A Travellerspoint blog

Hitting the backspace button: Let's go back to Abaco!

A Quick Easter Break On My Favorite Little Island.

Now that we have our own place on Guana Cay, we try to get down there every chance we get. So when we had an opportunity to make a quick, last minute trip over Easter weekend, we jumped on the chance.

I was on Cloud 9…I was heading to Bikini Hut!

34182246826_9c6414341f.jpg

An early morning flight had us on sunny Abaco by 9:00 a.m. By 9:30 we were loading our bags onto the boat, and by 10:00 we were off and running. We headed straight for Firefly on Elbow Cay for an early “welcome home” lunch.

34229284775_f604087df7.jpg

33418571933_b02301f17a.jpg

33387312924_ec46690000.jpg

33418479183_2d6e678124.jpg

33845076900_ef1d70bc0f.jpg

33845039060_d0c6b85cf6.jpg

34188517666_55efe5d441.jpg

We enjoyed frosty cocktails in the warm sun, took a quick dip, and had a long and lazy lunch.

I love the food at Firefly. Most of the offerings you find on the Abaco culinary scene are fairly similar…..fish sandwich with fries…..burger with fries….conch with fries. While it’s no secret that I love some fried food, it’s nice to know there are a few restaurants where you can find some creative options. Firefly definitely stands out as one of the best. We enjoyed ginger-sesame crusted tuna tataki followed by crispy coconut fried lobster with fresh mixed greens and the blackened catch of the day with sweet potato fries.

Not a paper plate in sight!

34188441346_0e317a1015.jpg

34098267091_1399fe3897.jpg

34098245041_fc1f703814.jpg

33387207104_c86e83a7cb.jpg

34228941705_7ba7752761.jpg

33418203323_f230c7c580.jpg

34228905595_08406d86b5.jpg

33844862250_bba66c00c8.jpg

34228825375_59b7a2a002.jpg

34228878425_d23c53d236.jpg

33387103894_9f5f3f9ef9.jpg

After lunch, we hopped over to Hopetown, intending to visit the Reef Bar and do a little shopping before heading to Guana to settle in.

34227856325_4ec587776d.jpg

33843720150_47f4987e01.jpg

33417076273_d52490d255.jpg

Hopetown was CRAZY! I have never seen that many people in town before. The Reef Bar was covered up. We realized it was spring break for a lot of families, so we downed one cocktail, took in the views, and jumped back on the boat in search of peace and quiet.

33843663960_b6b8f47e40.jpg

33385957974_80d9591134.jpg

33385897064_843f03613c.jpg

34227769065_a8b5366ef7.jpg

34096873091_9687abeca0.jpg

34227655955_408ae5dd00.jpg

33385835804_b60009bf15.jpg

33416812743_94bb03a71a.jpg

33843470170_156c8e19d1.jpg

34096691381_344209f6d9.jpg

33416712453_201c3d2ed5.jpg

34096656981_336a93f742.jpg

34096626801_8dcc052a11.jpg

33843358070_ecf0d170f5.jpg

We didn't exactly find peace and quiet. We had friends on the island and we saw their boat in the shallow lagoon on the south end of Guana Cay. We decided to try to creep in despite the fact that it was low tide.

We proceeded to get stuck, had to have our friends pull us off the sand with their boat, and I blew out my favorite flip flop when Matt told me to "GET OFF THE BOAT AND PUSH!"

Once we were safely back out to sea, we limped back to Guana in shame.

Hopetown had been a bust and the Lagoon had been a bigger bust.

We were ready to get to our little island and call it a day. We hoped it would be quieter than we had found Elbow.

It was.

Our little island was wonderfully peaceful when we arrived.

34096541691_b3a25fd6a1.jpg

34186763176_ace7d7af75.jpg

34227091155_944ca9251f.jpg

We unpacked and settled in, cleaned up, and headed to Grabbers for that first glorious Guana Cay sunset.

33385574734_faa5a238d9.jpg

33843246820_1c62d124f1.jpg

34070182402_732a1bb382.jpg

Afterwards, we met friends at Kidd’s Cove for a feast. We celebrated their last night on the island and our first with my favorite potato salad, peas n’ rice, salads, and fresh caught snapper.

