Abaco Island Bahamas
baco Island and its cays!
Just 175 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida; Elbow Cay is an island approx. 6 miles long and 1/4 mi. wide. The eastern boundary of Elbow Cay is the Atlantic Ocean.Abaco Bahamas, Hopetown Lighthouse.
The first inhabitants of Elbow Cay and The Abacos arrived in the 1700’s and the Wyannie Malone Museum in Hope Town is very informative about the early development of the town. Today’s islanders are descendants of British Loyalists who fled the United States after England lost the revolutionary war. Their accents still ring of England and are pleasant to listen to.
The first inhabitants of Elbow Cay and The Abacos arrived in the 1700’s
A magnificent barrier reef protects several miles of beautiful white sand beach and the unbelievably clear, turquoise water that are filled with fish and dolphin. To the west is the superb Hope town Harbour dominated by the famous candy striped lighthouse, built by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service in 1863.
The village, located between a beautiful beach and the harbor, has perhaps 300 permanent residents and is reminiscent of a New England fishing village set in the tropics. Its main street, the Queen’s Highway, is 8 foot wide and no cars are allowed in the village. There are two town docks for your use and a marina where gas can be purchased. There are three grocery stores (one with its own dock), a liquor store, a bank, a hardware store, and a small drug store, as well as several gift shops and artist studios.
You will love fresh baked Bahamian bread as well as key lime pie and other good stuff. Vernon Malone at Vernon’s Grocery in town presides over Vernon’s Upper Crust Bakery. Everything he makes is wonderful and you will be entertained by his signs. Fresh fish and crawfish can be purchased at the fish market across the street from Capt. Jacks.
Nearby Man-O-War Cay (named after the bird) has always depended on shipbuilding for its livelihood. Some boats are still handmade-without-plans in a tradition that has been passed down for centuries.
The town here resembles a New England sea-side village, save for the palm trees and tropical breezes.
In town, the meeting place is the Harbour’s Edge Restaurant and Bar. They have their own dock and you can pull your boat up next to your table. They serve lunch and dinner outside under their awning as well as inside. On Saturday nights they have a calypso band and everybody turns out for dancing. There is also Captain Jacks in their new building on the waterfront also serving lunch and dinner. Wednesday and Friday nights they have live music and dancing.
Known as the ‘sailing capital of the world’ Abaco consists of Great Abaco, Little Abaco, & many surrounding cays spread out over 120 miles. Abaco is located on the Northern most part of The Bahamas and is the country’s second largest island.
Abaco with its numerous offshore cays and reef protected waters, once served as a safe harbor for British loyalists during the American Revolution.
Visit the Pelican Cay National Park, an underwater preserve; or, the Abaco National Park, a 20,000 acre site in southern Abaco encompassing the nesting area and habitat of the Abaco Parrot. Or spend a quiet afternoon at the Albert Lowe Museum, a restored 150-year-old mansion that now houses exhibits on local history. In the Memorial Sculpture Gardens, busts of some 30 Bahamians, representing different Bahamian islands, stand in an elegant, tranquil garden setting.
Good roads allow you to explore the 100-mile-long mainland by rental car. Along the way, you can see villages with lots of history, photograph island architecture and take a hike in a forest preserve with a population of protected wild parrots.
You can also count dolphins swimming the Sea of Abaco, climb the steps of the historic lighthouse in Hope Town, and collect shells on the beaches. Oh yes, the beaches — wide, deserted, palm-fringed, soft, warm, non-commercial, unlimited and unbelievable. No peddlers or hawkers. Safe for swimming and snorkeling.
The five inhabited cays are Walker’s Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay, Man-O-War Cay & Elbow Cay. Abaco’s ‘city’ – Marsh Harbor has all modern facilities!