A Travellerspoint blog

Abacoholic

Another rum fueled trip to Guana Cay

7558845646_2e749c8d29_z.jpg

Signs that you have a possible Abaco Addiction:

You drink your morning coffee at work out of a Nippers 16 oz tumbler.

You know the difference between a Nipper, a Grabber, a Blaster, and a Shotgun.

The smell of boat exhaust combined with the scent of sunscreen and dead seaweed makes you mildly aroused.

You own at least one really ugly bracelet/anklet/necklace made out of beads/shells/hemp that you bought after drinking one too many nippers/grabbers/blasters/shotguns/goombays which made you think it was really pretty at the time.

You believe that souvenirs are fleeting, but a good scar from a fall at Nippers will last a lifetime.

You know exactly how long it takes to go .7 miles in an electric golf cart with 3 cases of Kalik in the back.

You read the Abaconian online for fun.

You have showered with a lizard in the bathroom more than once. And you liked it.

Your screensaver and/or computer desktop are of North Guana, Gillam Bay, or Tahiti Beach.

You know all the bartenders on all the Cays on a first name basis.

When you are thinking of making a purchase, you automatically think of it in terms of how many days on Abaco that would be.” A new TV? That’s 2 days on Abaco! Let’s buy this one. It’s only worth 1 day.”

When someone asks you about your hobbies or interests, it always includes the word “Cay.”

You know how to operate a generator and you don’t own one.

You have alerts on your smartphone to remind you when the Cracker P’s Full Moon parties, the Stranded Naked Cheeseburger Party, and the Barefoot Man Concerts are. Even if you aren’t planning to be there.

Your house is on fire and you only have time to save one thing, so you grab your Dodge Guide and run.

You know all the words to Thong Gone Wrong.

When someone asks you for a key you automatically think of an island instead of a small metal thing that opens a door.

You keep your passport and a pair of flip flops on you at all times….just in case.

You have a playlist on your iPod called Treasure, Guana, Elbow, or Green Turtle.

Each time you cross something off your list of things to do on your next trip to Abaco, you replace it with at least 10 new things.

When someone asks you the question, “When are you going back to Abaco?” you always have an answer.

Hello. My name is Vicki and I am an Abacoholic.

We have returned to this tiny outpost in the Bahamas 9 times. Guana Cay is only about 6 miles long and less than ½ mile at its widest point, but there is something about this tiny speck in the sea that keeps calling us back.

With an endless chain of cays, some inhabited with quaint settlements and gorgeous beaches, and others home to nothing more than blinding stretches of sand and a few curly tailed lizards, it’s easy to return to the Abacos again and again and never feel like you have visited the same place twice.

==Day One:==

7564380776_aefbb481e0_z.jpg

We awoke at the inhuman hour of 2:30 a.m. in order to be in the air by 3:30 a.m. It was still dark out and seemed like a ridiculous time to depart, but when we landed in Marsh Harbor at 9:00 a.m. and realized we still had an ENTIRE DAY before us…it all became worth it. Travel day was over and we hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

7564380578_a2b73080ac_z.jpg

Not to mention that back home, it had been hotter than 400 hells for weeks. Used to temps in the 100s, we didn’t know what to do with temps in the 80s along with a delicious breeze.

Nice.

We easily made it to the ferry dock in time for the 10:30 ferry and even had time to grab a little breakfast at Curly Tails.

7564379138_8fab851e6d_z.jpg

A bahama mama and conch fritters can be considered breakfast, can’t it?

7564378718_6a18c70020_z.jpg

7564378362_cf342cac13_z.jpg

7564377678_b68bed4ab7_z.jpg

In a place where a triple order of macaroni and cheese and a beer can be considered lunch, of course it can.

We were on Guana by 11:00.

7564379644_4c86ffd95d_z.jpg

We were in Bella Vita by 11:15.

7564353372_90752dd36c_z.jpg

7564377064_d6b8bde258_z.jpg

7564375708_786521a708_z.jpg

We were at Dive Guana and on the boat by 11:30.

7564373886_2f2e85c22e_z.jpg

7564372220_c9745fd717_z.jpg

7564371682_b34617a61c_z.jpg

7564369606_52036a12a5_z.jpg

Gotta’ love Guana.

The weather was stupid beautiful. Water as calm as glass. Only a few puffy white clouds in the sky. It seemed like the perfect day to visit the most beautiful beach in the world – the north end of Guana Cay.