34227246465_7ec9e1d3b0.jpg

34070077502_9108fd4e0f.jpg

33385446404_87b3d07c2f.jpg

33416416573_b8950da42c.jpg

34186572286_8af15840c2.jpg

The next morning I woke up early to see the sunrise and realized I had lost my voice and a splitting headache. I couldn’t be getting sick. I was on vacation!

34186541526_bfdd292aeb.jpg

I had no time to think about being sick. I had packing to do. Sure, we had just arrived, but Matt had convinced me to try spending the night on the boat that night and I needed to rally. I took some Advil and got our stuff together for our overnight trip.

It’s amazing how much stuff I needed to spend one night on the boat.

33416316183_384162e3dd.jpg

We had never slept on the boat. It had a nice cabin and it was one of the reasons we decided on the boat we did. We felt like it was a good time to try it out, since this trip was just the two of us. It would be a good way to test run it and see what worked and what didn’t.

Let me just end the suspense….nothing worked.

We had decided to venture to Treasure Cay and spend a night in the marina. It would be great, Matt said. It’s a nice day, he said. We’ll have shore power, he said. We have a nice cabin with a nice bed, he said. We have a working bathroom, he said.

Lies.

34069952212_3fda4ce43c.jpg

34096225441_57b59afc66.jpg

33416189223_78f5971d4a.jpg

33385206314_8e7f150f1c.jpg

34226944335_f90ac62401.jpg

It didn’t start off too badly. The waves were a little bigger than normal, but just enough to elicit joyful shrieks and laughs. But as we picked up speed, the waves got bigger and the wind got stronger and the shrieks were no longer joyful.

The sea was angry that day, friends. Very angry. I was a acutely aware that as a very small woman with no means to secure myself to the boat, I was in a vulnerable position. I tightened my grip on the metal handle in front of me (for which I’m sure there’s some actual boat term but that I prefer to call the “Oh Shit” bar) and held on for dear life.

Our plan was to first go to Treasure Sands on the far end of the beach for lunch and lounging before making our way back to the marina for the night. We got all the way to Treasure Sands before realizing the water was far too rough to stop there.

This meant we had to go ALL THE WAY back to Don’t Rock. Against the wind and against the waves. That’s when the $hit really hit the fan. I knew I was in trouble when Matt told me to just go below, shut the door, and hold on.

The next 20 minutes were violent. The waves pounded the boat hard enough to knock me into the ceiling repeatedly and to cause the microwave to keep flying open and shooting the glass tray across the cabin. I feared I would be decapitated at any moment.

I spent the majority of the ride wedged in with pillows while using my arms as a brace against the ceiling to keep me from flying up and hitting my head. My teeth were banging together. I was pretty sure I was going to die from a head injury caused by an airborne flashlight that had worked its way out of its cubbyhole.

34226955445_0c9151c50c.jpg

It would have probably been smarter to turn back, but we were committed.

I thought about grabbing the air horn to send Matt a distress signal, but I was pretty sure things were worse up top.

Thankfully, I am not prone to motion sickness.

When we finally pulled into Treasure Cay marina, Matt was grim faced and saltwater soaked from head to toe, and my arms felt like I had done 2 hours of push-ups.

So…sure….it wasn’t a great start.

But as we cruised into the marina, things immediately started looking up. It was calm, sunny, and beautiful.

33385162844_8ff52432dc.jpg

34069767062_2598465fee.jpg

34095999761_521e0b18c2.jpg

33842767670_03d24a503d.jpg

I set out to explore while Matt tied the boat off and got us checked in at the marina office.

34226787715_8b17a703b5.jpg

33415851623_ce04d667a3.jpg

34095836081_c7b04d1563.jpg

Treasure Cay is definitely the closest thing to a “resort” that I have seen on Abaco, but it wasn’t resorty by any means. It was still just good old Abaco.

34095820931_a2d1e9e28b.jpg

34069474682_81453b4914.jpg

34095788181_8bbbb83dce.jpg

34095765181_552280f841.jpg

34226504865_d93582e848.jpg

34226557475_37fcab78c2.jpg

34095653511_65a1698994.jpg

33842396400_334f53ed90.jpg

34069312812_7a9d9af805.jpg

34226327015_5a4ecf804d.jpg

33383222214_28d4350508.jpg

34094270501_f77bb27790.jpg

“We have a small problem,” Matt said as I returned to the boat.

