Sailing in the Abacos, Bahamas

Mar 1st, 2015, 10:39 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Sailing in the Abacos, Bahamas

We recently returned from sailing with friends in the Abacos, Bahamas (January 2015) and I wanted to give a brief report. This was a new area for us to explore and being aboard a boat was a perfect way to see it. We flew into Marsh Harbor -a modern small airport. Customs was a friendly experience and then a quick cab to the marina where we were soon boarding a 41' Catamaran with friends. The company was called "Cruise Abacos". Very clean boat and nice staff. The topside lounge was very large and had a table and several sitting lounging areas, or you could venture on deck where the huge netted trampoline allowed seating above the water. Our shipboard quarters were in the forward right hull of the boat. It had a nice size bed, with a hatch overhead for airflow and plenty of storage. There were reading lights on both sides of the bed. The cabin was perfect for us, the only drawback was we had to share the bathroom due to the boat's layout. I would recommend if you decide to do a sailing trip, to get a boat that has private bathrooms for each cabin, if possible, for maximum privacy.

The first thing that struck us was how flat the islands are and how beautiful the water was compared to the more rugged terrain of the Virgin Islands where we had visited before. Within minutes the captain had us sailing along in turquoise waters enjoying the breeze and the warm sun. Each day we either anchored out in a remote island (sometimes just us) or we would tie to a dock ashore to explore a village. We could take a turn at the helm as well, if we wanted. The snorkeling was very good in some areas with beautiful coral and tropical fish and more grassy and less interesting in others. In general we enjoyed the anchoring out the most, but visiting Hope Town and touring the lighthouse was a shore side highlight. The 89' lighthouse tower has the Fresnel lenses, a kerosene wick and is hand wound every few hours through the night. The wooden staircase up to the top is not for the feint of heart.

Along the way we ate out at three really good restaurants and the rest were average, but in general we ate most of our meals on the boat and it was very good. The locals were very friendly and welcoming.

We hiked on a few of the islands and saw dolphin and turtles while sailing and kayaking. There were no decisions to make and no hotels to deal with packing/unpacking. In general we have never been so relaxed and would recommend this type of trip to anyone who wants something different from normal resorts/hotels cruises. If you can do it with your own group of friends like we did-even better. We were struck by how few people seem to visit this area but perhaps it was the time of year or maybe we were just lucky!

KC
kc14015 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2015, 03:29 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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January can be a chilly time of year in the Abacos, so there are fewer land-based visitors than in June -- but in the winter there are a lot of "cruisers" who have sailed over for the season (they are not very high-impact visitors). So you got to see the islands put on their best face.

Glad you have a good experience. The Abacos are one of my favorite places to sail.
Callaloo is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2015, 05:47 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Thanks for the trip report. We've been to the Abacos twice but both have been land based vacations. We are not sailors but a boat with a captain sounds very interesting. You've got me thinking...
mnag is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2015, 06:34 AM
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Mark Gonsales certainly offers an incredibly service.

We rented one of his houses, he gave us a lift from Lubbers Quarters to Marsh Harbour at 6.00am to catch a flight.

There is certainly nowhere else like The Abacos on earth, different but nowhere like.

We have visited in February and it was too cold. I think Easter is the best time but it can be busy. The snorkeling is far better than many make out. You just have to know where to go.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2015, 09:59 AM
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When the winds shifted after a front moved over the area, the water suddenly turned cool for two days, and one day I remember was almost too cold for snorkeling. I guess a short wet suit would be a plus for January. All in all I would give up warm water for less tourist any day, so for us January was great.

I also forgot to mention that we did not know the history of the Abacos before the trip but were surprised at the number of British "loyalist" that had settled in the area around the time of the American Revolution. Generations later there is still what seems a large number of descendants.

KC
kc14015 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2015, 12:55 PM
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Many Americans seem to be unaware of the history of The Bahamas, the islands only gained independence from Britain in 1973.

All Canadians seem to be in denial that we still own The Turks and Caicos.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 09:50 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Glad to hear you had such a great trip! I was in Green Turtle Cay in January/February, so perhaps we crossed paths...? Did you make it that far north?

Amanda
www.littlehousebytheferry.com
SocalAmanda is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 03:08 PM
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So glad you had a great trip. It is pretty quiet except when summertime arrives and many families can spend their summers in the area. We really enjoy the Abacos and luckily are heading back to Great Guana in a couple of weeks.
BeachGirl247 is offline  

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