The Abacos are an entire chain of enchanting islands sitting in the midst of a warm, calm sea making it one of the world's best sailing and cruising areas.
The Abacos have been considered the sailing capital of the Bahamas since Colonial times making the area a boater's paradise. It is easy to see why; geographically, the Abacos are simply ideal for boating and sailing. Great Abaco's coastline is scalloped with bays and coves and protected harbors that feature full-service marinas and resorts. The large island also acts like a mainland, with a long string of barrier islands lying off its East Coast. In between, is the Sea of Abaco, a brilliant-blue body of water that's shallow and protected but still large enough to offer miles and miles of sailing and exploring fun.
In the Abacos, you can truly experience the freedom of sailing to its fullest because each day offers something new to see and do from snorkeling or diving in a marine park, to fishing, or making a visit to the historic Hopetown Lighthouse or the boat builders of Man-o-War Cay, to a relaxing day on one of the beautiful beaches of Great Guana or Treasure Cay, spending an evening at a beach bar with friends or maybe - our favorite, surprise! - settling in at a distant spot on the chart for a slow sail under the blue Bahamian sky.
As for the evenings, there are protected anchorages at a variety of exotic islands to choose from or you can tie up at a marina or anchor off and dinghy ashore to enjoy a sundowner and the fresh catch of the day at one of the Abaco's excellent restaurants. For you late nighters, let us warn you: With everyone here to boat and fish and dive, the nightlife ends pretty early, but there's always stargazing from the deck as the boat gently rocks you to sleep.
Cooled by the prevailing southeasterly trade winds in the summer and warmed by the surrounding waters and the Gulfstream in the cooler months, The Abacos are rarely uncomfortably hot or cold. Although the central Abacos are on the same latitude as Palm Beach, Florida (27°45'), the winter temperatures average 10° (F) warmer than Florida and the summer highs are generally somewhat lower than those found on similar Florida latitudes due to the moderating effects of the surrounding waters. As a matter of record, the average daily highs and lows rarely differ by more than 12 degrees (F), with monthly rainfall averaging about 2 inches in the winter and 6 inches in the summer, primarily in the "20-minutes-and-they're-gone" afternoon showers and squall lines.
According to Bahamian meteorological records, The Abacos experience an average of more than seven hours of sunlight per day. Sounds like heaven.
There are a variety of sails to undertake while you are here, but this one is a classic:
After arriving in Treasure Cay and getting all the necessities out of the way you can set sail for Great Guana Cay - the largest of the offshore cays, stretching seven miles in length from north to south.
It will take you about two hours to arrive at Guana Cay, a secluded island hideaway with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Fewer than 100 people inhabit the island. We suggest you anchor in the harbor here, dinghy ashore and spend the remainder of the day exploring the town, the beach, and having drinks at Nippers.
Set sail for Man-O-War, a small cay south of Great Guana, well known for its wooden boat-building industry. It is worth heading to shore to explore the picturesque village with its colorful houses and quaint paths. There are few motor vehicles on the island, so everyone walks or bicycles. Alcoholic beverages are neither sold nor served on Man-O-War, and the accepted dress code is more stringent than anywhere else in the Abacos. Most of the 100 inhabitants are direct descendants of Revolutionary Loyalists. If you take care to respect the local customs this island will reward you with peace and beauty.
We recommend heading for Elbow Cay today, one of the most charming islands in the Abacos. Even though it is just a short hop from Man-O-War, the main settlement of Hopetown resembles a quaint New England village. The harbor is surrounded by restaurants and shops and standing guard is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world because this red and white striped landmark was built by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service in 1863 and still uses a wind-up brass mechanism. Its beam can be seen at night for more than twenty miles. Contrast this boldly colored lighthouse with Hopetown's charming turn-of-the-century homes all painted in pastels.
The ocean beach has powdery pink sand and is protected by an extensive reef which is easily reachable for snorkeling. Trust us; you won't want to leave as the water life is abundant and absolutely glorious.
This day is for sailing by heading southward for a long passage to the lovely, protected anchorage of Little Harbour. Randolph Johnson founded an art colony here in 1950, and it is now home to his unique foundry and gallery.
After a long day on the Sea of Abaco you will appreciate Pete's Pub, a fun, open air beach bar that seems to attract characters from all over the world. Drop your anchor here and stay awhile.
Little Harbour, near the eastern tip of Great Abaco Island, is filled with turtles and dolphin which come to feed in the protected water. A lighthouse guards the rocky shore and the ocean passage to the east. You can climb up to it for a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Turn and head slowly northward toward Treasure Cay, stopping at Lynyard Cay, Sandy Cay and Tiloo Bank, the only bank in the Abacos. Tiloo is fascinating as it is a living organism, covered with sand dollars and rare shells.
The snorkeling here takes place in 3-4 feet of crystal-clear water over white sand and is breathtakingly beautiful. You will spend at least a few minutes here soaking up the splendor and wondering how you could ever leave.
We always recommend a cooling out day at the end of the journey. It helps get you back into the swing of life among the landlocked! With this one, you can arrive at Treasure Cay by mid-morning and just relax and explore. Treasure Cay has one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, 3 1/2 miles of white sand and turquoise water stretching out and demanding to be enjoyed. There is also shopping in Treasure Cay, where you will find a wonderful selection of perfumes, jewelry and watches, Cuban cigars, island clothing and, of course, Bahamian art and handicraft.
Call 215-508-2704 or e-mail for more information
These are stand up people, who make a stand up product. I would buy from them again in a heartbeat.
~ Jay Clark, Dolphin 460
I just wanted you to know that your level of service and the high degree of customer satisfaction have made owning my Dolphin a great experience.
~ Daniel Zlotnick, Dolphin