Monthly Archives: October 2011

Abaco Day 10 – Lunch Hook – Treasure Cay to Fowl Cay Preserve

After our short stop at Treasure Cay, we headed south toward Fowl Cay Preserve for an afternoon of snorkeling.

Scotland Cay

But first we realized that we’d hit low tide at just right for a change – and dropped an anchored off Scotland Cay. A huge sand bar is exposed a low tide so we dinghied in and made camp for the morning. Then we headed over to Fowl Cay Reef.

Fowl Cay Reef and Preserve

Just south of Scotland Cay, this is reportedly one of the best snorkeling spots in Abaco. We dropped an anchor on the east side of the Cay and dinghied to one of the designated moorings near the Reef. It gave us a chance to test our new underwater digital while the brightly colored, friendly fish produced a few qualms about yesterday’s dinner.

Abaco Day 9 – Green Turtle to Treasure Cay

Ready for an easy sail, we headed back through Whale Cay Passage south to Treasure Cay. One of the few big yacht options in Abaco, the 150-slip Treasure Cay Marina and Hotel complex had just opened when we made our very first cruise up Abaco Sound (25 years ago) – it was, for its time, dazzling. Today it is a modest vacation development with a pool, 18-hole golf course, 100-room hotel, rental villas and condos, and tennis courts – that, on the approach, is showing its age.

But its spectacular three-mile arc of powder-sand beach is still dazzling and well worth a visit. Tipsy Seagull Bar is dockside and the low-key, upscale Spinnaker Restaurant, where we dined that night, overlooks the pool and harbor. Nearby is the studio for Abaco Ceramics which is featured in shops all over the Bahamas. There are also direct flights from Treasure Cay to Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.

Abaco Day 8 – Great Guana to Green Turtle Cay

Ready for a long, leisurely sail up Abaco Sound, we headed for our northernmost destination on this trip. Green Turtle Cay requires a short outside passage around Whale Cay. When the ocean is “raging,” this passage is not recommended so we listened in on Patti and Bob Toler’s Cruiser’s Net (Channel 68, at 08:15) for up-to-date weather reports. We learned lots of other interesting tidbits as well and – voyeurs all – we listened every morning just for fun.

The weather was kind and we cruised Green Turtle’s northern White Sound and southern Black Sound trying to decide where to stay. We chose Black Sound for its proximity to the historic village of New Plymouth on Settlement Harbour (which is just too tight and shallow for boats over 15 feet or so) and picked up a rental mooring from the Other Shore Club with a view of the travelift bay at AbacoYacht Services on the far shore. We headed over to New Plymouth and stumbled on a home-based golf cart rental agency. It was time for some land fun, and the four of us climbed aboard for an island tour.

New Plymouth’s narrow cement roads are all one-way because they’re too tight for two golf carts to pass each other. The history of the settlement is chronicled in the Albert Lowe Museum. Across the roadway, the Memorial Sculpture Garden features a monument that commemorates the arrival of the Loyalists; it’s surrounded by dozens of bronze busts of key players in Bahamian history, many of whom are still living. We stopped at all three groceries – Lowe’s, Curry’s and Sid’s – mostly to sample the home-made ice cream – and passed by two hardware stores, three churches, several eateries, the harborfront and the Roland Roberts House Environmental Center.

Next we headed to White Sound – this time by road – to explore the quietly elegant Green Turtle Club and Marina. The 40-slip marina manages vessels to 120 feet with up to 100 amp service, cable, and Wi-Fi. Ashore, the Club features a pool high above the harbor, cottage accommodations and an old Bahamian-style fine-dining restaurant that serves three meals a day – all painted a soft yellow. A sport fish boat was just pulling in as we were contemplating what we would do for dinner, and we were lucky enough to garner a couple of beautiful Yellowtails carefully filleted by the captain himself. We stopped at Bluff House Yacht Club and Hotel to admire their gorgeous Ipe docks – filled with big sport fish boats – and their two pools, two restaurants and first class amenities – then hurried south to Black Sound to get our fresh-off-the-hook fish ready for the grill.

Abaco Day 7 – Great Guana Cay – Nippers

Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill is probably the most famous place in all of Abaco. From the Orchid Bay Marina, walk along the curve of the bay, then turn right at the Nippers sign. Nippers is directly across the island from the docks. If you aren’t up for a walk, call Nippers to arrange for a pick-up.

Often called a Spring Break Party for Adults, Nipper’s amazing location, rainbow-colored multi-tiered playhouse and carnival atmosphere coupled with the strongest rum punches on the planet – try their version of a tropical smoothie – makes it an Abacos “must.”

Right on the ocean dunes, forty feet above the ocean, it’s fronted by one of the best stretches of the Great Abaco Barrier Reef. Bring your snorkel gear if you are arriving early. Walk down the steps, across the sand and swim fifty feet out. There’s Elkhorn, brain and star coral.

Picnic tables, chairs, and deck railings are painted every color in the crayon box. A shallow two-level pool is designed mostly for pool bar access. And a fifty-five foot high covered viewing platform – with more then a dozen picnic-style tables – provides a panoramic view of the harbor.

Nippers serves lunch and dinner every day ($9-18) – but on Sunday, Nippers throws a Pig Roast ($20). Required Nipper Juice (regular and frozen) is is deliciously lethal and its impact become more obvious as the day wears on. The whole harbor turns out for this ccasionally R rated event. Eat, swim/ snorkel off Nipper’s Beach, relax at the pool bar, dance, have fun…

WILD BOAR PIG ROAST

All You Can Eat Buffet

Wild Boar
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Peas & Rice
Cajun Coleslaw
Potato Salad
Corn Custard
Bread pudding & Gravy

Kids’ Menu available