The last time Amelia was in Georgetown, Exumas was 1996. Cruising felt like a vacation every day and playing with friends on volleyball beach took up most of her time. Here are some glimpses of how things looked back then, and now 16 years later in 2012.
Still lush and sandy, Amelia’s family brought home a bag from the straw market. Later, we tried our talent at making baskets for Easter.
The market is still there today, only with different designs than her mom’s decorative cloth lady—more colored straw and animal print and many knick knacks for sale too. Amelia picked out a small basket laced with two colors of Androsia fabric (from the Bahamian island of Andros).
The dinghy dock was always soooo crowded! Sometimes it was hard to find a spot. It was fun to climb over dinghies to get to the dock, passing groceries or clean clothes to one another. Sometimes we would count then just to see how many people were in town!
2012- The dock is not as crowded. Instead people spend their time at Stocking Island on the other side of the harbor and just come into town for a few hours to run errands. It has free water so you can fill your jerry cans without even lifting them from your dinghy. Of course, now I have to worry about things like water!
Ice cream and a popular ring game were among my priorities (let’s be honest, ice cream is still up there). My parents would get the groceries from Exuma Market while we played and ate coconut ice cream—my favorite.
2012- no ring game. Now we sit on the benches with a free wifi connection and eat our ice cream. Then we get the groceries ourselves!
Lots of snorkeling from the dinghy!! Tons of beautiful fish everywhere.
2012- There are still some good snorkeling spots inside the harbor, but some places people say not to swim due to years of pollution from boats in the harbor.
A hike through palm trees and scrub to the monument on top of the tallest hill was a fun day activity. Then down the hill to the beach on the ocean-side.
2012- Still a beautiful hike with a breathtaking view of the harbor (if you know where the path starts)! Now, notice my friend on the left wearing a pink regatta t-shirt? Well, cruisers design and vote on the shirts every year. I remember in 1996 your design could only have three colors. Here was the 2012 t-shirt, in pink of course!
Winning or chairing a regatta event earns you a flag. There are many events to be a part of over the two weeks of festivities. It is all organized by the cruisers, mostly those who return year after year. Think of it as a summer camp (or student counci).
2012- The flags are still much coveted. We didn’t get any though!
Sitting in town with our straw purses.
Cruising Regatta Kid’s Game: finding change in the sand. This year I’m not sure what the kid games were like. We competed in the Adult Coconut Challenge (see previous post).
Regatta games. What a fun place to be a kid. Today there are many more resorts and bars built where cruisers used to play. This new atmosphere has slowly grown on us, and just being around so many cruisers you feel part of a community is fun and unique.