December 26 – December 31.
How does one measure success? I mentioned earlier that there is an effort to revive the development of a resort in Black Point. Weâ€™ve seen the ruins of the failed attempt and a plan for the new project.
We hear a major hotel chain is willing to back the effort if a new marina is built, the proposed golf course is expanded from nine to eighteen holes, and a bunch of additional housing sites are allocated. The beautiful beach will be preserved. The airport will be enhanced. Many people will have the opportunity to enjoy this slice of the Exumas. Somebody will get rich. Will there still be lively impromptu international Christmas celebrations? Probably not.
The Bahama islands are littered with the ruins of failed resorts. It seems that the only way something constructive happens here is when an outsider buys an entire island and builds on it. In our short time here, weâ€™ve seen this happen on a couple of isles. The individual cays are being snapped up by the wealthy, and local Bahamians donâ€™t seem to benefit much from the process.
As we leave Black Point we can see the huge sand pile on the north end of the island. It is from the dredged out channel of nearby Bell Island. The owner of Bell promised Black Point residents a new hospital in exchange for the privilege of dumping the sand there. Now there is a disagreement about who will build the facility. The Bell owner wants control, feeling that if the task is left to Bahamians it will never be completed.
We sail south past the Farmersâ€™ Cays. We sail past David Copperfieldâ€™s Musha Cay and stop by private Cave Cay for the night. The next day we sail past more privately owned cays and newly purchased Lee Stocking Island then stop at Rat Cay. From here we sail to Georgetown.
We gave our impressions of Georgetown last season. Our Cabbagetown has been described as Mayberry on crack. If thatâ€™s accurate then Georgetown is like a floating Mayberry on crack. Itâ€™s reasonably quiet here now, though. Only 50 cruisers were ferried by Elvis to the Saturday night Junkanoo festival. There wonâ€™t be an instructor for beach yoga until next week. And there were fewer than 100 boats in Elizabeth Harbor. We park at quiet Crab Cay by ourselves.
Itâ€™s a long row into town for the free water and provisions. Fever makes the trip four times. We visit with our new buddy Bill (from Moonshine). He arrived the day before us, and plans to stay here a few months. Weâ€™re ready to move on.
We head east to Thompson Bay, Long Island. Iâ€™d like to say we sailed, but that wouldnâ€™t be accurate. We took our day of light easterly wind and motored into it. Now weâ€™re here at Long Island by New Years as planned. Thatâ€™s how we measure success!