We have been in George Town Exumas, Bahamas for almost two months now, partly waiting on a replacement radar dome but mostly just having fun being around such a huge cruising community. At one point there were over 300 boats in Elizabeth Harbor.
Our prior boat Horizon, the one I had for 25 years, came into the harbor about a month ago and we were able to spend a good bit of time with her owners and got to crawl through the old boat to see what she looked like now :) I was happy to see her so fit!
About a week ago they headed back towards Staniel Cay and as she sailed past, we got these pictures:
One of the reasons for staying so long was waiting for a replacement radar dome from Navico. It was a long and expensive wait but we finally got the new one here and installed on the mast. In all, it was $785 in shipping, customs, and documentation fees to receive the replacement radome, then send the broken old one back. The replacement radome cost $800 so the final cost was almost double. Wow! We could have bought an entire new system for that back in the U.S.
Our plans forward
We leave shortly to continue our southbound trek. While our original summer goal was Luperon on the north coast of Dominica Republic, we have decided instead on exploring the south coast. That involves winding our way down the Bahamas chain to Great Inagua, then sailing through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti to Ile a Vache, an island off the southwest coast of Haiti, a trip of about 280 NM. After we catch our breath, we then sail east to the first port in Dominica Republic and spend a leisurely couple months exploring the south coast. This route is well described in Frank Virgintino's free Cruising Guide to the Dominica Republic as found on the FreeCruisingGuides.com web site. We found it intriguing since so few cruising boats seem to take that path yet it appears rich in opportunities to explore the culture and heritage of Dominica Republic.
We expect that by July we will be heading to Puerto Rico where we can work to fix the oozing leak from our 120 gallon port side water tank. We hear there are all kinds of boat work facilities near Selinas and hope to find what we need. We intend to stay close to the well documented hurricane holes around that area during the summer.
Beyond Puerto Rico our plans are wide open but at the moment it looks like after October we might slowly work our way down the island chain to Grenada. We have lots of time and do not want to miss too much along the way:)
As we keep saying, "one island at a time". We will keep doing this until it is no longer fun. That may be a month or it might be years. We will keep you posted.