Apr 26, 2018
The world famous Hope Town light
We were finally able to get a SIM card and data plan on our phone Monday morning. We could now download our emails, use Skype to call home and, most important, pick up weather reports. Weather reporting here in the Abacos is fairly accurate…if they say it will start to rain at 1 pm, it is like a “wait for it” video. Very close to 1 pm, it will start raining. Our favorite weather sites to watch are Windfinder, WindyTy, and The Weather Network. They update often and we know when to run for cover.
We stayed a few days in Marsh Harbour with our buddy boats Escapade and Resolve. We all had friends that we had met in previous years and as the week went by, we were able to catch up with many of them when they arrived in Marsh Harbour. Every day we would go ashore and pick a new area to explore. One Sunday there was a massive fire in the ghetto district that destroyed 60 homes. It was not safe for us to go to that area, but we found a local church that was set up as a drop off center for clothing and household items, anything cruisers could spare. It was nice to see cruisers pulling together with the locals to help out those unfortunate people.
We hauled up the anchor eventually and headed to Man-O-War Cay. We had spent time there last year and loved the laid back, family-oriented island. We picked up a mooring ball in the east harbour, paid for a week, and ended up staying for 3 months. Having a reserved mooring ball allowed us to leave and explore other islands and harbours and know we had a safe place to come back to when the weather kicked up. Eventually, we only ventured out for day trips, or the occasional overnight, and then we would head back “home”. Our harbour was quiet, well protected and the longer we stayed, the more relaxed we became. Man-O-War is central to all the other Cays and the island boasts a nice size grocery store, hardware store and marine supply store.
Kelly and Rob
I will give you a summary of our area. About 5 miles southwest of Man-O-War is Marsh Harbour, the business and shopping center for the area. Six miles east of us is Hope Town on Elbow Cay. Elbow Cay is the cultural center of the Abacos. They have numerous resorts, a large mooring ball field in a well protected harbour, the oldest manually operated, kerosene lighthouse in the world, and lots of bars and restaurants. It is here in Hope Town where they hold concerts, fundraisers, art shows, sailboat races and large community events. At the south end of Elbow Cay is Tahiti Beach. We went there for the first time this year. It is a spit of pure white sand that juts out into the channel. The east end of the spit is covered in waving palm trees; the west end is just pure white sand. On weekends and holidays, a pontoon style barge will arrive. It has a “building” on the barge that serves up conch salad, conch fritters, fried chicken and every sort of rum punch you want. It was doing a brisk business the day we were there as the temperature was well into the 90s. We only stayed an hour at the beach as it was too hot for us. I know…we are wimps! But we preferred the shade of our bimini on Adamant and the rum punch was significantly cheaper!
Six miles to the west of us is Guana Cay where here is always a party going on! The west end of the island has a resort and marina called Baker’s Bay. So far the only boats we have seen in there are REALLY big ones. The homes in that area look like small hotels. I don’t think they are in our budget. They would probably throw a shroud over Adamant if we went to a dock in there!
Kelly and Rob, Carson and Connor
About 10 miles west-south-west of us is Treasure Cay, not an island, but a large, upscale resort on the mainland. They have mooring balls in the harbour and a large marina. They also have the longest, cleanest sand beach in the Abacos. If you pay for a mooring ball at $30 a night, you get the use of all of the resort facilities. It is heavenly to spend the day on the beach, finish with a drink at the pool, and then take a hot shower before heading back to the boat. It is worth the $30 just for the hot shower!
The Narrows…Atlantic on the right and Sea of Abaco on left
Further south, about 20 miles, is Little Harbour. It is the stop off harbour for boats arriving from Eleuthera Island. Entrance to the harbour is only at high tide if you draw more than 4′, so close to high tide there is both a mass exodus of boats and a line up of boats waiting to go in. The only things in the harbour are Pete’s Pub and a foundry where they produce brass sculptures. Some are carry home size, if you have a big wallet. Others are large or outside only size if you have a very big wallet! But the work is amazing, beautiful pieces that look so real and are so intricate. And if you are lucky and the foundry is working that day, they will give you a tour of the operation and show you what is currently being made. Pete is a very talented man and his work is in homes all over the world.
Next installment, we hang out in Man-O-War for a while….
below left: walking in Hope Town
below right: house with scale model of the same house called The Lizard Lounge