I've often exchanged crew in and out of Marsh Harbour, a few times out of Treasure Cay as well, via the ferry
to Green Turtle which makes it easy to head
north the less visited Abacos. I've also switched crew out of Georgetown
, and Nassau
. Personally, I have no desire to be cruising in and out of Nassau.
It's all a matter of trade
offs and what your priorities are. Cold fronts do tend to hit the Abacos harder in winter and die down by the time they hit the southern Exumas
. The water
does tend the be warmer in the Exumas than in the Abacos. While I'm find jumping in for a bath, in the Abacos in winter, for any serous snorkeling, I prefer a shortie wetsuit.
Gerogetown is a popular place for cruisers to hang out for the winter. Many people love the sense of community there. The Exuma Land and Sea Park has moorings that are easy to pick up, again some people love that easy and being around other cruisers. Of course one can't get lobster, etc.
Personally, I prefer the many isolated anchorages
of the Abacos to take friends to, even though the water
is a bit cooler. Winter, before last, I chartered with some friends out of Marsh Harbour on a Cat and despite being the more popular southern Abacos, we had an anchorage to ourselves every single
night for 8 nights, while still begin able to stop at and enjoy some of the fun Abacos towns. It may be windier, but the Sea of Abaco
is fairly protected, and we enjoy the lobstering and being able to have a fire on an isolated beach at night. While I no longer have my own boat, we'll be chartering and going to the Abacos again this winter.
Again, I think it's just a matter of personal preference depending on what your priorities are.