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Old 30-03-2022, 10:42   #1
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Abaco Bahamas first time

Hi everyone,

My family and I are doing our first bareboat charter (3 adults and 2 kids 12&13) in the Abaco’s. I am looking for some advice on a few things.
  1. Water, we have a water tank">fresh water tank that is filled from dock. Should we buy additional bottled water for drinking. I say yes but am adverse to the additional waste.
  2. My daughter would like to see the pigs at noname and I would like to see the art foundry at Little Harbor. How realistic is it to do both in 7 days
  3. What are some must see things to do/see.

I have hired a captain for the first day since I’m completely new to this area.
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Old 30-03-2022, 11:48   #2
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

No idea how much water you use or can carry in your tanks. With two onboard we have two tanks of 100gallons each. We are good for about three weeks. Lots of places to buy water. No Name to Little harbour is an easy day sail or motorsail. Careful of the pigs, they are not the lovable friendly creatures your daughter is hoping for. They can get a little aggressive if they see you carrying food.
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Old 30-03-2022, 13:17   #3
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

I think the pigs are in The Exumas.
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Old 30-03-2022, 13:51   #4
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

On the water, what I was trying to ask, but obviously didn’t after rereading, is how safe is it to drink from a charter boats freshwater tank (200+ gal) or should I just use that for bathing/washing and bring bottled water to drink on board.

Sorry for any confusion 🤔
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Old 30-03-2022, 14:21   #5
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

We just came back from an 8 day charter there.
1) I personally don't think drinking from the tanks on a "Charter boat" is a good idea over a week. The dock manager of our charter base also told us not to drink the water all of the time but occasionally would be OK


2)No Name Cay does have Pigs but the pigs can bite. One lady we ran into had to get stitches when she stepped off the dock not knowing there were baby pigs right below the dock, surprised their mother who took her as a threat. She was there the day before us. The water was pretty chilly so we didn't see anyone try to swim with them.
This was March 4th or 5th. All in all we were pretty disappointed in that experience.



We ended up having to stay North of Whale Cay an extra two nights due to the Whale Cay Passage being to rough to try with inexperienced crew so double check the predicted conditions before committing to go there. Also we weren't able to pick up the cruisers net in that area.

That said Green Turtle is a wonderful place to stay. In White sound there were turtles around us constantly and a pod of 5-6 Dolphins came thru as well.



Coming back south The wind direction was not agreeable to try to sail, so we motored that day and were able to make Hope town in about 5 hours. I think getting from Green Turtle to Little Harbor in one day is unrealistic unless you have a motor yacht that can make 14 Knots/ hour.



We did get to little harbor and Personally would spend an extra day there rather than No Name. You do need to enter and exit little harbor at or near high tide so plan accordingly. We went in 3 hours after high tide and dragged a little with 4.2 feet of draft.


Everyone is different and has their own like and interests. For me the must do's are Hope Town and Little Harbor. Also Great Guana for Nippers and Grabbers but those are more suited to Adults.


Hope this helps. Should be a lot of fun.
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Old 30-03-2022, 14:56   #6
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

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Originally Posted by Cdreamin View Post
No Name Cay does have Pigs but the pigs can bite. One lady we ran into had to get stitches when she stepped off the dock not knowing there were baby pigs right below the dock

When did they build a dock ?
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Old 30-03-2022, 16:17   #7
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdflyer View Post
On the water, what I was trying to ask, but obviously didn’t after rereading, is how safe is it to drink from a charter boats freshwater tank (200+ gal) or should I just use that for bathing/washing and bring bottled water to drink on board.

Sorry for any confusion 🤔
Most locals do not drink the town water. Plan on getting bottled for drinking and use the tank water for the rest.
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Old 30-03-2022, 16:56   #8
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

There is so much to see and do in the Abaco's, you will have little problem find things to do, places to see, places to eat,or just kicking back to read a book.

You will run into other cruisers wherever you go, who will give you the low down on any number of places.

