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The 2018 Official Abacos thread

Old 01-12-2018, 07:55 AM
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Hello everyone,

I've taken the torch from Berrie and started this year's Abacos thread.

I'm looking to head over for ~10 days in June or July but I'm still trying to figure out an itinerary.

Who else is planning on going?

What islands are you guys stopping at and staying on?

This was my original thought for this year's trip, but I think it may be too ambitious.





I'm thinking of cutting out Rosie's on the top end and Bimini on the back end to both shorten the trip and give me more days at each stop.

What do you guys think?

Jeff
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:07 AM
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What are the Abacos like? I’ve been wanting to explore a bit more. I’ve been to Bimini, Andros, Nassau and Exumas. I know the Abacis really seem to be a hot spot. Are they really “yachty”? We found the Exumas to have a lot of stuck up attitudes. We’re pretty low key and like to get off the beaten path. Also like to camp out. Are there some good camping spots?
Old 01-12-2018, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jcbenson01 View Post
What are the Abacos like? I’ve been wanting to explore a bit more. I’ve been to Bimini, Andros, Nassau and Exumas. I know the Abacis really seem to be a hot spot. Are they really “yachty”? We found the Exumas to have a lot of stuck up attitudes. We’re pretty low key and like to get off the beaten path. Also like to camp out. Are there some good camping spots?
To be honest, I'm not the best person to ask as last year was my first trip and I have only been to Bimini, Freeport and Nassau otherwise.

I found the Abacos to be very laid back and sparsely peopled.

Green Turtle and Guana were the places that we went to that were nicest and had the most people. I'm sure there are always going to be a few yachts around those islands.

We spent most of our time up at Little Grand Cay (Rosie's is the "hotel" and it's next to the better known Walker's Cay). Rosie's/ Little Grand is not nice. But there are some really nice little cays right around it that we would go and hang out at for days. A lot of the time, you'd be the only ones there.

As far as "yachty", I didn't get that vibe at all anywhere I went. There were a few older sport fishing yachts at Rosie's, but they were much more of the "old salt" type of people. I sat down with them and they shared their food and beer with me while they talked about fishing and "the old days." They were quick to lend me a few hooks that were the right gap and shape for local muttons when I didn't have any. Another group of fishermen had brought in a ton of fresh yellowfin and were gracious enough to trade us some sushimi for some of our fresh conch fritters and fresh fish fingers.

When we stayed overnight on Guana at Grabbers, we were the only boat docked there, so no yachty people haha.

When we went to Nipper's on Sunday (on Guana-- it's a hot spot on Sundays as that's when they have their pig roast), it was certainly not yachty. The dance floor was pretty packed and everyone was throwing back rum punches (called Nippers) and woofing down roast pig. The dance floor really exploded when a stray cloud dumped some rain on us for about 10 minutes before the sun came back out again.

The people we would run in to on beaches (for example, when you see the swimming pigs on No Name or if you stop for the sharks and stingrays at Nunjack) were always nice, normal people. Most are on center consoles with their families. All were nice, quick to share a laugh or beer.

It may have also helped me not noticed stuck up people because I was insulated by our group-- there were 13 of us on two boats.

Again, I'm probably not a great source, so hopefully others will chime in, but maybe that helps a little?

Oh, and I've never camped and really have no interest in doing it, so I can't comment on that.

Jeff

Last edited by jCane13; 01-12-2018 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:58 AM
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Been going for years. I've never got the snooty from anyone over there

I'll probably go last week of July 1st week of august

10 days
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:58 AM
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Maybe 14 days
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Jcbenson01 View Post
What are the Abacos like? I’ve been wanting to explore a bit more. I’ve been to Bimini, Andros, Nassau and Exumas. I know the Abacis really seem to be a hot spot. Are they really “yachty”? We found the Exumas to have a lot of stuck up attitudes. We’re pretty low key and like to get off the beaten path. Also like to camp out. Are there some good camping spots?
Not very many yachts in Abacos vs Exumas. People are generally very laid back.

Really no camping.

Very popular May-August as people can access it easily from mainland FL on their own boats.
Old 01-12-2018, 09:50 AM
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What are some decent, cost effective hotels/ places to stay in the Abacos where I can also dock my boat?

Thanks,

Jeff
Old 01-12-2018, 10:36 AM
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:55 AM
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Here's a few. Cost wise, they'll all be pretty close.

