An Abbreviated Tour of the Abacos

An Abbreviated Tour of the Abacos

Our tour of the Bahamas is now wrapping up and we’ve spent the past week in the Abacos, the northern most chain of islands.  We have only seen a small portion of the Abacos but we are glad we did as the culture is different in this part of the Bahamas.  The settlers here are a combination of loyalists that fled during the American Revolution (perhaps they were more aware of the harsh Canadian winters than the rest that fled north?) as well as more traditional Bahamian descendants from eras dating further back.

Admittedly, the weather hasn’t been ideal with squally weather so we stuck to a few harbours with good protection.  Our first stop was Man O’War Cay, a small island with a lovely charm and a number of rental cottages for tourists as well as winter getaway homes.  The island is small enough that the roads are designed for golf carts and utility carts for transportation, and Magnus and I managed to walk most of the island during our 3 night stay.


The north shore is protected by numerous reefs and presents some fantastic views, and good wading opportunities for Magnus.


The economy here has more than just tourism, and here is the Albury boatworks.  It was definitely interesting to see the stages of the boat building.  On the opposite side of the street was another shop where they produced the decks and other parts of the boat.


And one of the completed products here.  We saw several different sizes during our travels, but they definitely have a notable part of the run-about market in this neck of the woods.


Our next stop was Hope Town on Elbow Cay.  Here we had to wait for the tide as the entrance only has 5′ of water at low tide and we need a bit over 6′.  As it turned out we always had over a foot beneath us on the way in, but we took it nice and slow as we didn’t want to find ourselves hard aground.  Here is the well known light house that the locals opposed as before it was constructed they had a thriving salvage economy from ships that would run aground on the nearby reefs.


The main part of town is very much a tourist town and we saw ads at the local real estate offices for numerous weekly cottage rentals that are available.


Golf carts are a popular mode of transportation here as well, although Elboy Cay is a bit larger so we did see a few cars as well.


Here is a beautiful memorial garden to honour the efforts of locals that helped establish various parts of the town.


A small resort with a pool, a couple of restaurants and beach access.


The local primary grade school house:


The school house from the lower road:


A couple tourists with the harbour and light house in the background:

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Check out the size of the boom on this racer.


No visit would be complete without a visit to the light house.

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Now here are a few shots of a beautiful yacht, although I may be biased.

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After Hope Town, we headed over to Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island as the west winds had finally shifted to make the harbour more tenable and it was time to get to a larger town to stock up on some essentials for our upcoming voyage (details of our plans to follow in a few days).  The waterfront area of the harbour is a notable tourist area with a Moorings Charter base and a few marinas, but there is also a notable local population compared with the two Cays that we had visited.  We had planned a few more stops, but based on the current weather of heavy rains and the possibility of a weather window to leave later this week, we are sitting tight, organizing the boat and catching up on rest instead.