds clocked from west to north to north east at over 25 knots with gusts in the mid-30’s, but with the high hills surrounding us the boat barely moved. Another thing that made this year better than last year was our watermaker. No more 25 minute dinghy rides and one mile walks to jerry jug 10 gallons of water at a time. The watermaker is noisy, but it is SO worth it.
So what did we do while we were stuck? We took advantage of the great grocery stores and stocked up, and on one trip we didn’t even have to walk both ways. We were offered a ride each way, with the second ride coming from a DEA agent who was on assignment in the Bahamas. We hiked just about every square inch on Crab Cay, and after the cold front passed and the air temperature rose again, we hung out in the water with our pool noodles.
Finally, finally, we saw a chance to make a break for it. We slipped out of the anchorage on a rising tide, waving goodbye to the only other boat in the anchorage, who was planning to take advantage of our departure to move into our primo spot. Next stop? Lee Stocking of course.