Heritage Festival: George Town, Bahamas

in Bahamas / Life at Sea / Sailing the World
heritage festival george town 2013

As much as I enjoyed the George Town Cruising Regatta while it was on, I have to admit that once it was over and the cruisers rally to Long Island shifted most of the long-term “stayers” away from Elizabeth Harbor for 10 days, the anchorage took on a very different feel. A much more relaxed one.

The voices that bickered with each other on the Cruisers Net every morning and filled the air waves with warnings (“Please make sure you secure your dinghy to your boat; we’ve had a lot of dinghies wash up on shore”), reprimands (“The boats anchored near the orange buoys need to move; you’re too close to the channel”), and concerns (“The town dumpster is full and I don’t want to pay $2 to drop my trash off at the yacht club…”) fell quiet for the first time in weeks.

Since our arrival, we’ve been fascinated with the stream of information each morning on the Cruisers Net — some of it useful, some not so much. For instance, we got lots of great advice on how to fix our dirty fuel tank. But, at the same time, every morning we’d listen to the same voices from the same boats congratulating each other on a job well done in this tournament or that contest, welcoming their niece who’s visiting for a week on Spring Break, or saying good-bye to their aunt who just left because unfortunately she had to get back to the States to file her taxes…though she really wished she could stay longer…because she met so many nice people here and is really sad to say good-bye… (Good lord, get off the radio already – we don’t know your aunt!)

Why would this information be broadcasted over public radio, you might ask? I have no idea. I would say it’s just part of the unique experience of being in George Town. And, mind you, I could choose to turn off my VHF any time I want and ignore the chatter… but then I’d miss out on all the weirdness. And that, too, seems to be part of the George Town experience.

But once the boats in Elizabeth Harbor thinned out and there were fewer organized activities being announced on the net, it turned out there was still plenty to do. We found ourselves meeting up with cruisers walking around town, comparing outboard motors at the dinghy dock (Ryan’s favorite pastime) and hanging out at random bars for the local “Rake and Scrape” music nights.

Which is how we learned about the upcoming Heritage Festival in George Town this past weekend…though none of the Bahamians knew exactly when it kicked off on Saturday. “Around 8 or 9,” they said. “I think.”

It turns out Bahamians love a good party, and to them a good night out includes Bahamian beer, rum, food and music. So, at the Heritage Festival, they made sure you got plenty of $2 plates of conch fritters, endless $3 Kalik beers and ton of hip-shaking Bahamian music blasting into the wee hours of the night.

And it wasn’t just a party for adults. Every Bahamian kid in town was running wild Saturday night, climbing on stage, eating BBQ ribs, getting scolded by their moms and dancing up a storm while their parents guzzled their Kaliks.

Hell, it was the best party in town…and not just for the Bahamians. We, too, drank our fair share of Kaliks and ate enough ribs to sink a boat. The only difference was that I didn’t hear twenty speeches at 8 a.m. the next morning thanking the George Town Bahamians on the Cruisers Net for the excellent party they threw the night before.

But after that party, I’m sure most Bahamians were still in bed when the Cruisers Net came on. I know I was.

turf to surf hideaway sailing george town bahamas

Ryan’s loves him some Kalik beer.

heritage festival music george town bahamas

Not to mention live music.

george town bahamas heritage festival

And don’t forget the dancing! m/v Knot Yet rips it up with s/v Hideaway.

heritage festival 2013 george town bahamas

No one’s quite as enthusiastic as this guy, though.

music heritage festival george town bahamas

All in all, a good night out.


To see more of Turf to Surf’s travels in the Bahamas, visit their Photo Albums on Facebook.

0 Comments... Be the first to comment
  • Mid-Life Cruising! March 19, 2013, 10:53 am

    Looks like a lotta fun! I hear that there’s often yoga classes in the morning too … a little bit of everything.

    • Tasha March 20, 2013, 8:46 am

      There is definitely a bit of everything here!

  • Eric Bay March 20, 2013, 2:25 pm

    Over the last several days I have read your blog from the beginning, and I must say I really hate you guys (in that I’m so jealous of you kinda way). I found your blog via /r/sailing. Keep the stories and pictures coming so I can continue to live vicariously through your travels.

    … Someday I will.

    • Tasha March 28, 2013, 5:10 pm

      Hey Eric!
      Thanks so much for reading! I hope I didn’t blind you…that’s a lot of reading!

      Anyway, I hope you join us soon… I’m sure you will! 🙂


  • Julie March 21, 2013, 12:30 pm

    Hey Tasha! I just saw your comment on my blog about your visit to the stromatolites! Exciting! I’m thrilled that you were able to find them and hang with some of the oldest life on earth. I’m feeling inspired to find my old photos that I took while snorkeling there in 1999 (slides, not digital). Now you have just a few other places to go in the world and you can say you’ve seen them all – at least the ones that occur in saltwater. Western Australia and Brazil. =)

    • Tasha March 28, 2013, 8:35 pm

      It JUST SO HAPPENS that I’ll be sailing to Western Australia and Brazil this year! Call it a mission then…any chance those stone-like stromatolites could suddenly look more interesting out there…like lion fish or something?!

      Just kidding.


  • Leigh March 21, 2013, 7:16 pm

    We had our first experience with a Cruiser’s Net in Marathon. There were several mornings when I swore off ever listening to it again, because I couldn’t handle the few folks who were taking out their personal grudges on everyone listening. But I always came back for more. Someday I will tell you about One-Eyed Tom, who had his arugula stolen. He was VERY upset about it, and let us all know.

    • Tasha March 28, 2013, 7:08 pm

      Lol. Hilarious! I listened to a lot of grumblings but none about arugula! Please tell me..I’ll send you an email 🙂



Leave a Comment