I've been to the Abaco's many times. I don't drink the tank water there, or water I get from marina's. I have boiled it to make coffee....you can buy bottled water there.
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Old 30-03-2022, 17:09   #9
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

I live part-time on Green Turtle, the city water is definitely drinkable there and I haven't had any issues with any Abaco water....but I don't drink the water out of my own boat's tanks until it goes through my seagull filter so I definitely wouldn't drink charter boat tank water straight up. On past charters I've taken my camping high quality filter for the tank water because I hate the plastic bottle waste as well.

I hate to disappoint your daughter but I have found the pigs in both Abaco and Eluthera disappointing. For a much more fun experience I would recommend stopping at the bay at the very north end of Nunjack/Manjack. The southeast corner of the bay has a bunch of semi-tame rays and sharks that the local tour guides feed fish remains to so they'll swim right up to you when you're ankle deep in the water. There are sometimes a couple charter boats with 5 or 6 people each there, but never a zoo like the pig islands.
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Old 30-03-2022, 17:34   #10
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

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I hate to disappoint your daughter but I have found the pigs in both Abaco and Eluthera disappointing. For a much more fun experience I would recommend stopping at the bay at the very north end of Nunjack/Manjack. The southeast corner of the bay has a bunch of semi-tame rays and sharks that the local tour guides feed fish remains to so they'll swim right up to you when you're ankle deep in the water. There are sometimes a couple charter boats with 5 or 6 people each there, but never a zoo like the pig islands.
Stringrays and if you're lucky an eagle ray at Manjack
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Old 30-03-2022, 17:56   #11
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

A 7 day charter is really not much time. I see little point in trying to see "everything" in that time.
There is plenty to see and do around the Marsh Harbor area vicinity.
My advice would to be to focus on....say... Marsh Harbor...Man '0 War...Hope Town...Guana...Little Harbor...that will eat your 7 days without any problem, without traveling to much. You can also find plenty of places to anchor where you will be mostly alone, if that is your choice.

If sailing is your thing, a trip to Green Turtle Cay, would solve that, which is a nice place to see, but you would likely have to forego going to Little Harbor for instance as they are in opposite directions.

The weather, off course, is the big unknown, but sailing within the "bight" of Abaco, ie, around the Marsh Harbor area, will have you in mostly placid waters

But you will have a Captain on board, let him/her advise you as to where to go and what to do.

The real beauty of the Abaco's is below the water. There are countless places to do some snorkeling. Again, ask your captain for recommended spots.

Needless to say, fishing is also good. Check with your captain.

You'll have blast, no matter what !!
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Old 31-03-2022, 02:16   #12
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

Coupla additions:

If you're renting a cat and a captain, you likely wont' have to deal with the Whale; you should be shallow enough to go behind, or even on the shortcut. Get local knowledge...

Manjack is all that was noted. Again about a cat, you could anchor in that little harbor, or opposite on the Sea of Abaco and dinghy in/walk over to that beach.

If you want to snorkel, Fowl is right up the road from Marsh Harbour, as well as Sandy, on the way to Little Harbour. You can anchor out off Tilloo or on the beach to the north, if the wind's right (meaning no issues of the actual harbor). Great exploration to the west, too, in those areas in the shallows, by dink.

If tourism is your thing, Man O War, Hope Town, Lubbers Quarters, Great Guana all beckon.

If beachcombing is your thing, all the islands down south have walk-over paths to the Atlantic from the Sea of Abaco.

So much to do and so little time; I recommend making several differing itineraries based on your preferences and weather (snorkeling is much more fun if it's relatively calm, tourism is much more fun if it's dry, beachcombing is better if it's not too hot, etc., e.g.).

Wish I were there...
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Old 31-03-2022, 02:40   #13
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

You Guys will have a blast! Having your own boat is definitely the way to go.

Most days, the Sea of Abaco is a friendly place. North to south, there are lots of fun things to see and do. Swim, snorkel, hang out, bars, beaches, etc.