After the ride over, I really didn’t think any additional problems were acceptable.

“Our power cord isn’t long enough to reach the dock so we won’t have shore power.”

That meant no lights, no microwave, no toilet, no a/c.

Let me translate that into Vicki-speak: Darkness, mosquitoes, 15 minute walk to the bathroom, and no coffee.

This was dire.

“Well,” I said, “At least it’s a cool night and we have a comfy bed.”

“That was another thing I wanted to tell you….”

Apparently, the center cushion that turns two narrow, uncomfortable benches around the table into an actual bed was not on the boat.

What was supposed to be this:

33383156314_d7795f9aae.jpg

Was, in fact, this:

34094257211_eca10f38a3.jpg

And I was feeling worse by the minute. The headache that was ever present was now being joined by a horrible sore throat.

No matter.

We were here now and there was no way in hell I was heading back out into the Sea of Doom for another boat ride.

Instead, we decided to make the best of it and grabbed a taxi to Treasure Sands. If we couldn’t have overnight luxury, we’d have afternoon luxury!

33384472524_cfee44f768.jpg

34069170792_520c588b20.jpg

33384371444_f01bd36abb.jpg

33415247643_7078f00ab3.jpg

34095240151_989e35ef61.jpg

34185255776_db81e9dee3.jpg

After the horror of the morning, Treasure Sands was pure bliss.

Treasure Sands was posh, uber hip, and an oasis of relaxation. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Poolside champagne made me forget that boat ride had ever happened, and made me temporarily forgot that we had an uncomfortable night in front of us.

34068706922_6011cc6259.jpg

34225838185_d5bc29bb9c.jpg

33841644590_9460e1717c.jpg

34068581162_464578f635.jpg

33383763414_b9c81a5c26.jpg

34225644115_4a8da09694.jpg

34184853036_ff9a8fedcf.jpg

33841456570_d6fb4ee36e.jpg

34094698451_230ba256a0.jpg

34225679225_b9c84c4517.jpg

34068530772_a3802d9a3f.jpg

Like Firefly, Treasure Sands is one of the better dining options in the Abacos. We enjoyed a decadent lunch. I opted for the open face hot fish – fresh hog snapper delicately fried “Nashville hot chicken” style and served with tangy pickles. Matt went for the always delicious lobster club. Both were served with their parmesan garlic fries.

34068511432_72caa05572.jpg

34094823751_e73c1bdc82.jpg

34094994051_71a44366f7.jpg

34185083406_c3237eda59.jpg

33383548674_487386b7c6.jpg

34094638121_1b35653ce6.jpg

34094574961_2dc910c814.jpg

34068222012_eb6ea5a57b.jpg

34225479365_31b7304cb2.jpg

34094593141_28fdbc101f.jpg

33383423774_4866c61bd2.jpg

33383394974_8dc27d37ca.jpg

34184654456_8bff8d1f67.jpg

33414421313_b87d02dedf.jpg

33383329364_7f7ee77d60.jpg

34067975072_f7f371930e.jpg

33414327163_b21afdfe30.jpg

We lounged late into the afternoon.

Mainly to avoid going back to face this:

34094257211_eca10f38a3.jpg

But eventually, we made our way back to the marina where we grabbed showers and opened some wine to enjoy with the sunset before dinner.

For a moment, I forgot about the lack of power, the long midnight walk I’d be making to the bathroom, and the two tiny, hard sleeping spaces we had waiting for us below and I realized how much I could enjoy a night on the boat. It was a beautiful night.

34067857832_f878e4050e.jpg

33840949840_38602f56a4.jpg

34094208111_7dddc83926.jpg

33840884230_6eb009545a.jpg

We walked from the marina to Coco’s for their Friday Night Fish Fry and started the evening with a hard-earned Treasure Bomb Shot. It tasted like cough syrup and made me wish I had some. I was feeling worse by the minute.

34184340426_4c459a6911.jpg

33840775740_a742c821cd.jpg

33840747080_2f499e64c1.jpg

I drowned my sorrows with a frozen blue margarita and then fed them some hot conch fritters.

