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Abacos

Treasure Cay Specials

New Air Inclusive Packages with FREE Night Stay

Or special airfares Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor!

4 flights per week, private terminal, 2 FREE bags per person

Packages Include: Hotel accommodations in a Marina Waterfront guest room, all hotel taxes & service charges, a free nights accommodation with each 3 night stay, roundtrip luxury air service from Fort Lauderdale (Private Terminal) with Wildcat Touring & airfare taxes. PLUS 2 Free Checked Bags. www.wildcattouring.net  US: (954)318-3327 or Toll Free: (888)462-0464

New Fuel and Dockage Survey for May

A new survey conducted on May 15 found prices changing little since last month. Some diesel prices down and some gasoline prices were up. The VAT of 7.5% is included in most price listings although some marinas tack it on to the per/gallon price. The chart notes where the VAT is not included. For those marinas we were unable to reach by phone this month, we have listed them in red.

Here’s a link to the survey on the www.explorercharts.com website: http://www.explorercharts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=53

If you have purchased fuel recently or stayed at a marina, would you send us information on the prices and whether they include VAT or not.

Thanks,

Monty and Sara Lewis

Regatta Time in Abaco

In Abaco May usually marks the return of long warm days, the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, and the realization that summer is just beyond the horizon. With summer comes Regatta Time.  Regatta Time in Abacos is a long held tradition for many area sailors and cruisers. If ever there was a Regatta for cruisers, this is it! Regatta Time host their week of races and parties on the move. The fun kicks off on Fiddle Cay with the Stranded Naked Party on July 3rd. This cheese burger beach party is NOT clothing optional as the name may suggest, but is a roaring good time, offering free rum punch and a cheeseburger for all who come ashore.

The next day starts the races four in all, touring from Green Turtle to Treasure Cay, Treasure to Guana, Guana to Marsh, and finally finishing in Hopetown. Parties are thrown nightly and the week long event finishes up on the 9th of July, Bahamian Independence on the 10th unofficially keeps the party going for one more night. This week is certainly one of Abaco’s busiest, the whole event is fun as participant or bystander, for a day or for the week. People literally flock to Abaco yearly just for the kickoff party. If you’ve never visited Abaco during Regatta Time we certainly recommend it! We have had so many visitors and friends who have gotten hooked on this event and of course we adore anything that encompasses, wind, waves, beach parties and sailor camaraderie. This year marks Regatta Time in Abaco’s  40th Anniversary, and we’re sure there will be some surprises in store to celebrate this milestone, we can hardly wait! If you’d like to learn more about Regatta Time in Abaco you can check out the links below and if you need a boat, well we hope you know who to contact!! We certainly enjoy showing guest a good time at this one of a kind event. Here’s looking forward to the long hot days of summer!!

~The Cruise Abaco Crew 

www.regattatimeinabaco.com

Whale Cay Passage

Can anyone provide some guidance about the wind and tide conditions that are ideal for going through the Whale? We have been through here about 7 years ago and we remember that it’s best to go through at slack tide but don’t remember if there are any recommendations for wind speeds or direction. Any help would be much appreciated!

NEW Fuel and Dockage Survey for April

Surprisingly, fuel prices have suddenly gone up again in most cases even though global prices have changed little. The VAT of 7.5% is included in most price listings although some marinas tack it on to the per/gallon price. The chart notes where the VAT is not included. For those marinas we were unable to reach by phone this month, we have listed them in red.

Here’s a link to the survey on the www.explorercharts.com website: http://www.explorercharts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=53

If you have purchased fuel recently or stayed at a marina, would you send us information on the prices and whether they include VAT or not.

Thanks,

Monty and Sara Lewis

Treasure Cay Tourney

 

32nd Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament June 17-21, 2015

Register for our 32nd Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament and receive $300 Fuel Credit. See treasurecay.com.

 

Treasure Cay Beach Cleanup

Volunteers, friends, employees, family, residents are needed for our coastal awareness beach cleanup event on Saturday April 18 . The cleanup will be followed by a free BBQ for the volunteers, beach chairs will be free as well to make this a family fun day on our beautiful Treasure Cay beach. The Ministry of Tourism is helping us sponsor this event-Join us for this environmentally important day and for the fun of it.

