I hope you have read enough in past All At Sea articles to realize some of the delights of cruising in the Bahamas. The gin clear water, the marvelous white sand beaches, the colorful reefs so full of live coral and colorful fish, and the comfortable inland sea sailing conditions are what makes sailing in the Bahamas such a joy. However, it’s really the people in the islands who make these places extra special. I have been so lucky to cruise these islands for many years, and the places I like the best are the ones with the nicest people, the best facilities, and the most protected harbors. So let me take you to my one particular island I called home for KANDARIK, my 39-foot sloop, for several years.
Man-O-War Cay is located in the Hub of Abaco. The Hub is a triangle made up of three different, yet each unique island towns. There is Marsh Harbor, the capital of the Abacos with its international airport, Hopetown with its red and white striped historical, landmark lighthouse, and the last point in the Hub is Man-O-War Cay.
To enter the protected downtown Man-O-War Cay harbor, turn to port as you come through the channel. Sailing into town you will see, to starboard, pastel-colored buildings, the ferry dock, and Man-O-War Marina fuel dock. Also, there is a great little grocery store painted turquoise with most everything you would want. Jeff’s turquoise store is accessible by dinghy and is where I did most of my shopping.
I suggest calling the Man-O-War Marina and asking to speak with Tommy or Chris to make a dockage reservation. With only 28 slips, the marina is in high demand. There are fuel, water, showers, ice, Dock & Dine Restaurant, Wi-Fi, cable television, and telephone hook-up at the docks. On the marina grounds are a freshwater swimming pool and The Painted Fish, a boutique and dive shop. Tommy and Chris also provide a picnic area right in the marina with barbecue grills, tables, and chairs and shade to add to your fun while staying with them. If you want to leave for any period of time, Tommy and Chris will be happy to maintain your boat while you are away. Truly, it is my favorite place to keep a boat for short and long term. For boats on moorings or anchored out, there is a convenient, protected dinghy dock which anyone with a small dinghy may use.
Jay Manni has a canvas shop, sail loft, and rigging shop on Man-O-War and can help repair or replace or make new just about anything. If you seek out Jay at Edwin’s Number Two Boat Yard where he has his loft, please be sure to say hello from Pam in Fort Lauderdale!
To make Man-O-War even more appealing, there are two full-service boatyards that can do anything for you and your boat. Edwin’s Number One yard is run by my friend Jan Manni (Jay’s wife), and Edwin’s Number Two yard is run by Chad Albury. Several times over the past years I hauled KANDARIK into Man-O-War for a bottom job. It is great to have these two boatyards there to service boats. There is also DND Marine Services to fix anything on your boat while in the water.
There is no shortage of things to see and do on Man-O-War. Spend a day at the new Heritage Museum, rent boats and cottages at Waterways Boat Rentals, walk the beautiful paths along Queen’s Highway or spend the day at the magnificent beaches on the windward side of the island. The Albury Ferry Company can whisk you over to Marsh Harbor for a day of shopping or to catch a plane from its airport. If your boat happens to be on a mooring in Man-O-War Cay, a simple VHF call will alert the ferry driver to pick you up right from your boat! How cool is that?
As a special treat, Melissa makes fresh homemade bread a couple of times a week. You can order her delicious bread, honey wheat would be my favorite, from the Man-O-War Marina and they will have it for you in their office.
Please be sure to say hello to all my wonderful Bahamian friends in Man-O-War Cay!
This truly is my ”one particular island!” I am sure it will also become yours!
Follow Pam on Facebook at Pam Wall Cruising and Sailing Consulting, visit her website www.pamwall.com or contact her directly at [email protected]