Things to Do in Stocking Island, George Town, Exuma, Bahamas
Note: Many of these activities are ongoing during the winter season when there are the most cruising boats in the harbor (~Dec through February). Check in with the Cruisers net at 0800 on VHF Ch-72.
Calendar of Recurring Activities @ Local Businesses
- Pig Roast; Chat 'n Chill on Volleyball Beach; 1300 - 'til it's gone..; roast pig buffet.
- Rake & Scrape; 1900; Eddie's Edgewater on S shore Lake Victoria.
- Texas Hold'em; St. Francis Resort; 1800; registration 1730; $10 buy-in; all proceeds to top players.
- Kaeroke; Two Turtles Inn and Resort.
- Dance Night; 1700 - 'til; Chat 'n Chill on Volleyball Beach. Rotissery Chicken, Ribs.
- Sushi Night; Blu at Exuma Yacht Club. It goes quickly so be early!
- Rake & Scrape; Peace & Plenty; Dinner @1830; Band 1930 - 'til.
- Peace & Plenty BBQ: ~1800 - 'til; BBQ, music.
- Texas Hold'em; St. Francis Resort; 1800; registration 1730; $5 buy-in; all proceeds to top players.
- Frankie Bananas, the tiki bar on the dock at Augusta Bay, hosts a Happy Hour on Friday afternoon, usually around 1730. They provide complimentary chicken wings and conch fritters, and also have a DJ. They also have 2 for 1 on Sands beer during Happy Hour.
Calendar of Recurring Activities — Cruiser Sponsored — Seasonal
- Beach Church; 0930; Volleyball Beach. Choir meets at 0900 [ended Sunday 11Mar 2018 for seaso
- Yoga; 0845-0945; Volleyball Beach.
- Women's Bible Study; 1115; St. Francis Resort Conference Room.
- Yoga; 0845-0945; Volleyball Beach.
- Yoga; 0845-0945; Volleyball Beach.
- Fun Volleyball; 1400 daily; Volleyball Beach.
- Games; 1400; Volleyball Beach.
- Crafts: 1400; Volleyball Beach.
- Dominos: 1400; Volleyball Beach.
- Bocce: 1400; Volleyball Beach.
- Horseshoes: 1400; Volleyball Beach.
- ARG (aka Alcohol Research Group); a moveable cocktail hour & feast.
- Beach Church: Sunday; 0930; Volleyball Beach.
- Bocce; 1400; Volleyball Beach.
- Crafts: 1400 daily; Ages 15+; Volleyball Beach. Including basket making.
- Checkers. Table and checker on beach.
- Dominos: 1400 daily; Ages 15+; Volleyball Beach.
- Fun Volleyball: 1400 daily; Ages 15+; Volleyball Beach.
- Games: 1400 daily; Ages 15+; Volleyball Beach.
- Horseshoes: Court in area behind Chan 'n' Chill Conch Shack. Volleyball Beach.
- Majong; listen to Cruisers Net for possible sessions.
- Music Makers; occasionally on Volleyball Beach.
- Texas Hold'em: Tuesday; 1800; St. Francis Resort.
- Trivia: Sunday; 1800; St. Francis Resort.
- Water Aerobics: depends on current teacher
- Women's Bible Study: Tuesday
- Yoga: depends on the current teacher
- Non-denominational Christian service open to all.
- Services Sunday mornings at 0930 on Volleyball Beach.
- Bring coffee and a snack to share and stay for fellowship after the service.
- Choir Practice on Saturdays; 1300; St Francis Resort Conference Room; and Sundays at 0900 before services. Vocalists and musicians welcome.
- Thursday nights at St. Francis Resort & Bar.
- Dinner available in Bar and on deck before play.
- Sundays; 1800; St. Francis Resort & Bar
- 1700: Registration.
- $1 registration fee.
- Form a team ahead or get assigned on site.
- St. Francis closes regular bar menu and does a special meal from 1600 on.