Sailing with Our Kids in the Bahamas

We started sailing last fall with our four children ages 8 to 15, and within the Bahamas we’ve sailed from the Abacos all the way down to Ragged Islands and back! What we’ve been able to experience has accumulated to quite a bit, so I’ve created a small collection of A to Z places, educational themed activities and events that our children LOVED while we were out here. (In addition to typical experiences most kids would enjoy out here… (ie. snorkeling, diving, fishing, spearing, kayaking, swimming, paddling, hiking) Please know this isn’t a complete list of all possible experiences in the Bahamas, this is just our first season- we’d love to have you add to the list!

Allens Cay, Exumas

Iguanas: There’s a wealth of info available on these nationally protected lizards, proceed with some caution as many are aggressive.

Adventurescience.org

Study of Microplastics: Water Sampling

Join in this collaborative conservation effort with other adventurers and scientists by collecting water samples or choose from other field studies you can help gather research for on your adventure!

Beuna Vista Cay, Raggeds

Local Culture

Visit with Edward and have him show you around his garden and small animal farm. He has a great knolwedge of the local flora as well.

Big Majors, Exumas

Swimming Pigs

Many of you already know about the famous swimming pigs, a picture is worth a thousand words, so stop on by and enjoy the novelty of seeing a four legged mammal swim for food!

Cooking

Meal Assistance, Baking Desserts, Cook-Offs

Cooking in the galley has been one of the best experiences for the kids. Meal assistance, baking goodies for other boats in the anchorage and having an end of season cook-off was an excellent way for them to show off their skills. The cook-off consisted of the kids picking their menu’s: main dish, sides, drink and dessert recipes. Then shopping for ingredients at the local grocery (they had a stipend), prepping and cooking the meal. Then they treated the parents to a formal sit down dinner complete with service. They were judged on presentation, main dish (healthiness), drink originality (non-alcoholic), dessert, and clean-up. Winners all around were given rewards parents had agreed upon.

Christopher Columbus, Long Island, Exumas

Exploratory Routes of Discovering New World

Stop by the monument on the north side of Long Island and discuss the possible routes he took to discover the New World.

David Copperfield, Rudder Cut Cay, Exumas

Mermaid Piano

This is a popular snorkeling spot, but the back story is even more interesting. Have the kids try some of their own magic or read about his history via Wikipedia.

Electronics

E-readers

This was something we invested in before we came, but on most days the kids were using them as we ran out of the hard copy books we brought. Enlist in Kindle Unlimited and get some good book lists downloaded BEFORE you come as internet isn’t always on the free side.

Fun Runs and Festivals, Abacos, Exumas

Greater Abacos Family Fun Run, Color Run, First Friday in February Farmers Festival

There are lots of local races and festivals that may fall on a day you can participate or volunteer. They are a great way to enjoy and support the local communities and experience some Bahamian culture.

Georgetown, Exumas

Georgetown Regatta, Cruisers Community, Hiking Trails

There are many kid themed activities during this weekend of cruising fun, plan ahead to attend, its usually in February. There are some great hikes as well on Stocking Island and the cruising community is an easy way to meet other kidboats.

Green Castle, Darby Island, Exumas

Exploration and Discovery

This is on a private island with a no-trespassing sign. However if you ask for permission from the caretaker to view the castle, they will generally agree to the visit. The castle has a great history to it. The German owner, Sir Guy Baxter used it as a working plantation back in 1938 raising goats, and farming with cotton, palm oil and fruit. The mystery begins as to why he left… rumor has it he was expelled from the island for providing provisions to German Uboats during WW2, it’s anyones guess as to where he is now!

Hopetown, Elbow Cay, Abacos

Lighthouse History

Share some of the lighthouse backstory and the loyalist ‘salvaging’ of wrecked ships then experience all 101 steps up to enjoy the view. As an experiment, at night wake up the kids every couple hours and see if they can cut it being a lighthouse operator!

