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George Town (or Chicken Harbor), Bahamas – Part I of II

Why Go and How to Get There By Colin Ward


f you have never been to George Town in the Exuma Islands of the Bahamas, you may wonder why George Town is also known as Chicken Harbor. There are several reasons for that moniker but mainly it is because George Town’s Elizabeth Harbor is the southernmost really good harbor in the Bahamas. Many cruisers who intend to travel south to the Caribbean make it as far as George Town but do not continue on because of the grueling beat into the prevailing winds and currents all the way to St. Martin. In addition, the anchorages in the southeast Bahamas are relatively exposed and offer much less in the way of supplies or support in case problems arise. For many years, cruisers have congregated in George Town for the winter season. The anchorage in hole one, Stocking Island. Some of them are passing liquor stores, a library, a bank with an ATM, a hardware through, but for many George Town is their destination or store, a travel agent, several Internet cafes, three laundries, a winter home. At times, there have been more than 400 boats propane refill station, several small hotels and numerous in Elizabeth Harbor for the cruising regatta that is held in restaurants. There is also a Batelco (telephone company) early March. Fortunately, the harbor has several anchoroffice and Internet hookup, a post office, as well as businessages, each of which can accommodate from 50 to 100 boats es that handle most courier services. There is a marina with so a total boat count of 400 is much less congested than one basic services including fuel right downtown. Nearby on might imagine. Elizabeth Harbor is roughly eight miles Great Exuma, there is a boatyard (George Town Marine) and long and a mile or so wide with a number of coves, small a lumberyard, and an international airport with frequent islands and even hurricane holes to utilize. service to Nassau and Florida. There are numerous taxis, a So why would you want to leave the crowds in the bus service, and a recent proliferation of upscale resorts. If anchorages of the United States and head to a Bahamian you have medical needs, there are doctors, a dentist, and a vet island that has 400 boats in it rather than heading to an isoavailable. A radio net takes place on VHF channel 68 each lated anchorage where you are almost alone? Well, most morning in season. Listen at 0810 to find out what is going on cruisers prefer to spend some time unwinding in idyllic and listen to commercials for the various businesses. lonely spots, but then need either the facilities of a town or These facilities are enough to attract most cruisers who the companionship of other boaters. In fact, it is quite poshave been isolated a little too long. It is also a good location sible to find both right in George Town because there are for guests to fly in for a visit. Transportation is convenient, lonely beaches and less populated anchorages right in and there is a lot to do for folks accustomed to living in the Elizabeth Harbor if you know where to find them. fast lane. Facilities Navigation Although George Town is a small town by any standards, it Great Exuma is almost the southernmost island in the has two well-stocked grocery stores, two gas stations, three


January 2005