Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

Beach off Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas
Large sting ray
The saying is, “Its Better In The Bahamas”.  I’m not certain what is better, but the water in the Exumas that I’ve raved about as we cruised southward through these waters, seems even prettier this time.  In 54 feet of water, I could see the blades of grass on the bottom! 
Dropping the hook in 15 feet of water off Sand Dollar Beach in Georgetown on Monday afternoon, I watched a large sting ray swim up to check us out, as did two large sea turtles.  Again, I can see individual blades of grass on the bottom through the clear, sparkling aqua water.  

Funky popular place - The Chat & Chill

Ummmm, so many choices......Where to Go Next!

We are surprised at how few boats are actually here -- this is THE place to hunker down for the winter....guess they have gone on OR the recession has also hit Georgetown hard.  
Not so many boats at anchor this year
We’ve spent a couple of lazy days here, catching up on domestic chores and exploring in the dingy - slowly -- as we have to break in the engine.   We’ve walked the beaches looking for those Sand Dollars that this beach is named for....Just like the rest of the guidebooks - nope - nothing - nada. 

Ouch, shopping for fruit and produce at the local grocery is a painful reminder of how expensive food is here in the Bahamas....from 20% to 100% higher for items here.  One red pepper, weighing in at 1.09 pounds was $5.50; yellow squash at $3.50 a pound and 1 pound of ordinary carrots was 99 cents.  The local paper has an article discussing the efforts to grow food here in the islands, showing a photo of a new tractor just delivered to the Exumas to help them in their efforts.  

Sting ray searching for a loose piece of conch from the pile of discarded conch shells

In an earlier blog, I mentioned how some Bahamians proudly talked about the fact that they are not farmers - as though that were demeaning.  Now,  these islands are waking up and quoting the Food & Agriculture  Organization of the UN’s warning of a ‘major food crisis’.  These islands IMPORT everything!  They send “ $500 million a year out of the country each year to purchase goods and service that we can easily provide ourselves right here in our Bahamas”.  They discussed how many tomatoes (which seem to be about the only thing grown in any quantity around here) they throw away every year, while, at the same time, IMPORTING ketchup, diced tomatoes in cans, etc. etc. etc.  The islands are now encouraging green house technology, plastic coverings for plants and certain fertilization techniques.  Humm, maybe sometime, it won’t be so expensive to shop here and maybe someday, the produce we do purchase will actually be FRESH.
Doesn't get any prettier than this!
Now, if someone on these islands can figure out how to fix the beer problems.....$50 a CASE is the price for the cheapest beers!  Let’s show them how to make homebrew....or maybe it would be faster to make homebrew on a BOAT.

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