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-   -   Freeport to Abaco, how do you do it? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/freeport-to-abaco-how-do-you-do-it-350302/)

irishdame Aug 21st, 2003 07:32 AM

Freeport to Abaco, how do you do it?
 
I'm wanting to get from Freeport to Abaco but other than flying I don't see any other way of getting there. Does anyone know of a ferry for this route?

Thanks!

Robert Aug 21st, 2003 08:31 AM

You may look into mail-boat travel. They travel and connect the out islands with mail, gossip and produce. There all subsidized by the Bahmaian Government, and run about $45/person, usually including meal(s). They are rather exciting, if your not in a big hurry. Call the Dock Master at Potter's Cay, underneath the Paradise Island Bridge at (242) 393-1237. I guess we're going back to the future here, since the mail-boats carried both freight, farm animals and human passengers before airline service to the out islands. You must not be a typical tourist and must not mind sharing space with dozens of potted plants going to an out island resort, cases of rum, 50-gallon oil drums, large wire cages filled to the brim with thousands of land crabs captured in the out islands and heading to Nassau or Grand Bahama, live chickens and bleating goats. The captain will tell you where to throw in a fishing line when docked, and may even BBQ your catch onboard. There are 16 mail boats altogether, and are christened the "Bahamian "Post Office" Navy," commandered by the Bahamian Chief of Transportation. The boats are no match for the U.S. Fleet in Norfolk, but they are ocean worthy, colored more fancifully, and will chug along at speeds to enable you to troll for fish on the back. You can go to 30 different islands. I don't know if one goes from GB to Abaco directly, but one goes from GB to Nassau, where you could catch another to Marsh Harbour in Abaco, for $45. You can go two different ways: 1st class, which means you have a bunk bed, possibly sharing it with a goat, lamb or chickens or second class, where you're guaranteed deck space, and most definately must share the space with all of the above.
If you're an adventuresome tourist, and don't feel land crabs, goats, sheep, and chickens are that bad of nature's creatures...you can definately get from GB to Abaco in this manner. Robert

Robert Aug 21st, 2003 09:26 AM

Oh, I forgot, if you go 1st. class with the bunk bed option, you may have to share another visitor besides curious goats & lambs, and foraging chickens. If one of the 2nd class passengers on the deck grows seasick, they place them in the 1st. class bunks. Have a nice day. Robert

wantsomesun Aug 21st, 2003 09:52 AM

There really isn't much of a choice and unless you have LOTS of extra time getting there by mail boat will take at least a day or two.

I would suggest Bahamas Air which is the only airline that flys between the islands.

There is also Chalks and Sandpiper that do charters you might try the www.sandpiper.com website for details.

On Bahamas Air you will have to fly from GB to Nassau and then Nassau to Abaco, and that will take probably less than a day.

irishdame Aug 21st, 2003 11:47 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone!

irishdame Aug 21st, 2003 11:48 AM

www.sandpiper.com does not work!

wantsomesun Aug 21st, 2003 02:22 PM

Just looked up the number for you for Sandpiper Air and in Nassau the number is (242) 328-7591.

Hope this helps.

Robert Aug 22nd, 2003 11:02 AM

irishdame; watch out for any fly-by-night operation you give money to, to take you to Abaco. Thought you'd be interested in the following report from the Abaco Message Board: Passengers on a ferry boat from Grand Bahama to Abaco got a scare when it almost sank.

According to police reports, around 5:30 pm on Tuesday, the McLeans Town/Crown Haven ferry boat was four miles out from McLeans Town when Captain Edwin Pinder sent out a distress call.

Pinder reported that the vessel, which was in an area known as Bimini Point, was taking on water and was in danger of sinking.

The 22-foot, white cabin-cruiser had a total of 20 people, including the captain and two crew members, as well as a large quantity of cargo.

As a result of the distress call, three boats set out immediately from Crown Haven to assist, along with another boat from McLean's Town. The four boats converged on the scene in less than 30 minutes and transferred the passengers and their their goods. None of the passengers was injured.

A team of police officers in Abaco had been mobilized and positioned at the Crown Haven Dock in the event the situation had developed into a crisis. Preliminary investigations reveal that a self-bail plug had not been secured, resulting in the vessel taking on water.

The passengers arrived safely in Crown Haven around 7:20 pm aboard the three boats that assisted. The disabled ferry was towed into Crown Haven, repaired and later taken back to McLean's Town by Captain Pinder, who owns and operates the ferry.

The Port Department will be conducting an investigation into this incident.

Crew members of the distressed ferry included Leo McKenzie, 47, of Wood Cay,

Abaco and Willis Munroe, 48, of Crown Haven. Passengers included Nekie Adderley, 20, of Sandy Point; Eugene Rolle, 41, of Marsh Harbour; Lavan Rolle, 38; Latanya Rolle, 18; Eugene Rolle Jr, 17; Larado Rolle, 13, Nicole Rolle, 7, all of Marsh Harbour; Hartman Cooper Sr, 70, and Mary Cooper, 65, both of Treasure Cay; Robert Darville, 40, Bethseba Darville 31, Robin Darville 6, Beth Darville 11 and Roberto Darville, 9, of Dundas Town; Earlin Mills, 7, and Nela Mills, 6, of Wood Cay; and Isabella Rolle, 67, of Coopers Town.

Crown Haven is approximately 25 miles from McLean's Town.

Posted Friday 15 August, 2003

You don't want to find a boat and pay your $$$, then find it dangerously overloaded. Robert

lindawat Jun 12th, 2013 11:56 AM

Irishdame, did you ever do the mailboat thing? I also am trying to get to Abaco without flying, but have almost given up, and settling for Grand Bahama, couldn't be that bad!

blamona Jun 12th, 2013 12:39 PM

You have to fly

A big cruise ship company stops at one of the Abacos cays, but it's hard to coordinate getting from there to the main islands of Abacos.


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