33840822790_a7068d84a9.jpg

33840802130_dc960ef761.jpg

34093959271_cb0e859803.jpg

33413903503_9243eb2e60.jpg

33840637540_bfdf352278.jpg

34224783405_2a54f9254c.jpg

For dinner, I went with traditional Abaco fare and got the blackened catch, cole slaw, and mac n’ cheese. Matt got daring and ordered the Fish Fry special.

I draw the line at eating things that still have eyes.

34184095076_894d4e4e0e.jpg

33382739464_67caeb4c0a.jpg

34093816761_184e431e93.jpg

We returned for our night on the boat.

I’d love to say, “It wasn’t so bad.” I’d like to convince you that I am a good sport and made the best of a less than ideal situation.

I am not a good sport.

It was miserable.

It was a combination of my increasing congestion, a now incessant cough, and trying to sleep on a narrow sliver of hard vinyl.

It’s important to note that I am a finicky sleeper. I need everything to be exactly perfect for me to drift off: pitch black, cool, silent, with a firm pillow, a thick comforter, and a soft mattress. Matt has equated my sleep set up to being no less complex than launching the space shuttle.

The boat cabin was warm and small with light and sound from the marina flooding into every hatch that had to remain open lest we suffocate without the a/c. The “bed,” we’ll just call it that for fun because we all know that wasn’t a bed, was excessively small and ferociously hard. Because I only brought bedding for ONE bed, not 2 separate beds, we had to split the bedding, so it was completely insubstantial.

I’m not sure who was more miserable, me, who coughed all night long and woke myself up with a loud congested snort every time I managed to doze off, or Matt who had to lay awake and listen to me cough all night long and snore myself awake every 23 minutes.

Oh, and did I mention that it was a FULL MOON? A very huge, bright, shining in the hatch above my head FULL MOON?

Let’s not even talk about the long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

It was a long night.

33382683854_5ba9a53ce2.jpg

But we survived it. As the sun rose over Treasure Cay, I felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer.

34093750251_e36ed4a343.jpg

34224617005_538fba14d2.jpg

We made our way to the small quick market and perused the laughable and awkward medicinal offerings. I found a $24 bottle of DayQuil and an $8 bottle of some unrecognizable nasal spray.

It would have to do.

It’s amazing what a little medicine can do. I felt 90% human and went in search of coffee, since we didn’t have any power.

I found myself at Florence’s and remembered reading about the legendary cinnamon rolls generated by this modest cafe. I popped in for coffee (heaven!), breakfast sandwiches, and ….mmmmm……..cinnamon rolls.

34093692681_9d6fbe80ba.jpg

34067332692_2a20ab0217.jpg

34183884176_fd69169447.jpg

34067280622_c66be10ea2.jpg

Obviously, whatever illness I had did nothing to my appetite.

After some coffee and sugar, I felt 99% human.

At least for the time being.

We made our way back to Guana and marveled at the beautiful day.

33382532514_b500c1f5c7.jpg

With no plans for the day, we headed to Mermaids on the Rocks for lunching and lounging.

If you recall, it opened just last month, about a week before our March visit.

I still really loved the place.

34183808706_c8b3451892.jpg

34224409105_cbb525ec15.jpg

34224303175_62d0b874a7.jpg

Tish, the bartender, mixed us up some fantastic cocktails that we enjoyed with their killer view.

We knew their dinner was good, so we wanted to try lunch. It was fantastic.

34183766436_11db846b64.jpg

33382430034_9b96da3088.jpg

33382408344_139b5c6711.jpg

34224346415_693bc7402a.jpg

Oooey, gooey loaded nachos, a cheesy burger, and a panko coconut fish sandwich made for lunch perfection.

Their crystal clear pool made the perfect place for a post-lunch siesta.

34067038742_ac0f847d64.jpg

33840103130_0294a24f01.jpg

34093401731_67025ede16.jpg

We followed Mermaids with trip to Grabbers for a dip in the water.

34067019802_b6d9efafef.jpg

33382262474_3f47a52869.jpg

34093274921_264d81f82e.jpg

34183490736_364343c0a4.jpg

33382187814_62fcb8dcc2.jpg

34183416136_90e20be26f.jpg

My DayQuil was starting to wear off, so we headed home. I grabbed some Vicks and Advil at Guana Grocery to round out my vacation cocktail that I hoped would get me through the rest of the trip.