Depending on where you pick up your boat, you can organize your trip based on weather conditions.

In no particular order:
1. Tahiti Beach
2. The Harbor in Hope Town
3. Pete's Pub / Gallery in Little Harbour
4. Snorkeling the National Park reefs off Scotland Cay
5. Man 'O War Cay - Albury Sail Shop, Albury Brother Boats
6. Treasure Cay
7. Great Guana Cay - Nippers (quiet most days, used to be rowdy on Sundays)
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Old 31-03-2022, 04:15   #14
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

I have been going to the Abaco's for over fifty years.



Water -- All of the water in the Abacos is made by Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units, so it is drinkable. The issue with water coming from your tanks is taste. Some find the taste "funny" or otherwise objectionable. In that case you may otherwise want to buy some drinking water. The primary issue with water on a charter is that you and your crew may want to take "normal" showers in which you leave the water running, instead of the wet, lather, rinse boat shower. If you do the latter you may run out of water and have to buy it at $.25/gallon.


Whale Cay Passage -- Lots of folks try going behind Whale Cay. This may be doable, especially if you have local knowledge. However, if the passage is in what the locals call a 'Rage', (high winds out of the East) the route behind Whale Cay will also be impassable. In any event a responsible charter company will want you to check in with them before going north of Whale Cay. If you get stuck up there due to weather at the end of the charter you will likely be responsible for the costs of bringing the boat back to the base after your charter ends. The best way to avoid this is to head up to Green Turtle at the beginning of your charter so that you have time to get back if there are Rage conditions in the Whale.


Pigs -- They are wild animals and you and your family should treat them as such. If you feed them, give them something long (carrot, long strip of coconut) so that they don't mistake your finger for food. There is a beach bar / restaurant at No Name -- Big O's. As noted above, if you run a little further up to Munjack there are lots of rays, turtles and nurse sharks in the cove on the North side of the Cay.


Itinerary -- After chartering for many years in Abaco we found that on a 7 day charter you need to either go North to Green Turtle and stay there or go South to Little Harbor but trying to do it all in one trip tends not to be very relaxing. Bottom line, choose whether you want to go North or South and then be flexible depending on the weather. If you stay South there will be so much to do that make the long trek to Little Harbor and back will become unappealing. However, if you want to "do it all", in the time you have is to stay in the Sea of Abaco and hire someone like Stafford "Plug" Patterson (Hopetown) or Troy Albury (Dive Guana) to take you to see the pigs, Munjack and Green Turtle, or go to Little Harbor, in their center console boats. They are much faster than you can sail and you can learn a lot from them while you do it.
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Old 31-03-2022, 04:43   #15
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Re: Abaco Bahamas first time

Weather will dictate everything! I second everyone who commented on the Whale Cut - you need two very decent days to get there and come back, so if you want to do No Name, Manjack and Green Turtle, you’re probably not going to be able to do Little Harbor too. Since you will be coming out of Marsh Harbor (south of the Whale Cut), I would agree with the others - do Great Guana Cay, Man o’ War, Elbow Cay (where Hope Town and Tahiti Beach are located), and Little Harbor. Snorkel at Fowl Cay and Sandy Cay - both part of the Bahamas National Trust Park System ($$ for moorings and anchoring). We drink water out of our tanks all the time since we live aboard and have a Seagull filter. Bottled water is expensive here, and I have never seen marina water at $.25 a gallon (we have been coming to the Bahamas for 6 years). Cheapest I have seen is $.38 and as high as $.60. Cruising the Abacos is fantastic - you will have a great time. The Bahamians are wonderful, friendly people. Pigs - not a fan but understand the draw for kids. Just be careful - I would not recommend feeding them anything - just watch. Bring bug spray for the no seeums and poison ivy relief stuff if you get bitten (Calamine lotion - something that is “drying”, rather than greasy). An easy place to cruise.
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