Abaco/Locations & Boat Rental?

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Jun 30th, 2007, 05:55 AM
  #1
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Abaco/Locations & Boat Rental?

We're (family of 4) looking at spending a week on Abaco for some diving/snorkeling & general beach activities. Like to be somewhat near civilization for restaurants, etc. Are there areas to avoid? Is the coastline comparable all the way around? I'd also like to get somoe info on boat rental for a week--just a small motorboat for short trips. I'd appreciate info on rental shops & prices. Thanks!
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Jun 30th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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First, you must decide if you want to stay on Great Abaco Island or one of the string of cays bordering its eastern shore. The coastline of Great Abaco Island isn't miles of beach like you find in Exuma, Long or Cat Islands. Robert59
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Jun 30th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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Oh sorry--left out that piece of information! We're looking at two properties--one on Elbow Cay and one a few minutes from there on a private island. Anyone familiar with that area? Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
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Jul 1st, 2007, 02:46 PM
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We stayed at Hopetown harbour lodge a few years ago. Convinient location, close to atleast a couple restaurants but very basic type accomodations, small room and dated bathrooms etc with bad water pressure. I would look into renting a house on Elbow cay based on your requirements.
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Jul 2nd, 2007, 07:23 AM
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I agree with Elbow Cay, as it has the most "to do". Try to stay in or near Hopetown, that way you can golf cart to nearby restaurants after dark. Fun for the kids and adults!

We spent about $1000 altogether for one week's boat rental on Abaco. There are only a couple of boat rental shops to choose from, we let the villa manager make the reservations for us, for a fee of $25 they also arranged golfcart rental (which I understand they run out of frequently) and sent along the Dodge guidebook. We flew into Marsh Harbour, cabbed to the boat rental location (stopping along the way for groceries), then drove the boat to our rental villa dock. I will never forget the thrill of arriving by motorboat, with the cottage caretaker waving at us from the dock. I think our boat was a 16' Albury (locally made!). That would include rental plus gas and fishing rod rental. We had a great time. Absolutely get Dodge's Guide - it was invaluable in planning where to go each day.
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:02 PM
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Elbow Cay is nice. I've done reef surveys there. Get some good quality snorkeling gear and snorkel Tahiti Beach. It's a real pleasant beach with talcum-powder sand. The water is shallow and many reef fish, some rare, are seen snorkeling only 10 feet off the shoreline there. If you look out from Tahiti Beach toward Lubbers Qtrs. Cay, you'll see a 100 ft. diameter flat rocky surface. It's only about a 100 feet offshore in shallow water, perhaps only 3-4 feet. I've snorkeled there and logged parrot fish, grunts of all types, southern stingrays, small Caribbean reef sharks, moray eels, octupus, Caribbean squid, trunk and box fish, etc. A best-kept secret is just 20 feet offshore of Hopetown Harbor Lodge, in shallow water, where a large reef system exists. When the water is calm the visibility is up to 80 feet. But, being on the Atlantic side, the sand may be kicked up a bit. Definately rent a boat and explore the various cays.
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Wow--thanks for all the great tips. We've switched gears a bit and are now looking at staying on Great Guana Cay. I've been reading a lot about it and I'd like to see it before it's changed forever. We still plan to rent a boat and venture out from there. Can you still snorkel around the BBC development?
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Jul 4th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Suffrock; I've also done reef surveys on Great Guana Cay. Great snorkeling there, too. At Nippers, there's a beautiful coral reef system just 20 feet offshore. I've recorded one of the largest Queen Parrot fish ever there. If you're not familiar with Nippers, visit their website. I don't know about the developed northern tip of Guana, at Bakers Bay, but have done reef fish counts there. I think it may be ruined by now. They plan to dredge out the reef system, which is in just 10 feet of water, to construct a huge marina. Here's two more snorkeling spots to consider. Although the Guana Seaside Resort is closed down, there's a dock at the place. At the dock's end, a local Bahamian kid piled up rocks and island junk to make an artificial reef. It's right under the end of the dock. FULL of dozens of colorful reef fish. I swam there with a pair of Spotted Eagle Rays, and have them on my underwater video. They swam with me and were not frightened at all. Actually, very curious about me. Also, form Guana Seaside Resort, walk across Guana to the Atlantic Ocean side and snorkeled at the end of the steps going down into the beach. Many Caribbean reef sharks congregate there, so be careful and stay at a distance. NEVER swim or snorkel in the early morning or after dark. One last great snorkeling site is at the boat marina and dive operation of the Blue Dolphin resort on Guana. To the right of their dive operation, on the Sea Of Abaco, you'll see an immense breakwall jutting out a hundred feet, with huge boulders. SNORKEL THERE! You will encounter the largest parrotfish, Angel fish, Grouper, etc. that you've ever seen. Hope this helps. Robert59
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