- 0900 on S Monument Beach
Yoga on the Beach
- In the shade of the trees on Volleyball Beach.
- Hiking on Stocking Island
- There are several trails that give hikers access to most of Stocking Island. It is possible to walk the entire ocean (E) beach of the island. Trails will take you up to Monument Hill and a couple of other high spots where spectacular views of Elizabeth Harbour. A regular cruising visitor, Skip Hird on SV Eleanor M, has drawn an excellent map of the trails for the use of hikers. Skip also maintains these trails.
- Stocking Island Trail Map for download. Skip asks hikers to heed the advice he provides on the chart to help preserve this fragile environment.
- The ocean beach can be reached via a short trail that starts on a small beach at the E end of the short marked channel that leads to the S-most hole on Stocking Island. [23º 31.32' N; 75º 45.25 W] Note: Please do not use the walkways at St. Francis Resort; they go to guest rooms.
- The ocean beach can also be reached from the N end of Sand Dollar Beach near the picnic tables. [23º 30.95 N; 75º 44.60 W]
- Help the area ecology: Take a plastic bag with you and pick up any trash you may find along the trail. Dispose of trash in dumpster in George Town.
Expertise Available from Cruisers
- Many cruisers in the area have skills of a wide variety that are useful to fellow cruisers and they are willing to share them on a pro bono basis.
- Caution: Bahamian law takes a dim view of foreign guests "working" in the Bahamas and loss of a cruising permit could ensue.
- A good place to listen for and ask for expertise is in the daily morning Cruisers Net on VHF Ch-72 during the "Boaters' General" session.
- Pass it forward when you receive assistance.
Many awesome nature trails on Stocking Island--see hiking trail map above
Hiking on Stocking Island
If you like to hike, the trails of Stocking Island are incredible. The island itself provides a natural barrier to Georgetown harbour and is about 3 1/2 miles long from tip to tip.
What makes this hike so incredible is the variety of terrains from long expanses of surf beach, to hidden coves to sand dunes to salt flats to shaded paths under full canopy of dry-rain Forrest...it is a photographer's dream.
There is a navy beacon mid island that operated as a marker for ships dating back to the salt industry in the 1800s, although it looks more recently restored compared to the salt beacon on Little Exuma. It was also used by the airport as a guide before more advanced forms of flight tracking. There are several paths up to the summit which offers incredible views in every direction. It is a worthy destination.
A great map available at the tourist office (or download at the bottom of this article if you want to preplan a hike.) The trails are well marked and benches have been built at some of the most stunning outlooks.
There are bird watering stations along the trails. It is a bird watcher's paradise. There is an Osprey nest at the top of the beacon which seems appropriate lording over the island.
There is always something to discover but other sites that are worthy of their own blog include Stromatolites, Starfish Beach, geocache treasure and the Blue Hole. There are also blowholes, shelling, sandbars, surfing and even a tree swing. Too much to see on a single hike.
If you don't have your own boat (which can be rented - see the directory) then water taxis can be picked up at the dock in George Town 'on the hour' seven days a week. Return Taxi service is $12 per person.
You can arrange a start and end point at an appointed time. St Francis Resort and Chat & Chill both can radio the water taxis and also both have great food and cold drinks, so they are good end points for a long hike.
It is about an hour hike from St Francis to the beacon and an hour back, but shorter and longer hikes are available. From Chat & Chill you need to wade through the narrows which is waist high at low tide it is then a quick 2 minute hike to the surf beach and great views. (If you are getting dropped somewhere else and working towards Chat and Chill it is worth checking the tide charts so it's not too deep to walk comfortably across the hundred foot gap)
There are no poisonous snakes, but do watch out for poison bush which if touched leaves a rash like poison ivy. (I have never had a bad experience but washing the oil off with soap and hot water seems to be the remedy coupled with an antihistime.)
As always, please take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints, so others can enjoy this incredible experience for generations to come. Please stick to the marked trails as there are several private homes on the island and you will be less likely to disturb nesting birds.