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Last Updated on March 11, 2023 by Amy
When we cruised the Jumento islands in 2021, we missed Maxine’s famous Valentine’s Day party by just a few days. This year, we spent much more time in the Jumentos and were able to attend.
The event is held at the Hog Cay Yacht Club, which is a small shack in the most popular anchorage in the Jumentos. A few days before hand, cruisers organize and clean the area up, make sure to fix tables and benches, and spread out awnings from the shack outward to provide more covered space.
A collections jar is set up in the shack a few days before hand too. It’s suggested that cruisers donate to cover the costs of food. This year it was $25 per person.
The party is attended by most of the cruiser in the area, some locals (Duncan Town has a population of roughly 50), the crew of the Captain C (the local mail ship), local fishermen, and members of the nearby Bahamian Defense Force. In 2022, there were 47 boats in the area attending, so the cruiser way outnumbered the locals!
Maxine and her team provide the main meal. The menu was:
- Conch Fritters
- Rice and beans
- Goat Curry
- BBQ chicken
- Fried fish
- Mac n cheese
- Crusty bread
- Limited drinks
Cruisers were asked to bring their own chairs, drinks, and a dessert.
The main purpose of the party is to fundraise for the local community. I have to admit, I didn’t quite have the right expectations going in, so the fundraising part was very entertaining.
The fundraise is a clean-out-your-bilge auction. Tables were piled high with miscellaneous items cruisers were donating – everything from snorkel gear to soup ladles to ice machines to glasses. We’d been told that if a local bids, you bow out. That didn’t leave much left for the cruisers to bid on and win, honestly. There were so many items to go through that it was often just one bid for five dollars, okay SOLD!
The funds go to the school being built on Ragged Island. It’s a great idea, because getting anything here is so challenging.
We enjoyed chatting with friends and hanging out. The food was very good and a nice treat since we mostly eat plant-based on the boat.
While this party was fun, it’s nothing compared to regatta in George Town that takes place in late Feb/early March. You can read about our friends Frank and Mary Grace experiencing the George Town Regatta in 2017.