7564367252_ec5d7c2481_z.jpg

We were distracted along the way by giant starfish. Our friends had never seen a giant starfish party, so we stopped to introduce them. They thought the spot was so beautiful and the starfish so magnificent and the boat so fun that they really didn’t see how this trip could get any better.

7564365438_4da830d1d6_z.jpg

7564365048_4f927f8c6c_z.jpg

7564364598_a402ca46fa_z.jpg

7564364230_5272cbbed0_z.jpg

7564367596_b437fdcfec_z.jpg

My goodness. They had no idea what they were in for.

We spent the next few hours showing them some of what they were in for.

The beach on north Guana is still as beautiful as ever. Baker’s Bay has not managed to ruin it. Yet.

7564362308_d02b7349d4_z.jpg

7564360496_348e346075_z.jpg

7564360138_56bf0d211c_z.jpg

7564358810_c8f2e3f2d7_z.jpg

7564359484_46531e96c1_z.jpg

I was in such bliss, floating in the clear water, that I didn’t notice how quiet everyone else had gotten. I looked around. Where was everyone? We were just going to float around for a bit and then head back for an early dinner. Where did they all go? Did they leave without me? Oh my goodness…..WAS I MISSING THE MACARONI AND CHEESE???????

That’s when I saw the bodies on the beach.

7564354568_cc5bc1bf23_z.jpg

Do you know what happens when you wake 3 people up at 2:30 a.m., rush them around for about 12 hours, then deposit them in heaven and lay them in the warm sunshine?

I know it appears alcohol was involved, but what you see here my friends is nothing more than bliss and sunshine induced exhaustion. They all literally fell asleep on the beach.

7564355206_9f5556d9a7_z.jpg

7564354972_53576859c4_z.jpg

7564355486_9417bfed8d_z.jpg

Like a good friend, I photographed them all while they weren’t looking, in their various stages of awkwardness. It’s the risk you take when you travel with the Vickirazzi.

Although, being photographed in unflattering positions is not the worst part of falling asleep on the beach. It was trying to all that sand out of places God never intended it to go.

7564350342_5b5256d3cc_z.jpg

7564349438_d487f3779d_z.jpg

By the time we got back to the house and cleaned up, our friends were literally dead on their feet. Matt and I sent them off to bed and wandered over to Grabbers.

7564348490_1eae246c61_z.jpg

It was a beautiful night. The sun was setting, colorful lanterns were bobbing around on the breeze, and there was live music. I got my first Grabber of the trip, kicked off my flip flops, and dug my toes deep into the sand.

7564347654_6b4fd90778_z.jpg

7564347112_53afcd858a_z.jpg

7564346808_23b3b264ae_z.jpg

I thought things couldn’t get any better, but that’s when the waiter told us it was Rib Night. I don’t know if you have ever had Grabber’s ribs, but they are so good they make you want to swallow your tongue afterward just to get the last bit of taste off your tastebuds.

I promptly put in my order and was told I had a choice of sides. Oh my. He started the list and I stopped him as soon as the magic words came out of his mouth, “macaroni and cheese.” I have an obsession with Bahamian macaroni and cheese. I never eat the stuff at home. In the Bahamas, it’s an entirely different animal. It’s a giant wedge of baked cheese and noodle perfection that you can pick up with your hands and eat. I mean, if you wanted to. Not that I have.

“You get two sides,” he said.

And indeed I did.

7564346136_c9f2f0f06a_z.jpg

Two sides of macaroni, that is.

Not only is Grabber’s rib plate delicious, but it is HUGE. He brought us 2 plates that held enough to feed Pharoah’s army. We ate until we nearly burst. Our attempt to finish 2 rib plates with potato salad and double mac n’ cheese was an EPIC FAIL.

7564345404_f43d8052f0_z.jpg

Look away, folks. It’s not pretty.

==Day Two:==

7564344388_93ecc3673b_z.jpg

7564343886_da0b2088ba_z.jpg

7564343244_2d1bc8a8d5_z.jpg

I woke up with a macaroni hangover. Have you ever eaten so much the night before that you wake up still full?

But it was Sunday and I had a buffet to work up to later, so we hopped in the boat and headed over to Shell Island.

7564340194_fd14d2417a_z.jpg

Shell Island, properly known as Spoil Bank Cay, is the product of some dredging that was done in the late 80’s to create a cruise ship channel. Today, it is the perfect uninhabited cay to look for countless seashells. Or swim in the shallow water. Or drink beer.

