Friday, February 08, 2008

Abaco IV: Hope Town and Great Guana

We reluctantly left Little Harbour's peace and quiet (we'll definitely go back) for the bustle of Hope Town, a beautifully protected harbor and lovely Loyalist village on Elbow Cay.
They have public docks on both ends of the village.
The Elbow Reef Lighthouse is a famous landmark for the area.
We picked up a mooring off Captain Jack's Restaurant.
It's a very compact settlement with two main "streets" between the harbor and the ocean. The Cholera Cemetery has a great view of the ocean.
The architecture is very "New England Loyalist", having been settled largely by northern Loyalists during and after the American Revolution.
We walked up the hill to Hope Town Harbour Lodge for lunch and another great view of the
lighthouse and village. There are beautiful flowers everywhere.
The view of the ocean beach from the deck of the lodge was impressive.
There was great scenery in every direction. [Note the interesting local fauna near the lower right of the following shot.]
[Sometimes it's nice to have a 12X zoom lense!]
This piece of property on the ocean is worth a great amount of money, particularly in Hope Town. We saw many restorations being done on the old Hope Town houses, all of them seemed to be authentic. On the other hand, many of the old houses in New Plymouth are now vinyl sided (still in colors!) and others are desperately in need of help.
As we left Hopetown, we hung around a Hope Town Yacht Club sailboat race which was open to anyone who wanted to sail as long as they had a basic knowledge of the racing rules. We saw everything from a Rhodes 19 to some large catamarans. There was a Nonsuch 30 and a couple of Marshall Cats.
And a beautiful Luders 16(?).
It was a breezy day. One boat called in with a broken boom and the Nonsuch retired because of a "shattered sail".
We've been told that you haven't been to Abaco if you haven't been to Nippers, so we headed over to Great Guana Cay. We discovered that it was a bit lumpy and crowded in Settlement Harbour, so we went around to Fishers Harbour for a slighly quieter anchorage.
And walked up the hill to Nippers for lunch (and a T-shirt for Hugh)
And a swim in their fresh water pool.
They also have direct access to the ocean beach.
Nippers expects 2,000 people there for the Barefoot Man's (the Bahama's Jimmy Buffet - except that I think he's an American) performance on March 2. We bought a CD and will play it at a quieter anchorage that night if we remember.
We stopped at Grabbers on the way back to the boat and had a famous Grabbers rum drink. (They claim that they're like a certain area of the female anatomy: One isn't enough, two is just right, a three is too many!) They were reclaiming some of their beach which they advertise as the greatest "Sunset Beach" in Abaco.

We're now back in Marsh Harbour for supplies, laundry (The Admiral discovered that the laundry in town will wash, dry, and fold!), and, maybe, a quiet anchorage for the next cold front passage. ("Cold" is relative here. The temperature may drop all the way to 65f at night and 72 during the day, but the winds can get pretty strong.) We have now explored most of the major anchorages in Abaco and its cays and will settle down for the next few weeks in some of our favorites for longer periods of time while we perfect our goal of doing virtually nothing but doing it exquisitely. We'll probably head back to Manjack and Green Turtle for a few days of peace and quiet and try out a couple of other quiet unpopulated harbors and beautiful beaches on the north cays which we've missed. This requires a bit of moving around as the fronts go through since none of them has 360-degree protection from wind and seas.

Over and out for now.

Judy and Allen,

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