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Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera, Stocking Island, Cat Island - Please advise on these

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Jan 14th, 2004, 07:00 PM
  #1
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Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera, Stocking Island, Cat Island - Please advise on these

Narrowed down choices to one of these for July 2004 vacation, will be my 50th birthday and we want to snorkel, fly fish/spinner fish. Have sons 15 and 8 yrs. old, and need advice of which island would suit us best for ease of entry and also current that is easily manageable when snorkeling and island that has most choices for just off the beach snorkeling and/or short trips to other islands or cays??
Robert, I know you can give me some input, I have read your posts and you are so gracious to give such great information and kind to take the time to inform us of many great details. Thanks to all for all advice and input.
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Jan 15th, 2004, 04:35 AM
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I've been to the Abacos, Eleuthera and Cat Island (still working on getting to Exuma...). Any one of these islands would work for adults, but when you add kids to the mix, it seems to me that your best bet is the Abacos, since there is just a little bit more "action" in the Abacos -- a few more restaurant choices, a wider variety of lodging, and all those wonderful little cays. And the local children, as well as visiting children, are more than happy to hang out with yours.

While we chartered a sailboat on two Abaco visits, on the two other occasions we visited Abaco, we based ourselves on Elbow Cay (though you can't go wrong with Great Guana or Green Turtle, or even Great Abaco (Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay)) and rented a 20 foot motor boat. Using Elbow Cay as a home base, we zipped all over the island chain and did something wonderful every day -- climbing the lighthouse at Hopetown, combing the beach at Tahiti Beach at low tide, hitting the reefs for snorkeling.

One of my favorite snorkel spots is Tilloo Bank, an enormous sandy area extending from Tilloo Cay (south of Elbow Cay), with about 3-4 foot water. The traditional snorkeling (i.e. coral) is not the draw here, but the treasure hunt is: the area is studded with sand dollars and sea biscuits (the bleached ones are dead and OK to collect). There are also lots of big, beautiful starfish on the bottom here, so watch where you drop your anchor.

If you base yourself in Green Turtle Cay, there are some pretty well-known guides (Brendal and Lincoln) who will take you on a snorkel tour, catch a lobster, and cook it the beach for you on uninhabited Manjack Cay. (I haven't done this tour, since -- much to my chagrin -- we were stuck in torrential downpours when visiting Green Turtle Cay, but my friends who've done it rave about it. Just remember to bring your own beverages, since your guides will provide rum punch, but little else.)

As for fishing, the Marls on the west side of Great Abaco are known for bonefishing, and there is reportedly good fishing throughout the cays. But I only repeat what I have heard, since I'm a fish eater, not a fish catcher.

As for Eleuthera and Cat Islands, I know you can find what your looking for there as well, but it may just be a little too quiet for your kids.
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Jan 15th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Ditto on Abaco - the "Family Islands."

I've been traveling to Green Turtle Cay, Abaco since the 70's. Great place for families, fishing (deep sea, reef, or flats), snorkling and diving. The little outislands - cays - are the very best for getting away from the crowds. Beaches are georgeous. Rental boats are available. Waters are easy to navigate. Bonefishing guides like Ronnie Sawyer on Green Turtle (or his dad or Lincoln Jones for bottom fishing) are awesome.

There is excellent info on the Abaco Message Board. Look at the info on the menu on the left and at the top of the page. Review the posts, the archives, or post a question yourself. You'll get many helpful answers. http://coconuttelegraph.net

Let me know if you need more information.

Terry
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Jan 16th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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I was looking for answers to the same question! We are going to the out islands the end of March. We just haven't been able to decide between Eleuthera and the Abaco Islands. We also have teens. My oldest likes to surf. We have found a house on Guana Cay and one in Eleuthera - North Palmetto Point. We are picturing great beaches, wading out into torquouise water, surfing on the ocean side, with enough local flavor and fun (NOT Club med type fun) for our kids. Do either of these places sound like they fit? I am also concerned about the temperature in March. Warm enough for swimming? Are bugs an issue? WHEW! Thanks for any advise!
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Jan 16th, 2004, 09:24 AM
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Both islands have good surfing, so you can't go wrong. But as I mentioned before, you may be better off in Abaco with the kids. (The most famous surf break in the Abacos is, incidentally, on Elbow Cay -- I think it's called the Garbanzo break, and is located between the Sea Spray Resort and the Abaco Inn.)