7564327286_b5887bb0ef_z.jpg

7564320824_a5f4e7afac_z.jpg

7564321806_e7ce6b0b17_z.jpg

7564325306_a89d22af79_z.jpg

7564331564_477a8ef0d3_z.jpg

7564309462_04462c2260_z.jpg
7564313348_70bbc50748_z.jpg

It’s also incredibly beautiful.

7564317102_bbba7f0c76_z.jpg

7564332716_7e643ddbfd_z.jpg

7564337508_197d953d09_z.jpg

7564334346_8e32b45365_z.jpg

7564331218_0ab1502d8f_z.jpg

By noon, the macaroni monster was back and it was time to head to Nippers.

7564307310_52a5472a62_z.jpg

I don't think there is any room for neutrality where Nippers is concerned. With Nippers, you either love it or you hate it.

I love it.

7564306302_38277f8524_z.jpg

I love the colorful surroundings.

7564305454_dc456276b6_z.jpg

7564304086_083591b2cd_z.jpg

7564303738_67dab4c253_z.jpg

I love the view of the ocean.

7564303170_ede169b1c7_z.jpg

7564302580_cbe4e9d955_z.jpg

I love the frozen Nippers.

7564300610_8b170f8f6c_z.jpg

I love watching the crazy people (and sometimes being the crazy people).

7564297680_ca1ca5b110_z.jpg

7564296928_44fa634368_z.jpg

7564289710_0fec7c5ab2_z.jpg

But most of all…..I love the buffet. I can have all the macaroni and cheese I want.

7564299624_1df0f45737_z.jpg

I had read that there was going to be a full moon while we were on Guana, but I didn’t expect to see it on Sunday afternoon at Nippers.

7564288686_eb398704f8_z.jpg

You never know what you are going to see at Nippers on a Sunday.

7564286950_42898312db_z.jpg

We had some good, clean fun, a few Nippers and a lot of sun. We all headed home for a much needed afternoon nap.

I woke up later with my mouth tasting like the bottom of a birdcage and I think I still had sand in my shorts, but I had survived another Sunday at Nippers and no one had a black eye. We’ll call that a success story.

7564285638_2a65e38833_z.jpg

Dinner took us back to Grabbers. What can I say? When there are only 3 restaurants on the island, you do find yourself at the same places again and again. Grabbers just happens to be our favorite for dinner. We split a pizza, drank a lot of water, and called it a day.

7564284438_eed899c779_z.jpg

7564284772_cc66796542_z.jpg

==Day Three:==

The boys had decided to try their hand at bonefishing on this trip, so I found myself being dragged out of bed at 5:30 a.m. so that we could be on the boat by 6:00 a.m. in order to make it to Green Turtle by 7:00 a.m.

Watching the sunrise from the boat was worth getting up so early for. The water was calm and peaceful, turned golden from the sun as it climbed higher into the sky.

7564283696_6e8ce22593_z.jpg

7564284110_dccbfe6da9_z.jpg

We pulled into New Plymouth right at 7:00 and sent the guys off with Rick Sawyer while we walked around town a bit.

7564282796_828e790cc5_z.jpg

7564282170_32cf8b1147_z.jpg

7564281242_000915469a_z.jpg

I think New Plymouth is my favorite settlement. It just has so many colorful cottages and boats. There are picket fences with flowers peeking through and quaint porches littered with seashells.

7564281710_9a9d33a794_z.jpg

7564278482_d1abbf7852_z.jpg

7564277972_4502e018e6_z.jpg

7564276876_0b4622ac1e_z.jpg

7564275788_3428c6b3c9_z.jpg

7564275304_7e2cd1beca_z.jpg

We also stumbled upon the New Plymouth Feral Cat Morning Association. These guys gave me a look that said, “Move one step closer with that camera lady and we will eat your head.”

7564276278_38a10b5633_z.jpg

We grabbed us a cart from Kool Karts, who has always been incredibly accommodating whenever we have shown up without a reservation and said, “You got a cart for the day????”

We decided to take in all the sights by driving all the way to the Green Turtle Club for some breakfast. It’s a good way to take in all of the sights.

7564274470_da8d8a3cce_z.jpg

7564273322_1c8385d774_z.jpg

At the Green Turtle Club, I saw a breakfast item that intrigued me. Always one to try something different, I went with the “Traditional Bahamian Breakfast: Tuna and Grits.”