33413144433_e343759ac5.jpg

After some down time, we headed to Grabbers for sunset and drinks.

Do we get tired of going to the same places over and over?

No.

34066823852_f8b4261692.jpg

33839823280_05ce98153d.jpg

34183305776_7c6d16d626.jpg

34066747742_0dbae53fe7.jpg

34223935115_0109343445.jpg

34093000291_7853766d8e.jpg

33381989304_0a3cf2451f.jpg

34223869105_40b5167893.jpg

34066616422_306fdffb6e.jpg

34092938951_64fe09cb1d.jpg

34066554432_77879e6cf5.jpg

We followed that with rib night at Orchid Bay.

33381860984_c43af79585.jpg

34066500052_c7c3db2241.jpg

The next morning was Easter Sunday. We hadn’t thought to bring church clothes, so we headed to the beach to have our own sunrise service.

34183004076_360bdb4b4d.jpg

As the sun rose higher into the sky, I was not only thankful for the gift of God’s son and my salvation, but for all the gifts he has blessed my life with.
What a beautiful reminder of what really matters.

34066418902_48a3225959.jpg

33412747553_4bcec7fa66.jpg

33412706893_9ba08bce64.jpg

33381666254_f167fc624b.jpg

Not interested in another bone jarring boat ride, we decided to keep ourselves parked on Guana for the day, as the wind hadn’t really subsided.

We spent a lazy morning at Grabbers doing a lot of nothing. Which was absolutely perfect.

33381645164_be4ebc1d32.jpg

34223567945_bc5f7f8799.jpg

34182798716_9d92a3bba9.jpg

34223491875_aa8d2f76d2.jpg

34223438285_6918e01f66.jpg

34092458131_21be4dca18.jpg

34223392905_2522eae846.jpg

34066107992_e86da7544b.jpg

34066081062_f464fc0a05.jpg

34182593926_7502341f14.jpg

33381264384_00725b84f1.jpg

34182528446_ef350993cd.jpg

33381282394_7743f88276.jpg

I felt like death on a cracker, but was surviving on a steady diet of DayQuil and alcohol.

And cheeseburgers.

34182498596_3eb0148da8.jpg

Nippers Sunday Funday and Easter went together about as well as cats and sweaters, so we took a pass. It just didn’t feel right.

34223161115_0096149d4e.jpg

34223124225_414e9d29ba.jpg

We chose to end the trip with dinner at Mermaids – seared tuna for me and pasta carbonara for Matt.

Mermaids was still hitting home runs.

33838903820_94f0f3cd15.jpg

33838862620_b74c4e17af.jpg

33381076184_a8fac04382.jpg

34065786352_1d98f7f79e.jpg

Our trip had come to an end, but that was probably for the best. I was quickly running out of $24 DayQuil and the closest thing Guana Cay had to a doctor was Troy, who owns the dive shop and also serves as the entire Fire Department and the island’s entire EMS division.

It was time to head home….and for once….I was okay with that.

34182217376_fa6401fd87.jpg

Next up: We’re heading south to let the good times roll in New Orleans! Stay tuned!

Posted by vicki_h 08:19 Archived in Bahamas Tagged islands tropical bahamas nippers abaco elbow_cay guana_cay grabbers marsh_harbour lubbers_landing

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

After seeing these torturous posts for the last 3 years my gf and I with another couple have decided to go to the Exumas in July! Staying at Sandals,would we be able to trqavel a short distance from Emerald Bay to Guana? I know we are doing a day trip to Staniel Cay but not sure how far to Guana?! Thanks for the awesome pics and beautiful water photos! Ryan

by ryanboz7

Ryan - it would not be easy to get to Guana Cay from Exuma, but Exuma is GREAT. We're headed back there next May. Definitely go to Staniel and don't miss Jolly Hall Beach on Great Exuma. Oh, and Stocking Island!

by vicki_h

Thanks for the info will do! I want to check out man o war sandbar as well!

by ryanboz7

Thanks for the entertaining post and for the pictures of TC. My wife and I were married there in 2007 and look forward to going back soon.

by THOMAS63

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint