Can't speak to the diving
too much, but know many dive out of Walker's/Grand Cays. Dodge's guide gives some suggestions.
My favorite islands change based on my mood and the weather
. I love the main anchorage and double breasted when the weather
is nice, but going in there in bad weather is not high on my list. I love poking around the Carter's Cay group as there is so much beyond the main anchorage listed in all the guides, and most of it much more accessible. Strangers is a place you may have to yourself. Umbrella has a really nice beach and good for a NE wind
. If you can get into Moraine, that's not a bad place for a NW wind
. Great Sale
offers good NW protection as well. The bay on the ocean side of Allans-Pensacola is one of my favorite most recent discoveries. The second from the bottom Fish
Cay has a nice little beach on the end with a newer picnic table. Good place for swimming and conching. The big broad bay at the south end of Double Breasted also offers good NW protection, though it offers little else. I was at Fox Town and Hawksbill a few days ago. If you enjoy getting away from the tourists, that's worth a visit.
Powell is one of my favorite uninhabited cays in NE - SE winds. Just left there this morning and am now in Treaure Cay. Night and day difference. Had a whole cay to myself, now there are 25 boats within 100 yards.
Great thing about the Abacos - it offers so much diversity in such a small area. I love it here.
For the most part I find the explorer charts and guides to be on the conservative side. It's unlikely you will find shallow water
where they indicate it's deep. More often, there are areas that are easy to navigate that you would never guess from their charts/descriptions.