I personally love Guana Cay as well as Elbow Cay, but if you are worried about avoiding "Club Med type fun," may I suggest that you decide whether or not you want your kids to find Nipper's (www.nippersbar.com)? If you stay on Guana, they WILL find Nipper's... (I think it's great fun, but on Sunday afternoons, and other party occasions, it can get a little wild...

In March, and even into April, you will find the water to be bracing (unless you're from Florida or the south, in which case you'll find it cold). On a warm, sunny day, that's fine; on a breezy day, it's not too comfortable -- a shorty wetsuit might be something to consider. As for bugs, they are always an issue, throughout the Out Islands, especially after a rain. Bring your repellent and be prepared to itch a little.
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Jan 16th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Having been to Cat Island, Abaco (years ago) and Exuma, I would have to agree with everyone else about Abaco being the best bet for you and your family. Cat Island, Exuma (and Stocking Island) are truly for those who want to get away from everything and everybody. Abaco offers a bit more for "family" vacations. If it was just you with your significant other, I would say any of the islands could meet your needs, but when you throw children into the mix, that changes things. You not only have to meet your needs, but theirs as well. I think Abaco would provide a happy medium for all parties!
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Jan 25th, 2004, 04:07 PM
  #7
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Thank you Callaloo,Terry,SusanLynne for the advice. We have decided on the Abacos and now are narrowing down our choices. Have decided upon these, Elbow Cay,Marsh Harbour area, and Treasure Cay. Trying to get something pretty much in center of several cays so we can explore to other little islands to see some of those special places people have mentioned are not to miss. Any suggestions on these three, would be greatly appreciated.Thank you so very much for everything.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 04:25 AM
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Of the three you mention, I like Elbow Cay (though, admittedly, I have not been to Treasure Cay). Marsh Harbour is the biggest town in the region, and unless you are staying at the Abaco Beach Resort, you will not be on the beach (though there is a great snorkeling spot nearby - Mermaid Reef). Treasure Cay has an amazing beach, but you'd be a bit limited in terms of ferry access to the other cayes -- you'd want to rent a motor boat and/or a car to get around.

Elbow Cay offers a nice central location (it's in the "Hub of Abaco") with good ferry service. On the cay, you can rent a golf cart to get around to the beaches. You will have more choices of beachfront accomodations as well. The town of Hopetown offers everything you need, in a pastel-painted package. Some restaurants, shops, and entertainment, all close at hand (though, depending on where you stay, you may need a golf cart or boat to get to town). If you want to stay close to everything, think about Hopetown Harbour Lodge (right on the ocean, and you can swim out to the reef) or other in-town hotels or rentals.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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I'll vote for Elbow Cay as well. There is a great choice of rental cottages and several resorts. It gives you a more central location with good beach access. I spent a lot of time deciding on which cay to stay, as do many first time Abaco visitors. Something to consider, the Dodge Cruising Guide will enable you to put each island in perspective.

http://www.wspress.com/
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Mar 10th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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LOCATION LOCATION!! Hope Town Harbor Lodge...amazing snorkeling...cute little town ..with enough to keep busy but with a true island flavor...best location on the island IMO... We stayed in a beachfront cabana and glad we did..Great sunrise every
morning. Rooms are simple but appropriate for the location. What a great beach with reef right at your feet.

Beach bar was fun and seems to be a meeting place. Walk into town with its few shops and restaurants was a breeze and if you have a boat they have a good dock.

Restaurant at lodge was ok, we found food everywhere to be expensive but you can understand due to everything having to be feriried in.

I would upgrade to beachfront cottage if i went again....Let me finish by staying that the location is absolutely wonderful......

johnb
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Mar 10th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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johnb - you are responding to a thread that is 8 years old! OP has come/gone a long time ago.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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I am dumb !!
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