The above photo was taken in Man-O-War Cay, like many of the islands around here it is populated by loyalist descendants, they often have industrious, tight religous communities and just like Spanish Wells no alcohol is sold, these islands are dry, although you're welcome to bring your own to the local eateries.
Man-O-War has a very long tradition in boatbuilding and boat repair. Today they build both in wood and also now fiberglass. This is a picture of a boat being repainted. The main waterfront street is lined with boatyards, canvas shops, and boutiques. Very nice indeed.
We spent the weekend at Guana Cay, great island with beautiful beaches, good barrier reefs and island clubs. We anchored in Fisher's Bay and dinghied over to Dive Guana where Maria helped us out and gave us some local knowledge including where to find sea biscuits. You can see the how clear the water is here. The water in the Abacos (so far) is a handsome turquoise green.
We played in the beaches and the boys got to play in the strong surf. With me keeping an eye on them for undertows and the like. Just one of those parent things that's hard to shake.
There are many island clubs here in the Abacos that cater to tourists, travellers and locals. Two of the locally famous are Nippers and Grabbers, with the anchorages filling up on the weekends to listen to Rake and Scrape and take advantages of the pools and island atmosphere. The price of admission in our case is a couple of the local beers (Kalik). Cheap entry for an afternoon of swimming in the pools and listening to good music.
Here Is Alistair with his old man at Nippers.
Above is Dakota who has become half fish and will not pass by any opportunity to snorkle, swim , wade, splash, etc.
This is at Grabbers which had a rake and scrape band, here one of the tourists joins the locals to try it out. They use saws and scrape the tooth end with the back of a knife, depending how the saw is bent etc, they get different sounds. Was great to experience.
This is Laurel at Grabbers, nice digs for an afternoon.
This is at the beach at Grabbers on our way home, here Laurel just discovered some sea biscuits, we found many on the grass beds around the boat, just by snorkling for them. these Laurel found off the beach at low tide.
The Abacos are vastly different from the Exumas, they are far more developed and have large communities and provide more entertainement and things to do for visitors. There are more rental homes here, many charter boats, fishing guides, scuba outfits and overall more people. Most likely their proximity to Florida, makes this an easy getaway.
When we first arrived it was a bit of shock after being in the sparsely populated and more desolate Exumas, but alas one adapts and we are enjoying what the Abacos has to offer. The kids and us are specially loving the easy access to pools, other kids, good music and excellent reefs. Many of the Abaco islands have barrier reefs, many are a short swim from the shore. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to swim out to one see a lot of cool fish and reef and spear a couple for the dinner table. Not a bad way to spend a morning.
I have felt very fortunate to do this voyage with my family. Has been easily one of the best experiences of my life.
If you are considering some such adventure, my humble opinion is that it's worth doing and worth what you end up sacrificing (jobs, money, etc.) For life is proverbially short and we don't know what's coming, and what's better than great times and bonds with the ones you love.