Marsh Harbor is by far the largest town in Abacos with 6000 people. It is more of a working town, however. It is a great resupply place, with the Maxwell’s supermarket, hardware stores and such. Maxwell’s is as large as many us Supermarkets. Its prices are only 1.5 times the US vs. almost 3 times in the smaller markets that all the towns have. Next time we come to Abacos we’ll stock up in the US, but don’t have to worry about resupplying fresh stuff or things we forgot.
For boaters the true hub is Hope Town on Elbow Cay, just across (the short way) the Abaco sea. It’s harbor is nose to nose boats. The mooring balls are set close together for 40’ or shorter boats, but people do shoehorn larger. When we swung around we could be just a few feet from a neighboring mooring ball. We depend on whoever is on that ball to swing around the same way we do. Most balls are usually occupied. Coming in the morning is the best way to get one. We got ours because our friends “reserved” on for us in the morning for our noon arrival.
It’s a social place with dinghies going back and forth between boats. We met Lou and his wife Wendy and John, traveling with them. The had just come up in a sailboat from east of Puerto Rico via Spanish Wells. John was with them because you need at least one extra person to take some night shifts, etc. on long sea passages. I guess that makes them hard core sailors. They came over on the ferry on Sunday from Marsh Harbor, and had no transportation. It was a long walk from our restaurant overlooking the Atlantic to the lighthouse they wanted to see on the other side of the harbor, so we took them straight across in the dinghy. After that we all decided to explore White Sound, the other harbor on Elbow Cay to the south. Nothing much to report there. A small marina with mostly powerboats, unusual here where most cruisers have sailboats. A bit shallow and winding to get in which may drive the sailboats elsewhere.
It would have been great to stay longer, but we came to the Bahamas more than a month later than we originally planned, so decided next year we would slow down the pace and stay longer in more places here. Hope Town will deserve a week at minimum. This time we’ll leave tomorrow after two nights. A live reef 20 miles south has been restoring itself over the last few years. It’s said to be a great place to snorkel. I’ve got to see that.