Green Turtle Cay is my favorite spot. But I've stayed at all of these.
We'll spend the most of our nights at the Green Turtle Club. One or 2 in West End, and one at Spanish Cay.
Spanish isn't much, but it's kinda grown on me and my wife. We always meet good people there. The marina is constantly roamed by huge sharks, food is pretty good, it's kinda cool.

I've stayed at all of these. Only had a bad experience in the last one, due to filthy floors. My 9 month old(at the time) daughter crawled around the floor and got covered in black dirt.

We never went back.

Now we only stay on the Out Islands. And since we've got a bigger boat, we stay aboard.

http://greenturtleclub.com

http://www.spanishcay.com
Old 01-12-2018, 11:56 AM
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https://treasurecay.com

http://orchid-bay-marina.com

http://www.hopetownmarina.com

http://www.hopetownlodge.com

https://abacobeachresort.com
Old 01-12-2018, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jCane13 View Post
Hello everyone,

I've taken the torch from Berrie and started this year's Abacos thread.

I'm looking to head over for ~10 days in June or July but I'm still trying to figure out an itinerary.

Who else is planning on going?

What islands are you guys stopping at and staying on?

This was my original thought for this year's trip, but I think it may be too ambitious.





I'm thinking of cutting out Rosie's on the top end and Bimini on the back end to both shorten the trip and give me more days at each stop.

What do you guys think?

Jeff
I think that is easily doable in 10 days.



First things first: BUY THE STEVE DODGE BOOK! It has a wealth of information on what to do, where to go, charts with routes and waypoints, etc. It will be the best $40 you spend.



When we went last summer we made our first stop in West End. After a rather rough crossing, that was a welcome break. Customs there was quick and easy. The fuel dock is right next to customs, so refueling was easy as well. No problems with the fuel. If the weather turns on you and you would like to stay there, you can. It’s fairly expensive ($125/night for a 30’, including shore power and water) but it is a nice place. There are usually plenty larger yachts.



From there you can go island hopping, starting at Walker’s. We went straight to Spanish. Nice folks, no yachts, good food.

Most people are not keen on Treasure Cay (more foreign owned condos, less locals), but we stayed there for almost a week and loved it. Also no yachts. Walking distance to a top rated beach, a few stores and restaurants, all in walking distance, and everything was in very good order of repair, nicely painted etc. You can stay in the marina, or you can rent a place (VRBO) with a slip right in front of you for $175/night. ***THE HARBOUR ENTRANCE IS LOCKED WITH A CHAIN AT NIGHT *** If you come in after dark or want to leave early, you will need to call the harbor master on 16 and he will come and let you in/out. There is also a fuel dock there. The marina is in a deep (long) arm and very well protected from wind and seas.



The bank between Treasure Cay and Whale Cay is VERY shallow! The Dodge book checks for a possible passage every year, which usually goes right past Don’t Rock. Even with my draft <3’ I could only make it through during high tide, and I would recommend to always go into the Atlantic around Whale Cay, and forget about the Don’t Rock passage. It’s an additional 20 minutes, but being out on the water is why we’re going there in the first place, right?



Treasure Cay is also (somewhat) centrally located between NoName (12miles N), Green Turtle (15 miles N), Guana (10 miles E), Marsh Harbour (16 miles SE), and Hope Town (20 miles SE).



The weather was not great while we were there, and the bank had 1.5’ chop all day on the best day. From what I’ve been told that is normal.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by berrie View Post
I think that is easily doable in 10 days.



First things first: BUY THE STEVE DODGE BOOK! It has a wealth of information on what to do, where to go, charts with routes and waypoints, etc. It will be the best $40 you spend.



When we went last summer we made our first stop in West End. After a rather rough crossing, that was a welcome break. Customs there was quick and easy. The fuel dock is right next to customs, so refueling was easy as well. No problems with the fuel. If the weather turns on you and you would like to stay there, you can. It’s fairly expensive ($125/night for a 30’, including shore power and water) but it is a nice place. There are usually plenty larger yachts.



From there you can go island hopping, starting at Walker’s. We went straight to Spanish. Nice folks, no yachts, good food.

Most people are not keen on Treasure Cay (more foreign owned condos, less locals), but we stayed there for almost a week and loved it. Also no yachts. Walking distance to a top rated beach, a few stores and restaurants, all in walking distance, and everything was in very good order of repair, nicely painted etc. You can stay in the marina, or you can rent a place (VRBO) with a slip right in front of you for $175/night. ***THE HARBOUR ENTRANCE IS LOCKED WITH A CHAIN AT NIGHT *** If you come in after dark or want to leave early, you will need to call the harbor master on 16 and he will come and let you in/out. There is also a fuel dock there. The marina is in a deep (long) arm and very well protected from wind and seas.



