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post #12 of Old 01-02-2009
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I suggest you pick up a Dodge Cruising Guide before heading over. It will become your Abaco bible.

February weather can be really nice some years. Unfortunately, February-March is usually a pretty boisterous time in the Abacos, with lots of "northers" passing through. If the weather is good, the world is your oyster and anchorages become abundant. However, should the weather be unsettled, I suggest the following places to hang out in until the wind dies down.

Marsh Harbour is a great anchorage, but is open to a north wind.

Hopetown. Grab a mooring ball and have a blast! Great photo ops from the top of the lighthouse.

Great Guana is the home of Nippers (previously mentioned). Grab one of the Dive Guana mooring balls in Settlement Harbour and dink ashore. Sheltered spot, except in a west wind.

Treasure Cay. Anchor just outside the marina for $15/day and have full access to the resort's showers, pool, etc. Probably one of the most sheltered spots in the Abacos.

Little Harbour is the home of Pete's Pub and is a must see for the Abaco cruiser. Draft permitting you can slip into LH and actually swim back and forth from Pete's to the boat. However, given the amount of booze one is apt to consume at Pete's, I highly suggest taking the dinghy ashore. Will get a bit rolly in a north wind.

Man-O-War. Grab a mooring off Edwin's Boatyard. Great place to spend a day walking around the island. Look out for Miss Lola and her famous cinnamon buns. If the weather's good, anchor just north of the northern harbour entrance, behind the small rock outcroppings. From there you can dink into town or to the narrow causeway that fronts the Atlantic.

White Sound, if a lovely marina/resort is your cup of tea, Seaspray is the place to visit. Kept my boat there for three years. Always had a great time there, even when the wind kept me pinned to the dock. Junior will take good care of you.

I won't get into describing Green Turtle Cay, even though it's probably my favorite place in the Abacos. The reason for this is simple, The Whale.

In order to get to GTC you must leave the Sea of Abaco, via the Whale Passage north of Gauna, go out into the Atlantic, head north, then cut back inside once you are past the reef and the shallows. In the winter months, the passing northers frequently create a dangerous "rage" in the Whale. Only a nitwit would try to challenge these conditions.

Now, if you hit one of those glorious weather windows in February that allow you to transit the Whale, GTC is a fantastic place to visit for a couple days (plan on renting a golf cart). However, pay attention to the duration of your weather window! If it slams shut on you while your still at GTC, you'll never be able to get back to your charter base before you have to fly home.

I hope this information proves helpful to you. The Abacos are a great cruising ground and it is impossible not to have fun there!
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