Island Hopping in The Abacos
Feb 21, 2018
The allure of the Abacos is its many islands to see
Given the archipelago of The Bahamas consist of around 700 islands and cays, there are endless opportunities to island hop by boat. However, the spread between the islands, particularly the 16 unique island regions, makes island hopping throughout the entire archipelago impractical unless you are an experienced, long-haul cruiser.
What if you want to get your feet wet boating in The Bahamas and don’t have the time and the means to take a long-haul cruise?
Enter, The Abacos.
Only 180 miles from West Palm Beach, consisting of more than 100 islands, the Abacos are a lesser-known cruising mecca. You will find a welcoming community of like-minded boaters, looking to kick back at the end of the day at a local watering hole to tell tales of the high seas. Especially throughout the winter and summer months, boaters flock to the Abacos for fishing, diving, and extended travel. Many boaters develop lifetime friendships and connections in the islands and keep coming back year after year.
The Sea of Abaco is the main cruising highway. It is sandwiched by mainland Great Abaco, and a string of geographically bunched together barrier islands. The capital Marsh Harbour, which is also the country’s third-largest city has an international airport with daily direct flights from Nassau, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.
Chartering a Boat
Marsh Harbour offers several options for boat charters. Depending on your maritime experience level, you can rent bareboat (self-captained) mono and twin hull power or sailboats from The Moorings, or opt to book a worry-free getaway with a captain and chef. Cruise Abaco provides a unique concept of “Captain by Day, Bareboat by Night” giving you the opportunity to have a captain take you to all the best sights during the day, getting you safely to your anchorage, and then leaving you to peace and solidarity for the evening. They also offer private sailing lessons, for those keen to learn the ropes.
Islands to See
Head over to Manjack Cay with protected beaches and sandbars at low tide, keeping an eye out for rays and turtles. On the same day, head down to feed the swimming pigs at No Name Cay.
Park your dinghy at Pelican Cays National Park, only accessible by boat, and snorkel through a reef system just below the surface. If you’re feeling social, pull into Little Harbour and grab a cold beer at Pete’s Pub.
Head north and drop anchor within protected White Sound at Green Turtle Cay and dinghy over to the Dollar Bar for a Tipsy Turtle Rum Punch. Later hop across the harbour to catch live music at Bluff House’s Ballyhoo Bar and Grill.
Pull into Hope Town and visit the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, scaling the 101 steps up 89 feet to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Don’t miss the famous pig roast on Great Guana Cay at Nippers every Sunday. It attracts sailboat cruisers and leisure-lifestyle addicts from near and far.
If you’re looking for a bit of indulgence, head up to Treasure Cay Beach Resort & Marina and enjoy first-class amenities in their resort and residential community. The beach at Treasure Cay Beach, one of the top-rated Caribbean beaches. stretching for almost four miles.