Sherry experiances prohibition!
27 April 2011 | Man O War Cay, Abacos
While in Guana we gave Sherry/Jason the option of sailing to Florida, or staying in the Abacos and then flying into Fort Lauderdale. Since they were loving the sun and rum punch they decided staying was the way to go. So as Carol and Paul headed West/North we dropped the mooring and pushed south to Man O War Cay.
About a 2 hour run, we motored all the way with the wind on the nose. The entrance is very narrow and not a lot of water so we timed it for high tide. As you enter you can turn north into the main harbour or south into Eastern Harbour. The main harbour is actually between Man O War and a small Cay called Dickies which runs parallel creating a cozy harbour with a 5’ entrance in the south and a 2’ entrance in the north. We tucked into Eastern Harbour as it was quieter and had better depths. Almost all moorings here so it took a while to grab one which was not private.
Man O War is one of the original settlements dating back to the 1700s. Fishing and boat building is the claim to fame and they still do both. The atmosphere here is completely different than Guana with the town being very pristine, quiet and supper friendly (if not a bit reserved) local population. Transport is 90% golf carts with only about 6 small trucks on the whole Cay, and those are predominately for hauling materials. Boat building is still occurring with beautiful boats being made. There is also some excellent boat repair expertise available; interestingly no travel lifts but rather the old marine railways. All the boat shops had lots of large open windows for air circulation which afforded us tourists a chance to watch them create. The town is very trusting, most houses had doors open and golf carts and bikes not locked.
The ambiance of Man O War is completely different than the other Cays. The grocery store allows you to run a tab, you buy fresh fish from one of the guys in the hardware store, and Lola (the Cay’s baker) sells here cinnamon rolls and breads from her golf cart. The local populace is more permanent and there are no hotels or resorts on Man O War (so far). This certainly contributes to a more sedate atmosphere, but probably a big influence is that there is neither alcohol nor tobacco sold on the island, which definitely keeps the bar footed party animal away. They alcohol aspect we knew as this was foretold in the cruising guide, but the lack of cigarettes was not which caused our boat guests some anxiety as they were running low and had to institute rationing. Of course this caused no end of merriment for Burry who on the second day mentioned he wanted to stay a third day at Man O War, which caused near panic in Jason! He and Sherry were contemplating taking the ferry to Marsh Harbour to buy some smokes ($27 round trip).
Have to say Man O War is probably our favorite Cay to date. Wendy has even expressed an interest in moving here once our cruising days are finished. Figure we can sell the condo and buy a cottage here, but that won’t be for a few years yet (I think, Wendy is already looking at the listings lol).