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Old 13-07-2014, 16:22   #1
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The Abacos.....Why?

After two trips to the Exumas, twice to the Berries, and once to Eleuthera, the Abacos were a let down for us. There were some high lights for sure. The Barefoot Man Concert at Nippers at Great Guana Cay was cool. Hope Town was nice, but being on a mooring with so many other boats is not what we are looking for. We found a nice anchorage (in settled weather) at Fish Cays. Another nice anchorage at Man O War.

We spent so much time in Marsh Harbor hiding from weather (Feb-March), it got old. I'm not sure what the attraction is for Marsh Harbor? It is a fairly well protected anchorage, with access to most anything you need, but not such a great place to hang out.

I guess everyone's idea of "Paradise" is different? We love being anchored out with a small crowd (or no other boats), and a nice beach and beautiful water. The water doesn't compare with the Exumas, or Eleuthera for that matter.

I'm afraid the Bahamas are learning from the USA about moorings. It's not easy to anchor in Hope Town, and the moorings are a problem. It's difficult to know who owns which ones, many have bottles marked reserved on them. And....they are really close together!

Once we went through The Whale, we pulled into White Sound (Green Turtle Cay). More moorings, but not laid out in any kind of order, making it difficult to anchor.....boats swinging with 10/1 scope, and others on moorings with no swing. Plenty of turtle grass! Poor holding. After a terrible night of dragging during 30+knot winds, we went into a marina. Not what we normally do, but with another front coming, I wasn't willing to anchor there again.

We left Green Turtle and went straight back to Fort Pierce, non-stop. I'm sure we missed some great places west of Green Turtle, so looking for advice if we ever go back to the Abacos. Most likely, we'll just stay in the Exumas and work our way south of Georgetown next trip, and skip the Abacos altogether.

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Old 13-07-2014, 16:36   #2
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

We used to go to Abaco on our way home every other year or so but haven't done that for quite a few years now. If it's your first taste of the Bahamas Abaco is very nice (our first visit to the Bahamas was Abaco and we thought it delightful) but once you've been a bit further in the Bahamas it doesn't have the attraction anymore. Some folks like it because of the availability of bars and restaurants at Green Turtle and south of the Whale but we prefer quieter spots.

Not Abaco
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Old 13-07-2014, 18:01   #3
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

The Admiral loves the abacos. Just the right mix of deserted islands and quaint villages for her. Been to the Exumas too but thats her preference.

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Old 13-07-2014, 18:30   #4
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

The one time we did the abacos was the only time we gained weight. Too many restaurants. Also we come in the summer and sometimes the abacos can suffer continuous rain. We seem to get better weather further south and a much better breeze for sleeping and sailing. The other thing is we come from Florida and are looking for something different, hard when most people I know in Florida seem to have a second home in abaco. But some folks love it do that's good, takes some strain off the anchorages down here.


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Old 13-07-2014, 20:08   #5
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

First off, February is not the best time for the Abacos, imo. Nor’easteries can blast through there with cool tempetures and high winds. We prefer mid-March to May.

Abacos may not have the breathtaking beauty of the Exumas, but it’s still a fun place and there are a lot of nice anchorages to the West. Met a lot of friendly sailors in Green Turtle the first time we went through there many years ago and still keep in touch with them.
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Old 13-07-2014, 20:12   #6
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

Great timing. I'm in the Exumas now and was considering stopping in the Abacos on my way north. Never been but if it's not ridiculously spectacular might just resupply in Nassau then stop in the Berries then head to the Chesapeake.

Sorry to thread jack but any thoughts on the Berries (7' draft) or are the Abacos really worth it? Not the type for marinas or restaurants.
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Old 13-07-2014, 20:52   #7
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

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First off, February is not the best time for the Abacos, imo. Nor’easteries can blast through there with cool tempetures and high winds. We prefer mid-March to May.

Abacos may not have the breathtaking beauty of the Exumas, but it’s still a fun place and there are a lot of nice anchorages to the West. Met a lot of friendly sailors in Green Turtle the first time we went through there many years ago and still keep in touch with them.
We were there march 25-April 1. I really don't mean to diss the Abacos. It just wasn't what we expected. Obviously, plenty of people like it. We are all different in what we are looking for. Honestly, I only knew a little about Marsh Harbor and Hope Town. I didn't really know what to expect. I'll just stick to the Berries and Exumas. We aren't unhappy that we went to the Abacos. We've been there now, so know what it's like. Awesome cruiser's net there BTW.

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Old 13-07-2014, 21:07   #8
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

Ralph,
Curiosity got the best of me....
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your experience of each of these?:

Exumas
Berries
Eleuthera
Abacos

It all sounds great to me!
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Old 13-07-2014, 22:08   #9
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

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Ralph,
Curiosity got the best of me....
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your experience of each of these?:

Exumas
Berries
Eleuthera
Abacos

It all sounds great to me!
It would not be fair to rate them. They are all 10's compared to Florida-Texas. Our favorite is the Exumas, of course. Not sure I can pick a favorite there. Too many choices (maybe an edge to Big Majors Spot). There is much to see in the general area. Allen's is beautiful, but gets crowded at times. Really, you can spend weeks anywhere in the Exumas and be really happy with the scenery.

