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Top Destinations in the Northern Abacos, Part 1

Photo by Captain Shane, SV Guiding Light
Photo by Captain Shane, SV Guiding Light
Photo by Captain Shane, SV Guiding Light

When you cruise the Abacos you are mostly visiting the chain of barrier islands to the east of Great Abacos Island and we are going to start this article at the northernmost island, Walker’s Cay. Up until recently this island hosted a popular sport fishing resort, but a hurricane destroyed it.

Grand Cay is about five miles away and is actually a group of five islands forming a fantastic little harbor and is our first settlement. When ashore I am sure you will inevitably end up at Rosie’s Place for a drink.

Just three miles away is Double Breasted Cays and you will definitely want to visit when you have settled weather. These cays are unique because you can anchor around a small sand flat and still have some protection. In fact, you may never want to leave this little piece of paradise.

Our next anchorage is between Yankee Cay and Carter’s Cay. It is popular with the local fishermen, but not with cruisers. This used to be a US missile tracking base and was busy during the space race.

Northern Abacos, Part 1 : Photo by Captain Shane, SV Guiding Light
Photo by Captain Shane,
SV Guiding Light

Allen-Pensacola Cay was two different islands until the 60s when a hurricane filled in the land between them. Here you will find a nice anchorage and a short hiking trail to the “Signing Tree” where people leave stuff with their boat name.

Spanish Cay is a private island with a resort and marina, so if you need services this is a great stop.

Continuing south, you can stop at Powell Cay to see a wonderful beach and climb to the top of the small bluff which provides a great view of the bay.

Manjack Cay, also known as Nunjack, is a great place to enjoy some hiking, great beaches, and nice anchorages and you can always take the dinghy to the reef half a mile offshore.

Northern Abacos, Part 1 : Photo by Captain Shane, SV Guiding Light
Photo by Captain Shane,
SV Guiding Light

Our last stop this issue will be Green Turtle Cay with the town of New Plymouth being the second settlement reached. It is a charming town steeped in history and offering much to do. After you have taken a stroll through town you should visit the Albert Lowe Museum and walk through a period house of a local sea captain. The Captain Roberts Center is a combination of a small museum and a nature center. The Sculpture Garden is well worth a visit as you gaze upon the bronze busts and statues. Another place to make a quick stop is the old jail with stairs leading to the gallows. With a population of 450 you have a few dining options. The Wrecking Tree is known for the grouper sandwich, Sunset is the place to be at night, and of course there’s Emily’s Blue Bee Bar home of the famous Goombay Smash.

Green Turtle Cay has two different harbors providing all around protection where you can stay while waiting for a Rage to pass, which is a local sea state where the ocean inlets are temporally untenable due to waves and surge. It is most important here because you have to sail out and around Whale Cay in order to continue further south and see the Hub of the Abacos, which I will write about next issue.


Visit www.svGuidingLight.com to read more from Captain Shane about the Bahamas, Caribbean, life aboard, and more.

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