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Bahamas Cruising #1 – Exploring Northern Abaco Cays

Upon arriving to West End Bahamas, we were in a bit of a daze. It had been an intense ride over and with heavy weather following us, it was okay to be stuck in one spot for a while. It allowed us to plan the next leg of the trip and decide where to start adventuring in the Bahamas.

The Northern Abacos

Although we did not explore all of Grand Bahama, it was time to start island hopping. We decided it’d be best to travel to as many islands as we were able but also stick around internet to allow for remote work during the week days. We will do another post in regards to Wi-Fi and Internet in the Bahamas.

Leaving West End, we would need to pass through Indian Cut between Indian Cay and Wood Cay. This cut is both narrow and shallow but left at high tide with no issues. It’s crucial to follow charts in this area and is helpful to cross reference for confidence.

The Northern Abacos form a shielding barrier between the Little Bahamas Bank and the Atlantic Ocean. We didn’t visit all of them but look forward to trickling our way back up to visit new Cays and enjoy our favorites. Here are the first stops along the way and a couple stories from their visits. 

Great Sale Cay

Our first anchorage would be in Great Sale Cay. It’s an oddly shaped island and provides decent coverage from most directions. We had little wind and when we did it was in our face. We and the other boats caravanning beside us instead had to motor the 42-ish nautical mile trek over. Since high tide was around 10am we made is right before sunset.

As we anchored safely, we got a call from our friends Moxie. As they approached the anchorage, we soon found out they were dragging their dinghy engine and was soaked in the salty water. We gave them a lift for their dog go to shore. The terrain on the island is mostly sharp rocks and have no beaches. From there, we relayed the story of Moxie’s engine to our friend’s, Katmandu. They were just starting a lobster dinner and invited aboard to join them. Before bed, Philip and Tharon were able to fix Moxie’s dinghy engine!

Little Grand Cay

We needed cell service and internet, so we headed towards Little Grand Cay for the day. This island is one of five main islands in the area and the scenery was gorgeous. In the town, there was a lot of trash but seemed to be getting cleaned up from the locals. Most islands burn their own trash but it’d be quite expensive to drag out some of the larger items. We went to Rosie’s for their fast internet and to enjoy some beer since we had recently ran out. It was a quick trip but again the scenery there was gorgeous!

Double Breasted Cay

This is still a favorite place of ours. It’s a small island with decent protection from most sides. We were secluded in a great gunkhole where we enjoyed the white sand beaches and clear blue waters. While we were there, we saw crabs, nurse sharks, rays, sting rays, and lots of sea biscuits. We arrived at high tide but when it was low tide, we took the dogs out to enjoy the beach triple the size of earlier that day. I have so much fun running around with the dogs! While the tide was low, we also caught some large conch to clean out for dinner. It’s a local delicacy. 

Stranger’s Cay

The best part of our travels to Stranger’s Cay was catching our first fish! We caught a 15 lb Mutton Snapper and provided us a delicious few days of amazing meals. Arriving to this island, we had no idea what it would have to offer. It is of course on the charts but is mostly secluded. We had heard that there might be a trail to check out but after being swarmed by bite-y black flies, we instead retreated back to the boat. Before sunset, we took our chances at a second trip to the beach. Lots of things were washed up onto shore but there was an organized ring of conch shells covering a large area of the beach. It was really neat to see, mostly because they had all turned black. I later researched to find out they are black because of the shell breaking down and starting to decompose. It didn’t smell or anything but may have been part of the reason there were so many flies. It was a nice refuge for the evening but continued down the trail of islands to Carter Cay. 

Carter’s Cay

We would need to come in at high tide if we wanted the interior anchorage. It was still too shallow for us but our friends Katmandu made it. We instead anchored on the outside area and dinghy-ed in. Another beautiful top along the way but the land was extremely trashed. It was said to have ruins but instead provided rusted freezer units alongside piles of garbage everywhere. It had been camping grounds for Bahamian fisherman but has been more trashed than any island we had seen yet. There were some abandoned buildings there but nothing to write home about. On the way to trying to find some nature trails, we uncovered a stingray murder site. It was time to leave. Unfortunately the scene was far prettier from far away. 

Fox Town

It was nice to be in a town again. Fox Town is part of Little Abaco Island and gave us the calmest two nights on the water yet. We really enjoyed Da Valley Restaurant for their food, beverage, and internet. We stayed two days and gave us civilization to enjoy before having to head South to find shelter for an incoming blow. 

The Northern Abacos were a bit out of the way for our initial plans but were very nice to enjoy with little crowds and private beaches. Although multiple islands needed some cleaning up, there were also ones we can’t wait to go back to. Most people skip over these from West End and go straight to Green Turtle but I am happy we made the journey over to enjoy such a unique part of the Bahamas. 

Cheers & thanks for reading!

 

 

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