The Berries are different. Usually a lot of surge at anchor. The edge to Frozen/Alder cay. Not many other cruisers there, so plenty of privacy if you like....well, if you like intimate places to spend some time. Very beautiful anchorages. Many that we have yet to check out. We check in at Bullocks Harbour (skipping Bimini), then head down to Nassau on the way to the Exumas.

Eleuthera - don't pass the "Glass Window" by! We anchored close by, near a small stretch of beach. Exumas clear water. We dinghied to the beach and walked up the road to where the new (man-made) bridge is. It was once a natural bridge, until a hurricane destroyed it. Standing on the bridge is an amazing experience. A really cool place to visit. The Glass Window Bridge on Eleuthera Island Bahamas

The Abacos - I give "NIPPERS" (at Great Guana) a 10! Beautiful beach on the Atlantic side. Hope Town is cool, despite all the moorings. Man O War is a really cool anchorage (a 10 on the scale). Anchor out, and take the dink ashore. There is a little beach and a pavilion (nice and new-looking). The Atlantic is on the other side. Very nice.

Just take 4 or 5 months to explore all of these beautiful places. Make your own comparisons. You will find Paradise for yourself.

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Old 13-07-2014, 22:25   #10
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

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Originally Posted by SV Lift View Post
Great timing. I'm in the Exumas now and was considering stopping in the Abacos on my way north. Never been but if it's not ridiculously spectacular might just resupply in Nassau then stop in the Berries then head to the Chesapeake.

Sorry to thread jack but any thoughts on the Berries (7' draft) or are the Abacos really worth it? Not the type for marinas or restaurants.

How's the weather there now? Our first trip we were late and got slammed by thunderstorms in George Town in June. We headed back to Florida, only to find more (many more) thunderstorms waiting for us in Florida!

If you are going north anyway, why not stop in the Berries or Abaco? It's on the way, so why not check it out? No problem with your depth in the Berries. Be careful if you go to Abaco. Marsh Harbor and Hope Town will require some attention.

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Old 13-07-2014, 23:14   #11
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

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How's the weather there now? Our first trip we were late and got slammed by thunderstorms in George Town in June. We headed back to Florida, only to find more (many more) thunderstorms waiting for us in Florida!

If you are going north anyway, why not stop in the Berries or Abaco? It's on the way, so why not check it out? No problem with your depth in the Berries. Be careful if you go to Abaco. Marsh Harbor and Hope Town will require some attention.

Ralph
Hot and thunderstormy. Getting a lot of practice with the shut all the hatches open all the hatches rinse repeat routine.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I think I'll give the Berry route a try. More depth is more better and they seen more manageable in the limited time.
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Old 13-07-2014, 23:19   #12
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

Hahaha. Yeah, that's what I figured. Hey, have a great trip. Wish we were there! Be safe and enjoy.

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Old 14-07-2014, 06:24   #13
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

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Originally Posted by SV Lift View Post
Great timing. I'm in the Exumas now and was considering stopping in the Abacos on my way north. Never been but if it's not ridiculously spectacular might just resupply in Nassau then stop in the Berries then head to the Chesapeake.

s.
If heading for the Chesapeake I would go to Marsh Harbour to resupply rather than Nassau. Go from the Exumas to Abaco. Then north to Mantanilla Shoal and then ride the Stream north.
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Old 14-07-2014, 06:47   #14
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

RTB I'd like to talk to you at some point about sailing back and forth to Kemah. From the Turks and Caicos, in our case. My 89 year old dad and 80 yo mother have never been under sail, and would drive down from Houston area to see our boat if we took it there. They don't fly. we're toying with the idea of sailing TCI to Texas and back.
But that should be another thread, I suppose.
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Old 14-07-2014, 08:17   #15
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Re: The Abacos.....Why?

True, there are a few small harbors clogged with moorings where you can't anchor, but the vast majority of cays have no moorings at all.

When I've been to the BVIs for example, it's hard to find a bay that doesn't have moorings. On a recent charter in the Abacos, we anchored out all 9 nights and had the anchorage to ourselves, every night. Personally, I find it easier to find anchorages to myself in the Abacos than the Exumas.

I also don't find Marsh Harbour particularly exciting. On my last cruise of the Abacos, I pulled up to the fuel dock and was gone one hour later. On other cruises, Marsh Harbour has been little more than a quick re-provisioning stop. Marsh Harbour to me is about function, not pleasure. Obtaining groceries, boat parts, fuel and doing laundry isn't about fun, it's about doing those things one needs to do to get back out cruising again.

It sounds like we both are not too thrilled about the same few locations. There are a hundred or more anchorages in the Abacos. I think the reason I love the Abacos while you may not, is that I define my Abacos experience by the many beautiful anchorages I love and choose to spend my time at, rather than the few I don't enjoy and tend to avoid.
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