Jay and I have been trying to solve the mystery of George Town ever since we arrived here. Why does everyone flock here to Elizabeth Harbour every year? They are expecting nearly 400 boats during the peak, Regatta time in early March. And many of the folks here have been here every year for the last decade, or more. Because Jay and I are people who like to explore new places and rarely retread the same paths, this mystifies us.
So we’ve been here for ten days or so, and quietly observed, and have discovered a thing or two. First, most of the people here come from Northern climes. There are some Florida boats, but even that region has been cold (for those who live on a boat) the last couple of years. So the warm weather is a big draw for sure. We are right at the line of the Tropic of Cancer, so this is technically a tropical paradise. Second, the summer-camp atmosphere lends itself well to people enjoying a second youth. Most of the people we see are our parents’ age, but you’d never know it from the way they act. They’re kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, spearfishing, playing volleyball and doing yoga on the beach. Every day. Plus there are basket-weaving classes, Bocce Ball, Regatta committees, choir practice, art classes, dances, poker games, and other social events too numerous to name.
For as freely as we live, with homeschooling and self-employment, our lives still revolve around the necessary routines of mealtimes, laundry, schoolwork, bread-winning and bread-baking, and bed times for small children. We aren’t exactly footloose and fancy-free. So we go to the beach every afternoon after the work is done, but so far I haven’t felt compelled to join a pick-up volleyball game, though I do love the game. Really, I just want to sit with my feet in the sand and read my book. Maybe it’s the pregnancy, or maybe because my energy ebbs by 4 o’clock, but I feel a bit of role reversal. The Sixty-Somethings are out at the bar until the wee hours and Jay and I collapse shortly after the children go to bed.
I was, at first, a bit critical of people who keep coming back to the same place year after year (yawn) but, who knows, maybe after we’ve tired of always looking for a new place, we will look back on this place fondly, or some other like it, and want to call it home for part of every year. By the time our chicks have fledged, we will be looking for that second wind, and hopefully we will find the Fountain of Youth that the cruisers who come to George Town seem to have discovered.