Tuna and grits? I like tuna. I like grits. I like shrimp and grits and tuna and grits wasn’t that different. I mean, it was some crap out of the ocean served with some grits. This had potential. Besides, it was a TRADITIONAL BAHAMIAN BREAKFAST. That was cool, right?

I learned that there is a reason we don’t eat tuna with grits at home.

7564274854_c1aa09c681_z.jpg

Tuna and grits is not a breakfast food just because they say so. Just because the cat had kittens in the oven doesn’t make them muffins.

After breakfast we made our way over to Gillam Bay. It was obvious that Gillam Bay Beach had taken a beating.

The beach has definitely sustained some damage since I saw it last, but it was still beautiful.

7564272716_dd5a7998ed_z.jpg

7558849170_261ca0e600_z.jpg

7564270974_b5e4a144d5_z.jpg

7564269894_1338356660_z.jpg

7558849830_00da5dc97c_z.jpg

7564268048_7577220266_z.jpg

We lounged in the glorious sunshine, walked waaaaaaaaay out into the bay looking for shells, and splashed in the clear, cool water.

7564271856_bdbb20f719_z.jpg

7564270342_bb245f8408_z.jpg

7564268768_f85e48917f_z.jpg

We were having such a great time, we almost didn’t notice it was time to go get the guys.

When we got back to the New Plymouth dock, expecting the guys to be waiting because we were already late, we saw them out in the bay….still fishing.

That’s never a good sign. When you’ve had a successful fishing trip, you’re back at the dock on time. When you haven’t….you’re out there in the bay in town trying for that one sad, last ditch attempt to catch something.

When they finally came into the dock, they rambled off something about the moon and weather and blah…...blah..blah….…fish feeding at night….blah…blah…blah….a shark ate the one bonefish we hooked…blah…blah…blah. That’s about all I caught, because I’d sooner have a conversation about the Norwegian krone crisis of 1992 than I would about fishing.

In short, they had a really fun time, hooked one huge bonefish that a bull shark fought them for as they tried to get it into the boat, but they didn’t catch much because the conditions just weren’t right and the fish weren’t biting that day.

7558848708_df2635198f_z.jpg

We decided to try something new, since we were on our way from Green Turtle back to Guana. We made a slight detour and headed to Treasure Cay.

7558844948_2de35c240c_z.jpg

Because the conditions were optimal that day, this was a piece of cake.

Treasure Cay was OFF THE CHARTS GORGEOUS. It was so beautiful, it hurt my eyes to look at it.

7558845164_b208931b60_z.jpg

7558843494_068e51ab45_z.jpg

7558842322_f5f5958109_z.jpg

7558841566_abacce634f_z.jpg

We anchored and headed in.

7558841180_89139e6cde_z.jpg

7558840766_5e228750e3_z.jpg

We were just in time for lunch at Coco Beach bar, where one can find the most fun and delicious frozen drinks EVER.

7558839296_a30688032f_z.jpg

7558838086_28e78d694b_z.jpg

7558837700_6437ab4c9b_z.jpg

7558836606_d8b6183839_z.jpg

7558836872_b32e35ea2f_z.jpg

After some grouper and fries and a mango daiquiri, it was time to walk to the point.

7558836006_df13e4312b_z.jpg

This is a beautiful beach walk. The water is clear and shallow, sandbars pop up just off the beach, and little treasures like tiny sand dollars are sprinkled about in the sand, just waiting for you to find them.

7558835474_a641c44f77_z.jpg

7558833298_873f4656e6_z.jpg

7558832048_732921e287_z.jpg

7558830808_ac7cccd0c3_z.jpg

7558829644_c597f4b99b_z.jpg

7558828600_a5921cd1eb_z.jpg

7558827662_8e3a72eac4_z.jpg

We soaked it in until we knew it was time to head back to Guana. The boat ride from TC to Guana was equally simple. Not much to it in a small boat.

We spent the late afternoon on “our beach” at Bella Vita before deciding it was time to hit Grabbers for the sunset. This required cleaning up a bit first, because when I come in from a day on the boat and in the ocean, I look like I have been beaten with a wet squirrel.

We got ourselves together and made it over to Grabbers in time for the sunset. What we didn’t expect, was that they Regatta Party was going on that night. I have never seen so many people at Grabbers. It was a lively night and fun to sit back and watch.