The bank between Treasure Cay and Whale Cay is VERY shallow! The Dodge book checks for a possible passage every year, which usually goes right past Don’t Rock. Even with my draft <3’ I could only make it through during high tide, and I would recommend to always go into the Atlantic around Whale Cay, and forget about the Don’t Rock passage. It’s an additional 20 minutes, but being out on the water is why we’re going there in the first place, right?



Treasure Cay is also (somewhat) centrally located between NoName (12miles N), Green Turtle (15 miles N), Guana (10 miles E), Marsh Harbour (16 miles SE), and Hope Town (20 miles SE).



The weather was not great while we were there, and the bank had 1.5’ chop all day on the best day. From what I’ve been told that is normal.
All great info! Having said that, I did spend time over there last summer, so I'm pretty familiar with the area all the way down to Scotland. I also already have a copy of Dodge.

We also checked in at West End last year, but I'd like to avoid that this year. There was a line at customs and at the gas dock. I have a range of over 400 miles on a full tank, so I really don't need the gas, either.

We made it thru the passage between Whale and Treasure last year, but yes, it was shallow and made me a little nervous.

It was reallly nice and calm for us on the inside last year. Guess we were lucky.

My one question would be about how you said that you think that's all do-able in 10 days.

I don't like to stay anywhere less than two nights-- too much moving and time spent packing and all that. So, it'd need to be:

- 2 nights Rosies
- 2 nights Guana
- 2 nights Hope town
- 2 nights Barry
- 2 nights Bimini

So yes, that's do-able, but seems like a lottt of moving around.

So I was thinking it may be more reasonable to cut out Rosie's and Bimini and maybe doing something like:

- 3 nights Guana
-3 nights Hope town
- 3 nights Barry Islands
and maybe 1 night on Bimini depending on how tired/ beat up we are on the run leaving the Barry Islands.

My biggest concern is the run from Hope Town down to the Barry Islands. It's a long run and a lot of it is unprotected.

Jeff
Old 01-12-2018, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jCane13 View Post
Hello everyone,

I've taken the torch from Berrie and started this year's Abacos thread.

I'm looking to head over for ~10 days in June or July but I'm still trying to figure out an itinerary.

Who else is planning on going?

What islands are you guys stopping at and staying on?

This was my original thought for this year's trip, but I think it may be too ambitious.





I'm thinking of cutting out Rosie's on the top end and Bimini on the back end to both shorten the trip and give me more days at each stop.

What do you guys think?

Jeff

Ok..... So my response to your proposed itenerary, is yes it can be done. No problem!
I've done island hopped day to day with a group of yachts on quite a few occasions. Done a very similar trip in 10 days.

But that said, for me your trip would be more work than enjoyment. Honestly, I wouldn't go further south than Pete's Pub. Then backtrack.

There is lots to do/see in the Abacos.

I'm now to the point where I'd rather go to Green Turtle stay there, and fish/dive, island hop during the day then come back to the Club every night.

If I have to pack up, go check in, check out, tote luggage 5 times in a trip, find a suitable overnight anchorage, load unload the dinghy multiple times etc..... then it's just not as relaxing. IMO
Old 01-12-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 37IslandHopper View Post
Here's a few. Cost wise, they'll all be pretty close.

Green Turtle Cay is my favorite spot. But I've stayed at all of these.
We'll spend the most of our nights at the Green Turtle Club. One or 2 in West End, and one at Spanish Cay.
Spanish isn't much, but it's kinda grown on me and my wife. We always meet good people there. The marina is constantly roamed by huge sharks, food is pretty good, it's kinda cool.

I've stayed at all of these. Only had a bad experience in the last one, due to filthy floors. My 9 month old(at the time) daughter crawled around the floor and got covered in black dirt.

We never went back.

Now we only stay on the Out Islands. And since we've got a bigger boat, we stay aboard.

http://greenturtleclub.com

http://www.spanishcay.com
Thanks so much for the links.

I haven't given them the deep-dive yet, but after clicking around on them, they all look really nice.

So I need to check on pricing.