Hog Cay, Raggeds

Hiking, Beach Pavilion

This was a great stop down south for the kids to stretch their legs and enjoy some hiking trails to the ocean side of the Cay and enjoy some overnight campouts under the pavilion and caves.

Inspiration

Book Lists and Moments of Stillness

Being inspired as parents isn’t always easy… find some good books for you AND for the kids to get inspiration! Creating moments of stillness and reflection have been great breeding grounds for deep thought!

Johnson Cay, Ragggeds

Seahorses and Sliding Down Sand Dunes

This was an elusive fish for us to find, (you may find it some elsewhere though), the bay at Johnsons had several for us to enjoy. The role of seahorse parenting is especially interesting to talk through with the kids.

Kidboats

Sharing the Fun with Other Kids!

Hooking up with other kidboats has opened up new friendships for all on board, using the VHF for communication, finding blitz chess and scrabble lovers, and even sharing dinner meals just to name a few.

Lionfish

Invasive Species

Do some snorkeling and find the ever present lionfish, then discuss how this invasive species’ eating habits have effected and altered the ecosystems of the reef.

Lee Stocking Island, Exumas

NOAA Marine Research Center

Take an exploratory walk through a once working marine research facility and get a feel for what it was like to live as a marine biologist!

Manjack Cay, Abacos

Hiking and Serving

Visit with Bill and Leslie and offer to help with any needs they may have (trail or beach maintenance). While you’re there, kayak through the mangrove lined river– it’s a treasure trove of wildlife!

Mangroves, Abacos and Exumas

Ecosystem Extraordinaire

This is an amazing tree! Learn about the many benefits the mangrove offers to the wildlife around it and the sacrificial yellow leaf!

Normans Cay, Exumas

Snorkel a Commando Airplane, History of the Drug Trade on Island, Pond and Hiking Exploration, Hammerhead Breeding Grounds

This was by far our favorite cay to visit. What made it even more interesting was reading about it after we visited. Check out Turning the Tide by Richard Novak and his desire to run a hammerhead reasearch facility during the same time Carlos R turned it into a drug dealing haven. You can also hike to a trawler which was put on the hilltop as a warning for boaters to stay away! (Its near Skipjack Point). Diving the downed airplane made it all come to life and visiting the pond to see if we could see any hammerheads was amazing!

Oven Rock, Guana Cay, Exumas

Osprey Nest

Beach your dinghy onshore near Oven Rock and take a quick walk up topside to view an Osprey nest.

People of the Bahamas

Loyalists and their West African Workforce

Take the time to read about the history behind the people here in the Bahamas. Wind from the Carolina’s is an excellent read which details some of this history.

Queen Elizabeth II

British Commonwealth and its Monarchy

Nearly every community has a road highlighting the Queen’s role as monarchial ruler over the Bahamas. Checkout the political history and discover when the Bahamas became part of the British monarchy.

Raggeds

Star Constellation Project, Fishing Boat Visit

This was where we did our Star Constellation project, but you may find little light pollution all over the Exumas and Abacos. The kids were to pick a constellation and create a report and then present it to their peers on what they learned. (Credit to Rick on Makana for organizing this!) We also were able to visit with a local fishing boat that discussed with the kids the nature of fishing in the Bahamas and some of the dangers of overfishing.

Staniel Cay, Exumas

Thurnderball Grotto and Cliff Jumping

The kids enjoyed visiting the underwater grotto AND jumping at the adjoining Cay. We were anchored nearby in case they needed anything, but as long as you planned it with high tide, there were no issues.

Schools, Exumas and Abacos

Visit Bahamian Schools

The kids can visit a local school for a day and experience the local culture as well as plan it for an afternoon during PE to include some play!

Scavenger Hunt, Exumas or Abacos

Local Flora and Fauna Hunt

If you want to give the kids a more structured day at the beach, plan a scavenger hunt that includes local flora and fauna where the kids can identify and collect varying items of importance to the ecosystem. ie. Find a live conch, write group name on driftwood using what you can find on the beach, bring love vine, find some sea grass, collect 5 items of trash to dispose of… (Credit to Isabelle on Isla Bonita)

Treasure Cay, Abacos

Blue Hole

Rent bikes for the day and head north to find one of the best kept secrets of the area– the Treasure Cay Blue Hole! The ride took approx. 1 hour each way (we rode it with a 9 yr. Old).

