Idyllic Islands in the Abacos
22 April 2016 | Northern Abaco
Once we crossed through the Whale Channel into the northern Abacos, we found ourselves back among the lightly inhabited islands and anchorages we love. As charming as the towns were, we most enjoy being at anchor in off a beach or mangrove swamp. We had many days of each.
Our first stop was White Sound, in Green Turtle Cay. We had expected a busy tourist spot but it was lightly populated and laid back there. We anchored with a dozen other boats in a completely protected anchorage that featured two resorts for shoreside entertainment. We rented a golf cart one day and toured almost all of Green Turtle, including the settlement of New Plymouth. The best part of the tour were the magnificent beaches on the ocean side, surrounded by offshore reefs.
After a few days of relaxing and visiting with the other boaters, we sailed a few miles north to Manjack Cay. This anchorage features a mangrove swamp with channels filled with turtles to follow, reefs to snorkel filled with conch, and a family of swimming pigs on an adjoining cay. One piglet swam out to Bill as he snorkeled completely obvious of his companion.
I had my own wildlife encounter one day on the beach. I was walking the weedline in the shallow water when I felt a tickle at the back of my leg. I looked down to see a sting ray nibbling at me! Needless to say, I thrashed my way to the shoreline, only to have the critter came back a second time while I was picking up a shell. It followed me almost up onto the beach before it turned to swim off.
During our stay at Manjack we decided to visit a the nearly town of Cooper's Town for a few provisions and some dinghy fuel. Few, is the operative word here. The town is tiny with a single dock, high out of the water a low tide, but a helpful dockhand to get us tied up. The nearby market had ice and lettuce but not much more.... I won't comment on the mystery meat patties that we cooked one night.
At this point, we were waiting for our weather window to cross to Florida and when it appeared imminent, we sailed 20 more miles to Allen-Pennsacola anchorage. It provided a nice quiet spot to spend the night. The next day we sailed 40 miles to Great Sale Cay, the stepping off point for the crossing.