Last issue we were waiting on the Rage to sail through the Whale Cay Cut in order to enter the central part of the Abacos. Because a majority of the boats stay in this area it is known as the Hub of Abacos and at the center is Marsh Harbor, the 3rd largest town in The Bahamas with a bit over 5000 people. Here you can fulfill any needs you have be it flights, provisioning, services, or supplies.
Treasure Cay, 20-30 miles northwest from Marsh Harbor on the main island, has a three-mile-long crescent shaped sandy beach that is perfect. If you walk to the north end you can hunt for the plaque commemorating the first settlers to the area at Carlton Point. There is a world class marina and the anchorage outside the marina is perfectly protected.
On Sunday the place to be is Nipper’s on Great Guana Cay for the weekly pig roast. For $20 you can partake in the all-you-can-eat buffet. While here enjoy the music, dancing, and pools or you can take an unbelievable walk down the beach with the reef just offshore.
Moving south you can make a day stop to snorkel the Fowl Cay Preserve after skipping over Scotland Cay, which is a private island.
Man-O-War Cay is an industrious community that has always revolved around boat building and repairs. The very popular Albury 24 is a made on this island and the island has a railway to haul boats out of the water, which is something you really need to see to appreciate the ingenuity involved. Albury Sail Shop was the community sail maker, but for the last 60 years and three generations they have been well known for their canvas bags instead.
If you can find her on her golf cart, make sure you buy some sticky buns from Lola and then walk up to the museum in the 100+ year old house of a local boat builder. Also, during calm weather go on the windward side of the island to snorkel the 1862 wreckage of the USS Adirondack.
As industrial as Man-O-War is, the people are equally religious and alcohol is not sold anywhere on the island. In fact, people are quite surprised at how religious the Bahamian people are as a whole.
The last stop of this issue will be Hope Town on Elbow Cay. This cozy little community is a delight for everyone who visits. Most people enjoy walking around town gazing at the amazingly cute houses and poking into the shops. Plus you don’t have to worry about cars since they are not allowed in town. There is even one of the breadfruit trees Captain Bligh brought to the New World. At night make sure you stop by Captain Jack’s.
Across the all-weather harbor you will not want to miss the lighthouse built in 1864. It is one of the last manually operated kerosene lighthouses in the world with a spring mechanism that has to be hand cranked every several hours to maintain the sequence of five white flashes every 15 seconds.
Next issue we are going to finish up our tour through the Abacos with the southern section where you will feel like you have the entire area to yourself.
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