That is the one nice thing about Rosie's-- we had a big group there and we were able to get one big "suite" and two normal rooms for 13 people and the cost was REALLY reasonable. And dockage was either cheap or free.

Some of our group likes to "ball on a budget," so I may have to see if/how I can make that work in the "Abaco proper" area that I want to hit for this trip.

Jeff
Old 01-12-2018, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 37IslandHopper View Post
Ok..... So my response to your proposed itenerary, is yes it can be done. No problem!
I've done island hopped day to day with a group of yachts on quite a few occasions. Done a very similar trip in 10 days.

But that said, for me your trip would be more work than enjoyment. Honestly, I wouldn't go further south than Pete's Pub. Then backtrack.

There is lots to do/see in the Abacos.

I'm now to the point where I'd rather go to Green Turtle stay there, and fish/dive, island hop during the day then come back to the Club every night.

If I have to pack up, go check in, check out, tote luggage 5 times in a trip, find a suitable overnight anchorage, load unload the dinghy multiple times etc..... then it's just not as relaxing. IMO
Interesting. Pete's pub is pretttyyy far south. So I feel like if I'm going that far south, it's no big deal to "finish the loop."

But, as I was posting above, I do think I agree with you on cutting down the number of stops. I agree that packing up, checking in/out, figuing out new slips and all that stuff can be a pain on a trip that is supposed to be about relaxing.

So, really, it's about picking which stops to cut out. Rosie's is one that adds the most miles to the trip, but it also is a favorite with our group and it is probably the most economical in terms of accommodations.

I have no issue cutting Bimini out because we go there on other trips. Bimini is just there if we want to break up the run.

Jeff
Old 01-12-2018, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 37IslandHopper View Post
Ok..... So my response to your proposed itenerary, is yes it can be done. No problem!
I've done island hopped day to day with a group of yachts on quite a few occasions. Done a very similar trip in 10 days.

But that said, for me your trip would be more work than enjoyment. Honestly, I wouldn't go further south than Pete's Pub. Then backtrack.

There is lots to do/see in the Abacos.

I'm now to the point where I'd rather go to Green Turtle stay there, and fish/dive, island hop during the day then come back to the Club every night.

If I have to pack up, go check in, check out, tote luggage 5 times in a trip, find a suitable overnight anchorage, load unload the dinghy multiple times etc..... then it's just not as relaxing. IMO
I'm exactly where you are on this. It would be nice if the power worked at GTC but last year was just rough for that. I'm using GTC as a hub this year.
I'm sure others have said so but the water between Stop 3 & 4 is big water. Don't be constrained by timing and in a 30' I'd only do it in good conditions.
Old 01-12-2018, 01:17 PM
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Yes, but Pete's is about a 30 min ride from HopeTown on your boat. Stay in HT and shoot down for lunch, come back in the afternoon. Hit Tahiti beach and Firefly for dinner...
That's the best route.

On my boat, I've gotta time tides, and it's generally an hour or two.

In regards, Once you leave Little Harbor, you get out of the Sea of Abaco and into the big O again. Timing and weather windows will complicate matters for you.

So I'd just K.I.S.S.

I've learned from 15 years of Abaconian experience.

There were times when I tried to do it all, and ended up more frustrated than relaxed. Don't do that.
Old 01-12-2018, 01:30 PM
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Been here since November, leave when we feel like it. Any specific questions PM me.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGT3 View Post
I'm exactly where you are on this. It would be nice if the power worked at GTC but last year was just rough for that. I'm using GTC as a hub this year.
I'm sure others have said so but the water between Stop 3 & 4 is big water. Don't be constrained by timing and in a 30' I'd only do it in good conditions.
Beat me to the punch on open water.

I agree about the power, and I hope that's changing. According to the staff it is(but I digress due to a Bahamian timeline).

The whole time we were in Abaco, I remembered your post about an appliance getting ruined by the power, and was very diligent about shutting everything off but the AC's when we left for town.

That said, my parents had a room, and with the clubs generator, they always had power. So for the OP, he'll be ok.

The Club just feels like home. We love it there.. My wife wants to do Xmas/New years there in the future.
Old 01-12-2018, 03:01 PM
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I hear and appreciate what you guys are saying about open water.

At some point in the next few days I'll pull out some Nav tools and see how much further it is or isn't to back track vs. looping around the bottom.

I'll also look at GTC more closely since it comes so highly recommended. Wonder if there's a big suite or something that I could split with the crew to make it economical for us.

Jeff

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