Your group will board the vessel in Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay on Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas. This large island acts as the mainland for the long string of barrier islands within easy reach by sail. The Great Abaco barrier reef lies just off the coast of the islands, some parts easily reached from the beach. The brilliant-blue Sea of Abaco lies between the islands and offers miles and miles of sailing and island exploring.
On day 1 you will board the vessel, have your orientation and set off to find the first perfect anchorage (time and weather permitting) to test out the group’s swimming and snorkeling skills and eventually settle in for the night. The rest of the week will be guided by the weather and the group’s navigation and sailing skills.
Each day, we sail to a different island to enjoy the sandy beaches snorkel the coral reefs or to explore the local settlements. Some favorite stops include Fowl Cay Reef national preserve, climbing the historic Hopetown lighthouse (built in 1862) for the unbeatable view and visiting the traditional boat-building settlement of Man-O-War Cay. We will spend each night at anchor and be back in port the final night for departures the following day.
No experience is necessary. We will teach you the basics and you will get hands-on experience hoisting, lowering and trimming the sails as well as steering the boat. You can also learn about navigation, anchoring and generally about living and traveling on board a sailboat. As we sail, you might spot some dolphins or a turtle in the crystal clear waters.
Swimming, Snorkeling and Fishing
We have snorkeling equipment on board for everyone (you are also welcome to bring your own). You will be able to swim and snorkel right from the boat or from the different beaches we will visit. The Abacos are known for their coral reefs and you will spot interesting sea life whenever you are in the water. You may want to bring an underwater camera! Fishing equipment is also on board so you can try your luck at trolling as we sail or fishing from the deck when we are anchored.
Our “car” for the week is our inflatable dinghy powered by an outboard motor. We will ferry you back and forth to explore sandy beaches and visit the local settlements such as Treasure Cay with its swimming pool and highly ranked beach, and Great Guana Cay, home of the famous Nipper’s restaurant, white sand beach and offshore coral reefs.
Life on Board
Your group will sleep on board each night. Bunks are not available for everyone, so you may be sleeping in the cockpit or on deck under the stars or down below in the salon area (especially if it rains). The crew (you and your group!) will plan and prepare most meals with help from the captain and mate. The boat will be stocked with lots of fresh and canned foods to choose from. Your captain may also prepare some of her favorites and introduce you to local dishes as well as recipes picked up during our voyages around the world (Malaysian chicken curry is a favorite on board).
Some Favorite Spots to Visit during your Abaco Sailing Adventure
- Fowl Cay National Marine Preserve
- Great Guana Cay, home of the famous Nipper’s restaurant, white sand beach and offshore coral reefs
- Hopetown and its 150-year-old hand-cranked lighthouse, charming village and beautiful beaches
- Man O War Cay, a traditional boat building settlement
- Treasure Cay with its swimming pool and highly-ranked white crescent beach
- The sand bar at Tahiti Beach