Monday, 2 February 2009

A Look at Life in the Abacos

Life in the Abacos varies from island to island with each having it's own character. We spent a few days in Man-O-War, where boat building is not only history for the descendants of the early European settlers; it remains an important industry on the island. Most of the current residents share the name Albury which is synonymous with boat building expertise in the Abacos.

Robert goes aloft, 63 feet, in Marsh Harbour!

Marsh Harbour is a major population center for the Abacos. Electronic stores seem to dominate the commercial landscape. There are a number of marinas and the harbour also accommodates a large number of boats at anchor. We anchored safely for a few days as a cold front passed.

Hope Town Lighthouse

The road on the hill, at Hope Town Harbour Lodge

View from hilltop Tiki Bar

Hope Town on Elbow Cay must be the sweetest spot in the Bahamas with it's picture postcard perfect cottages all decked out in pretty pastels and contrasting shutters. A predominate feature is the red an white candy stripe lighthouse built in 1862. It's one of the last of only 3 manually operated and kerosene fueled lighthouses in the world. Most of the cute cottages appear to be available for rent. The Tiki bar at the Hope Town Lodge sits on a hill overlooking the ocean. It's hard to imagine a more perfect spot to rest for a while.

Although on many islands we see boarded-up houses, still standing but damaged by hurricanes, this cottage is a rare sight in Hope Town.

Pete's Bar on Little Harbour

Peaceful Tilloo Cay provides anchorages from which to dinghy into Little Harbour where sculptor Randolph Johnston settled with his young family in the early 50s. Today his son Pete keeps the foundry operating and producing sculpture depicting the life of the sea. We happened to anchor just outside the shallow Little Harbour and dinghied in for a drink on the day Pete was celebrating his birthday. He celebrates each year with an art auction to benefit a local children's organization.

The Gallery at Little Harbour

After a bumpy night at anchor just outside Little Harbour, we headed off to the ocean side through the Little Harbour cut to begin our cruise down the western shore of the island of Eleuthera.

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