eral towns with limited facilities, such as
Morgan’s Bluff, Fresh Creek, and Congo
Town. One of the longest barrier reefs
in the world guards this shore, allowing limited access. Andros, like so many
other islands, is yet to be awakened, and
many would say that’s good.
The Abacos is a great place for Bahamas exploration. While it is often considered more civilized than other areas, it’s been affected less from tourism. Marinas, protected anchorages with good hold- ing, shopping, good drinking
water, restaurants, and small hotels make
the area especially inviting. Many cruisers
gravitate to the “Hub of the Abacos” with
the towns and harbors of Man O’War,
Hope Town, and Marsh Harbour. You
can take short hops to different towns
or anchorages across the shallow Sea of
Abaco without going outside the reefs
into the ocean. To the northwest of the
Hub, and through sometimes-dangerous
Whale Cay Passage, lies Green Turtle
Cay with its several protected basins,
marinas, and the town of New Plymouth
with its quaint pastel homes similar to
those of Man O’War and Hope Town.
The Berry Islands, known as “Der
Berrys” by many Bahamians, are another
expanse of small islands surrounded by
shallow banks that rise from deep ocean.
To the south and west of the busier
Abacos, they aren’t as heavily cruised
because of their shallows and rolly
anchorages, but this isolation makes
them very attractive to some. Islands
such as Great Stirrup, Great Harbor,
Whale Cay, and Chub Cay rim the
banks. Dinghy passages snake among
white shoals and low-tide sand islands.
It’s easy to get lost. Only three marinas
make bases for exploration. Chub Cay
Marina is completely protected within
an enclosed basin, recently reopened after
hurricane damage, though not in full
operation as of the date of this writing.
Great Harbour Cay Marina also offers
excellent shelter and is affordable, with
more slips available for transients. In
addition, the popular Berry Islands Club
is also reopening its restaurant, rebuild-
ing its docks, and fortifying its moorings
after a hiatus. Always check ahead for
any marina, to be sure it’s currently open.
Many tourists consider Nassau to
be synonymous with the Bahamas. Not
hardly. This is the capital of the Bahamas
and more than half the Bahamian
population lives on its island of New
Providence. It has the good and bad
traits of most cities, with a distinctly
Caribbean flavor, though reports of vio-
lent crime are increasing. Police in white
uniforms direct traffic. Horse-drawn car-
riages commingle with cars, jitneys, and
scooters. Buildings and customs remi-
niscent of the British Colonial Empire
blend with things modern, overlaid with
a significant share of poverty.
Nassau Harbour separates the “
mainland” from Paradise Island, which has
luxury hotels and casinos. The northwestern entrance to the harbor is deep
and jettied, with several buoys. Huge
cruise liners enter, but the inlet can
be dangerous in strong onshore winds.
Chartering & fishing
POWER, SAIL & CREWED CHARTERS
>>The Moorings (Abacos), moorings.com
>>Navtours (Nassau, George Town,
Staniel Cay), navtours.com
>>Sunsail (Abacos, Nassau) sunsail.com
>>Boaters arriving on their own boats
congregate around the marinas
in Bimini, Nassau, Chub Cay, Boat
Harbor, Highbourne Cay, and others.
>>Note that fishing here is split between
distinctively different offshore fishing
and flats fishing (for bonefish).
>>To join a sportfishing charter, search
the Internet for numerous listings.
>>Consider checking out one of the
many fishing tournaments, listed at