|Abaco Cays: cay by cay informaton
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|Bahamas: a Mariner's View
Images and information about the Bahamas from a mariner's perspective
Abaco Cays, north to south:
Walker’s Cay was my arrival point in the Abacos on my first Abacos cruise. The resort and marina which catered largely to sport fishermen is now closed due to hurricane
damage. My understanding is that custom’s and immigration are still open.
The Grand Cays:
In addition to a few nice anchorages, the Grand Cays has a small settlement which is less touristed than the communities farther south.
Double Breasted Cays:
This is an uninhabited island group with a few potential anchorages, the most popular of which is a semi-circle around a sandbar that dries at low water. This anchorage
can be gained from either the north or southeast, the north entrance carrying more water.
The normal anchorage here is just south of the western tip I have yet to stay here, but it is reported to have some nice beaches and good snorkeling. Most people have
told me the anchorage is not suitable for overnight use except in settled weather.
The Carter’s Cay Group:
Once a U.S. missle tracking location, this group is now uninhabited. The area between Big Carter’s Cay and Old Yankee Cay is a popular stop for both cruisers and local
conch fishermen. Island to the west offer some beautiful shallow water gunkholing.
The Fish Cays
This is a string of about four uninhabited islands. I spent a few days anchored here waiting out some very strong easterly winds one year, and we had the whole island
group to ourselves. There are a few nice beaches.
This is a private island with a large obvious home, but many cruisers make a day stop in the anchorage just east of the island’s southern tip to enjoy the island’s nice
Originally this island consisted of two separate islands which were joined sometime ago by a hurricane. It is a popular anchorage for cruisers en route from Great Sale
heading down to the more popular islands.
The Hog Cays:
This is a very small island group with a private residence on the larger eastern most island. There is shoaling on the southwest side, so most boats need to access this
group from the north east.
This island features a marina and private airport. Customs on site.
Powell, is privately owned, but undeveloped. The broad by on the west side offers a nice anchorage in easterly winds. There are a couple trails from the beach on this side
to the bays on the opposite side.
This island has seen the development of private homes but still offers many isolated areas and a number of trails criss-cross the northern part of the island. The anchorage
between Manjack and Crab Cay is a popular anchorage with lots of room and depth.
New Plymouth is the settlement here and has several small grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants and bars. Although one can anchor just off the town in prevailing
conditions, there are also two very protected sounds featuring moorings, a boat yard and resorts. The entrance to both sounds is are about 3.5 feet MLW.
No Name Cay:
This Island is often overlooked due to the shoaling which encourages boats to pass far to the southwest. It offers a couple nice beaches and the anchoring is convenient to
snorkeling on the protected Pelicay Cay Reef.
There is shoaling all the way between Whale Cay and Treasure Cay which forces many cruisers leave the Sea of Abaco and pass whale cay on ocean side. Steep seas
called rages can shut this passage down with the passage of cold fronts and a northeast wind. Shallow draft craft can pass just inside the island or through the Don’t Rock
This is really a peninsula, not a cay and features the Treasure Cay Resort and Marina. In addition to the marina, there is a protected mooring field and anchorage. Both are
accessed from the south side of the peninsula. For a reasonable mooring or anchoring fee, a cruisers can use many of the resort facilities. A pool, beach side restaurant,
laundry, groceries, liquor, and post office are all available. The beach on the north side is one of the largest and prettiest in the Abacos.
Great Guana Cay:
This cay has seen a lot of development in recent years including the recent construction of the Baker’s Bay Club on the north end. Baker’s bay offers a large, broad
anchorage at the north end of the island. Further to the south, Settlement Harbour and Settlement Harbour offer anchoring, moorings and a marina. Nipper’s Bar and Grill
on the ocean side is a popular stop for cruisers. A few other restaurants and groceries are also available.
This small islands is also known as Shell Island as is literally the spoils of a dredging project some years ago, when a cruise ship line used this area as a stop to enjoy the
north end of Great Guana. Spoil Cay is uninhabited and offers good shelling.
This is the largest city in the Abacos. There is sheltered anchoring and several marinas to choose from. Marsh Harbour offers the largest grocery stores, less expensive
water, laundry, restaurants, bare, internet access, an international airport and boat yard. A public dinghy dock is available for those who choose to anchor out.
There is some good snorkeling just off this small cay.
Man-0-War has a protected inner harbor with moorings and marinas. Boats also anchor to west of the islands in settled weather. The town is fairly quaint offering
groceries and restaurants, but no bars as it is a dry town. Man-O-War is known for it’s boat building heritage.
Hope town and it’s famous light house are located toward the north end of this island. Moorings and marinas are available in the protected harbor or one can anchor out
near the parrot Cays or out from Eagle Rock. Beware of the powerlines that criss-cross the bottom near the Parrot Cays! In addition to the lighthouse, there are a few
restaurant/bars, grocery stores and boat yard along the harbor. At the south end of the Island, Tahiti beach is a popular spot with anchoring near by as well as a marina in
This is largely a residential Cay, but Cracker Ps is one restaurant popular with cruisers. There are many anchoring options in the fairly protected area between here and
Elbow Cay. The Lubber’s Quarter passage to points south has a controlling depth of 4.5-5 feet MLW.
Snake and Deep Sea Cays:
There is a salt water “creek” running behind Deep Sea Cay creek that can be a fun dinghy tide or kayak trip. There are several nice place to anchor in this area in the rare
west winds. The old loading area on Snake Cay offers protection from southerly winds as well.
This is another protected snorkeling reef with several dinghy/small boat moorings just off the reef. Strong easterly winds can bring a fair bit of swell and create cloudy
Pelican Cays and Lynyard Cays
These cays offer protected anchoring and some beaches to enjoy in settled prevailing conditions.
This protected harbor has a controlling depth of 3.5 feet MLW, but there are a few places one can anchor near by and take the dingy in if one doesn’t want to wait for high tide
in deeper draft boats. Little Harbour is home to Pet’s Pub as well as a local foundry and sculpture gallery. Moorings in the harbour can be rented from Pet’s Place. Nearby
North Bar Channel is a popular exit and entrance to and from points south such as the Berry Islands, Nassau or Eleuthera.