Learn the ropes in one of the worlds best sailing destinations. Switch off from technology for a week and let the conversation flow with your fellow travellers. With a fishing licence in hand you’ll be able to throw a line out and catch the night’s dinner. Snorkel with sea turtles in protected waters on pristine, uninhibited mangrove islands
Set out on this once in a lifetime sailing expedition to one of the world’s best cruising destinations, the Caribbean. You’ll experience abundant marine life, crystal clear turquoise waters, uninhabited cays and one of the best sailing destinations in the world. The protected and shallow waters of the Bahamas make this the perfect trip for first time or novice sailors.
Breakfast Included: Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Marsh Harbour - Elbow Cay
Welcome to paradise! White beaches, blue skies and even bluer water is what you have to look forward to for the next week. Oh, and maybe a little fishing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding and hoisting the sails.
The Bahamas [along with the Turks & Caicos] form the Lucayan Archipelago which covers an area in excess of 14,000 km and over 29 islands, 660 cays and nearly 2,400 islets making the Bahamas a true sailor’s paradise. The archipelago was named after the first known inhabitants the Lucayans, an indigenous people who were the first Americans to come into contact with Christopher Columbus. The most western reach of the Bahamas is Bimini which is 80 km from Florida while Cay Sal Bank is only 50 km from the coast of Cuba, making it closer to Cuba than its nearest Bahamian island neighbour.
Our trip starts in Marsh Harbour, the main town on the Abaco Islands. The Abacos chain is formed in a boomerang shape and stretches nearly 210 kms from Walkers Cay in the north, to Hole-in-the-Wall in the south. Abaco is the second largest island in the Bahamas and Marsh Harbour, our starting point, is the 8th largest town in the Bahamas with a population of 5,300. Marsh Harbour has all the available services required to provision yachts as well as post offices, supermarkets and banks [please refer to Money Matters for information on ATM’s and credit cards].
The outer cays and islands of the Abacos create naturally protected waters commonly referred to as the Sea of Abaco. The temperatures in the island chain are generally cooler than the other islands with summer temperatures average 26.5°C to 29.4°C.
Your group will meet at the Marina at 3pm for a group meeting which includes a detailed safety briefing and an introduction to your home for the next week, S/V Abel.. The first port of call after the briefing is the local supermarket to buy supplies for your trip. For the ease of group meals prepared on board [breakfast, snacks and at least one lunch or dinner] we recommend travellers contribute to a kitty. For more information see Money Matters. If you have any special dietary requirements, please make sure you notify us at the time of booking so we can accommodate your requests.
After the formalities over the skipper will take you on an orientation walk of Marsh Harbour before settling down to watch your first Bahamian sunset. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.
The Abacos Islands
After an early breakfast we'll set sail. Please note The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Framed by a grove of coconut palms, Tahiti Beach is a white sand beach on the the southern tip of Elbow Cay. Because catamarans have a shallow draft you are able to step off the boat and wade through crystal blue waters onto Tahiti Beach. This is the perfect first stop on our sailing adventure, you can choose from a quiet stroll along the palm fringed shore, a dip in the crystal-blue waters, a paddle, or you might want to don a snorkel and mask and try to spot a sea turtle.
The picturesque Hope Town Lighthouse is visible from the beach.
Hope Town, or Great Harbour as it was formally known, is a small colonial township and is most famous for it's candy stripe lighthouse. Many of the buildings that you will see in Hope Town and the lighthouse are fine examples of Loyalist architecture. The 'Loyalists' were American colonists who were loyal to the British flag who fled their newly independent nation and settled in Hope Town.
There are a number of food markets, boutiques, museums and restaurants located around the harbour and there is great snorkelling directly off the beach.
Elbow Cay Lighthouse
The British Imperial Lighthouse Service built this lighthouse to mark the Elbow Cay Reef during the 1860’s. Hope Towner’s at the time resented this and opposed the project as they saw it as a direct threat to their salvage business. Despite their efforts the lighthouse at Hope Town
went into operation in 1863. It is one of the only two remaining beacons saved from automation, a process vigorously opposed by residents. Extraordinary efforts are undertaken by the local residents to
secure spare parts for the light apparatus most of which are no longer manufactured.
Man-O-War settlement is small, peaceful and well- kept town; its clean, narrow streets are used by pedestrians, motorbikes and golf-carts. The houses are mostly wooden and are painted in a variety of
pastel colors. It is also a disciplined community in that no alcoholic beverages are sold on the cay and local grocers were encouraged to cease the sale of tobacco products.
GREAT GUANA CAY
Set with a back drop of a beautiful Atlantic long white beach Great Guana Cay is that perfect spot for those iconic white sand beach shots that grace the pages of glossy travel magazines. Great Guana is surrounded by coral reefs and it is also home to many migrating birds and species endemic to the Abacos. Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill turtles nest on the islands.
Although there is no formal settlement on Noname Cay we may not be alone when we visit as the cay is home to pigs, swimming pigs to be in fact. Left behind by the original settlers or having made their own way from shipwrecks or other islands, the once feral pigs have made their home at Noname Cay.
GREEN TURTLE CAY
Green Turtle Cay is home to the settlement of New Plymouth. With typical Bahamian architecture, you can walk from one end of town to the other in less than 15 minutes. Known for its pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters it's the perfect spot for kayaking and snorkelling.
Whenever there is a list of the 'Top beaches in the world' Treasure Cay usually gets a mention. The sand is incredible, soft, fine and white. The water, clear, all shades of blue and full of marine life. For these reasons there are a number of high end resorts and hotels on the islet.
After a delicious breakfast and maybe one last swim, snorkel or paddle, we head back to Marsh Harbour where, sadly, our Bahamas sailing adventure comes to an end at about 10am. If you are flying out today, we recommend not to book a flight prior to 12 noon.