Under the Bimini Basketweaving

Bahamian Basketweaving

Take some time and ask a local weaver if they will teach your kids how to weave baskets from the local palm trees which are abundant in the Exumas. They will enjoy the opportunity to teach the kids, and your kids will get some great handicrafts they can show off!

Vert’s Miniship Building Shop, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos

Mini-ship Building

Stop in and visit Vert and learn how he builds miniature ships for buyers around the world!

Waderick Wells, Exuma Land and Sea Park

No Fishing, No Touch Protected Park: For Your Viewing Pleasure

This was a great place to see the majority of the underwater wildlife unaltered.

Whelk, Exumas and Abacos

Trying New Seafood

This is a mollusk that you can eat as an appetizer or side dish. You boil it for 10 min or so, then let cool and using a knife, you pull out the meat, trimming the dark skin off and eating the white flesh.

Xtreme Caving, Great Guana Cay, Exumas

Underwater Caving

You can dinghy up to the sandy beach near Oven Rock, then hike north along the rocky shore until you see a marked trail which leads you to the ocean side of the beach. The trail will fork, take the right one to a fresh water cave where you can find cave shrimp and explore the caverns– don’t forget a dive light!

Yo-Yos

Fishing from Your Boat

This was an enjoyable experience for all to line fish from the boat. We caught cero, mutton snapper, jacks, and way too many barracuda. Please do your due diligence and research which fish you can eat that don’t have ciguatera… and then see which fish we didn’t eat because of its possible contamination.

Zoology

Reef Fish and Wildlife Fieldguides

This was an integral part to our enjoyment of snorkeling. Pickup DeLoach’s Reef Fish and Animal Identification Guidebooks (black covers) to help your kiddos classify what they are discovering!

 

Jamie Anderson

S/V Fezywig

andersonclanadventures.wordpress.com

Abacos Update

Little Harbour, Abaco:  There is a new breakwater protecting the Harbour and the channel has been deepened a bit. pete’s Pub has built a new dock for restaurant patrons with a bow tie-up and stern anchor needed. The old Pub dock is closed for repairs and unsafe for landing. Also a new channel has been cut into an inner Harbour hurricane hole, with a breakwater at its entrance. We understand that it is a private basin and homes will be developed along the north shore of Little Harbour.

Hooe Town: the gift shop in the location of Fantasy Boutique is now called Da Crazy Crab, the same type of souvenir shop.

Man o War Cay: The gift/dive shop at the marina is under renovation and will be opening again soon.

NAVIGATION NOTES:

The Little Harbour light has never been replaced after being destroyed in a hurricane.

The light at Crab Cay near Spanish Cay, which used to be flashing 5 seconds visible for 11 miles, is gone. Only the pole remains.

Garmin Chart Data Errors for the Abacos

We recently made the trip from Royal Island near Spanish Wells to Little Harbour Abaco. When we were in Spanish Wells, our Garmin chartplotter, with Explorer data, showed us perfectly in the slip at the marina and always in the proper position and in relation to surroundings and other features. When we got to the Abacos, we immediately began seeing discrepancies on the chartplotter compared to where we actually were. For instance, at White Sound on Elbow Cay, we went into the channel to Sea Spray Marina. The Garmin data for this area, issued in 2014, was no longer Explorer data but rather from Wavey Line. We found the WL data off considerably, having us “run over” pilings and land and even docks. We continued to find errors at Hope Town and will continue to survey in the Abacos as we go along. Also, we are finding that routes and waypoints are not in the same positions as Explorer. If you have a Garmin chartplotter (late model), we urge you to check the source data of the electronic charts and also compare it to the hard copy Explorer charts, which are accurate. We are comparing the current Garmin chart data with an older version that had Explorer-only data for the Abacos. The older version is more accurate than the newer one.

Monty and Sara Lewis

Explorer Chartbooks

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