Category Archives: Day 5 – Tilloo Cay to Elbow Cay (Hope Town)

Abaco Day 5 – Tilloo Cay to Elbow Cay (Hope Town)

Sail north toward Elbow Cay and the charming, picturesque village of Hope Town. If you missed Tahiti Beach on Sunday, there might be time to drop a lunch hook and take a swim. It’s only accessible by boat, foot or bike. Many consider it the most beautiful beach in all Abaco. It is certianly very pretty – with its bank of palms and lush views but most beautiful? Maybe not. ….

Another option would be to stop in White Sound on the southern end of Elbow Cay for lunch. Ruth Albury’s Sea Spray Resort & Marina, in the harbor’s southern corner, may have a short term “dock ‘n dine” opening for their Boat House Restaurant or their pool-side Garbonzo Reef Bar. White Sound is also home to the Abaco Inn which sits at the edge of the dunes over looking wild Garbanzo Beach – known for its surf breaks. (Note: there’s no anchorage in the harbor – it’s a dock or nothing).

Alternatively, sail alongside the 6-mile long cay and head straight for Hope Town’s 120 foot red and white candy cane light house. Pass the lighthouse and carefully follow the boomerang entrance channel. Watch the depths and the tides – this can be a little dicey. The “Slow down, You’re in Hope Town” sign announces your arrival in the main harbor.

On the harbor’s west side are the three marinas, which all offer transient dockage. It is possible to walk from one marina to the next – and to the lighthouse. But, access to the village requires crossing the harbor by dinghy.

The first is Lighthouse Marina just below the Elbow Reef Lighthouse. 6 slips can accommodate LOAs to 60 ft. with up to 6 ft drafts and 30 & 50 amp service. Fueling stations dispense gas and diesel. Marine store with Tshirts and sandals, bait & tackle, Basic boat yard services with a mechanic on duty Mon-Fri. Plus heads, showers ($4 each) and laundry ($4 tokens). Hope Town Wine & Spirits is also here. Rates: $1/foot/night, 50amp $14, 30 amp $10, Water $0.25/gal., Ice – block or cubes $4. (242)366-0154 www.htlighthousemarina.com

The second is Hope Town Marina at Club Soleil Resort. A low slung pink building marks the casually maintained facility. 16-slips can manage boats to 100 ft. LOA with up to 7.5 ft drafts and 30 & 50 amp service. And boats up to 45 ft. on moorings. The snack bar dispenses ice cream, drinks and light fare. And a small two-story motel with six rooms and two-bedroom apartments backs a simple fresh-water pool. Plus heads, showers and laundry. Rates: Dockage – $1/foot/night, 50amp $15, 30 amp $8, Moorings – $20/night). Water $0.25/gal., Ice – block or cubes $4 (242) 366-0003 www.clubsoleil.com

The third is Hope Town Hideaways Marina. Impeccable docks front a pretty, manicured resort with flower edged walkways, loggias, and and inviting pool overlooking the harbor. 12 slips can manage vessles to 70 ft LOA up to 7 ft drafts with 30 & 50 amp service. Heads, showers, and a laundry room with internet station. 242-366-0224

Every where in this transplanted New England village is easily accessible by dinghy. The island is only a quarter mile wide at its beamiest point – and six miles form stem to stern. The preferred mode of transport is the golf cart – but, unfortunately, none of the three agencies will rent for any period shorter than a week in high season. In the next post, you will find their phone numbers; perhaps at the last minute, they might have a change of heart. But, note, the same rules that apply to rental cars apply to golf carts – they require a drivers license that proves you are over 25-years-old. Makes for a lot of very unhappy kids!

Tuesday afternoon we headed straight across the harbor and tied up the dink at the most southern dinghy dock – a fanciful turquoise affair lined with comfortable, colorful Adirondack-style chairs. The sign said Hope Town Harbor Lodge. We walked up the steps and across the road. You can’t miss it – the sherbet colors and fanciful filigree evoke echoes of “da plane, da plane.” Have a drink or two at the Reef Bar & Grille. The comfortable tables and chairs sit beneath a portico between the pool and the bluff overlooking the Atlantic beach – a perfect place to enjoy the reflected sunset. You can either stay put and eat there if it’s lunch time or move inside to the more formal Upper Terrace dining room.