Looking back through pictures of our 6 years of cruising, it’s fun to see all of the fun things that we have done, as sailors and as a family. We have hit up many islands, some of them multiple times, and certainly have some hot spots to recommend to other folks passing through. These are spots that may not necessarily be in your sailing guides but that we found of great interest and note-worthy. I am going to write these about a few different destinations (some of them sailing spots, some of them near sailing spots, and some just of cool vacation spots we have been to). Over the next few posts I will cover “Things To Do In: Georgetown, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Cabarete/DR’s North shore, St Thomas, USVI, St John, USVI, and lastly Zanzibar”.
All of my suggested spots are “family-friendly” but can also be done without children in tow.
THINGS TO DO IN: Georgetown, Bahamas (Stocking Island)
We spent three seasons, yes three!, in Georgetown. It seems that for many sailors its either you love it or you hate it. We loved it. We also kept returning because this is as far south as we could manage to get in the three seasons before we would either get pregnant, run out of money, or buy a new boat. Each time we would reach this point and then have to either head back to Miami or leave the boat and fly back to Canada to have babies! So in all of our time in Georgetown, Stocking Island, we have amassed quite a number of things that we love to do there.
-Beach comb the Atlantic side. There is endless beach to explore on the Atlantic side of the island, which is full of little seashells, and every so often a lucky sea bean. We’ve spent many hours walking up and down the shore line, gazing at the treasures that the ocean washed up. We still have ziplock baggies of shells from there sitting on our boat!
Surf or sit in tide pools
– Depending on the swell the Atlantic side is also a fun spot for surfing and/or sitting in the tide pools. With the right wave direction there are a couple of good spots to go paddle around in with your board, if you find our friend Adam he may tell you the sweet spots. And if the tide came high enough and then back out, many of the beach side rock formations fill with water and get warmed by the sun making them perfect for splashing around in.
Visit the sand bar
– When the tide goes out there is a beautiful white sandbar that appears between Stocking Island and Elizabeth island. It’s a nice spot to get away from the sometimes busy beaches; go bask in the sun, and have a playpen created by nature…the kids can only wander so far before they reach water again!
Chat n Chill
–Chat n Chill is the busiest beach bar in the area. They have cold beer, mixed drinks, and food in case you decide that tonight’s not a night that you will be cooking onboard. Make sure to say HI to the best bartender ever, Kendra, and tell her we miss her. The bar has a couple of beach volleyball courts next to them, where there are often games on the go. And a rope swing/climbing tree that is guaranteed to keep the kids busy.
Pet the Stingrays
-Sting rays, nice ones. Right down the beach from Chat n Chill is the conch shack. There are a few sting rays that have become accustomed to swimming this area waiting for the remainders of the conch to be tossed into the water for them. The sting rays are now extremely used to being around people and will come up to you, eat out of your hand, and let you pet them. Arias, who spent the first 3 years of her life around this island, used to call the stingrays her pets and would give anyone who listened a “sting ray etiquette” tutorial!
Flip Flop Beach
-Flip Flop beach is further West from Stocking Island. It was once known as a nudist beach, and still may be for all I know, but we never saw naked people there. This beach is a great spot for potlucks, bonfires, and just hanging out with friends. It has a little thatched, shaded area, with benches to sit on. Be respectful and help keep the place clean, bring all of your trash home with you.
-Spear fishing is what kept Eben busiest around here. There are several hotspots to go check out, and you are almost guaranteed to come home with something. Ask around to the other boaters that have been there a while to find out what spots have not been over-fished.
|It’s a sport, and brings home the “bacon”
Swim with Wild Dolphins
-Swim with dolphins, not like Marine world style where you ride on their backs; there are wild dolphins that sometimes swim in the anchorages and if you are lucky one might come and check out your boat. They are curious creatures and will let you get near enough, but they are still wild, so keep a safe distance, both for your sake and theirs.
|This dolphin made many visits to our boat. We found out it likes the vibration of DubStep!
Find Huge Starfish
-Find star fish the size of your head. There are some ginormous star fish in the Bahamas, and the beaches around Stocking Island often have them on the sea floor. Throw on a snorkel and go find one.
|Ah, Arias as a baby, so cute. And a starfish bigger than her head.
Party at the Regatta
-The Regatta in Georgetown is something else! It is a non-stop party, like adult daycare, with tons of fun activities planned throughout its duration. Expect to have the anchorage quadruple in size though. Last time we were there they got several HUNDRED boats there. It gets busy, so only go if you like busy. They have all sorts of tournaments, volleyball, bocce ball, poker, pet competition, poker runs, etc etc etc. And don’t forget the parties almost every night.
|The regatta even has fun activities for the little ones. Here is Arias running her first ever duathlon, she won her division!
Take a Hike
-The hike to Monument Point is worth doing at least once to see the anchorages from above. It’s an easy enough climb, and once you get to the top there a couple of trails that break off and continue further if you want to make an outing of it. Bring snacks and don’t forget your camera.
|A nice hike to the monument, I was nearly 9 months pregnant with Ellia at the time.
Dance At Rake n Scrape
-Rake n Scrape was one of our favourite places to go hang out on Monday nights. A short dinghy ride to town side, and then a short walk gets you to a bar where the local musicians are scrapping away at their instruments making some very loud and entertaining music to dance to. Arias used to be known as the dancing baby as she made many an appearance at this place and would boogie until late hours dancing to her fave song, “Shake it up”!
Have you been to Georgetown (Stocking Island), Bahamas? What are some of your family friendly (or even adult fun) things to do there. Share in the comments to help all future travellers to the area have an awesome time.