7558826586_0f5d38d983_z.jpg

7558824942_5764ea62c7_z.jpg

7558824650_f1ec403ec9_z.jpg

7558823644_87f67b0018_z.jpg

We had a couple of Grabbers and enjoyed the fun, but decided to head over to Nippers for dinner because Grabbers was so crowded. The poor overburdened wait staff had been reduced to two speeds: slow and stop.

Dinner seemed best found elsewhere on that particular night.

We opted to eat indoors and enjoy a little quiet and a little air conditioning. I loaded up on some more fried stuff and mac n’ cheese and rolled myself right on to bed.

7558820230_c247862894_z.jpg

==Day Four:==

7558818924_085746b152_z.jpg

With no real plans for the day, we decided to boat over to Hopetown. Our friends wanted to try to find some things for their kids and that seemed as good a place as any to do it.

7558817848_2fc70f6c2f_z.jpg

7558816760_63db0aec10_z.jpg

Hopetown is always fun. We sent the guys to see Gary at the Reef Bar while we shopped a while.

7558816070_da87c239f1_z.jpg

7558815716_32217c9483_z.jpg

7558814568_fd95cbd57d_z.jpg

7558813634_63c513afa0_z.jpg

It was getting close to lunchtime. We have never made it over to Cracker P’s and I decided today was the day. We boated over to Lubbers Landing and pulled up to the colorful Cracker P’s dock.

7558812308_702f37fc42_z.jpg

Heck, just reading the signs on the dock were entertainment enough for me.

7558811882_f4995df7c8_z.jpg

7558811400_ed3e4231db_z.jpg

7558810658_7d42d13d43_z.jpg

7558810344_c8f26e60f1_z.jpg

7558807556_bc45325c12_z.jpg

7558807078_31e1924660_z.jpg

I also liked the polite way they made sure you knew not to bring in your own beer.

7558809020_673b4c6675_z.jpg

I started off with a shotgun and the smoked fish dip. Oh….that dip was good.

7558805732_ff04f29e36_z.jpg

7558805288_0c5999aa5d_z.jpg

Then it was time for a beach burger and some more macaroni and cheese.

7558804782_eda7697717_z.jpg

I was beginning to worry about what all those bricks of mac n’ cheese were doing to the inside……so I thought it best to throw a little coconut pie on top.

7558804470_b91b53be59_z.jpg

The food was delicious and the atmosphere was fantastic. Breezy and relaxed with dogs at the bar. This was my kind of place.

7558806444_42e78ce99c_z.jpg

7558804184_8b6a7c3854_z.jpg

7558803734_342a136049_z.jpg

Since we were so close, we decided to end the day by joining the afternoon boat party at Tahiti Beach.

7558803308_f453874562_z.jpg

7558799358_92b73a4f70_z.jpg

7558796450_9e2434287f_z.jpg

We made one final stop on the way back at Fowl Cay for a snorkel before heading back to Guana. We saw the usual assortment of colorful fish and one good sized black tip shark. Every time I see a shark, I get so excited that I forget I even have a camera. Besides, I figure not drawing attention to myself by waving my camera around is a good call in those moments.

7558795462_48b89c5984_z.jpg

7558793232_c10555f13f_z.jpg

We cruised in late and headed over to Grabbers for the final meal. We had some frozen Grabbers and cracked conch before calling it a night.

7558790116_038f447e5e_z.jpg

7558787768_14d4596ff2_z.jpg

7558786330_997030dcea_z.jpg

7558785256_02b1e8c8a2_z.jpg

==Day Five:==

7558784450_83da808a08_z.jpg

We headed to the 8:00 ferry, sorry to go, but still basking in the glow of a wonderful vacation. We'd had a great trip. No one got a black eye, no permanent scars, and no one fell off a golf cart. We'd had four great days with wonderful friends and beautiful weather in the best place on earth. I wandered through the settlement to get one last look.

7558782454_eea7b0a7e2_z.jpg

7558783678_1833272ec1_z.jpg

7558784046_40d747a668_z.jpg

7558818578_b1b0c3f552_z.jpg

As we waited for the ferry, I realized that each trip to Abaco just seems to get better. These islands, the people, the amazing beaches and beautiful water…. it’s hard to capture in words or photos just how wonderful this place is.

7558780062_debde864b5_z.jpg

Hmm.....maybe I should quit telling everyone.

7558819310_c5ee48250e_z.jpg

Posted by vicki_h 14:41 Archived in Bahamas Tagged bahamas abacos hopetown green_turtle abaco guana elbow_cay

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

3 words........I wanna go!

by Scubagirl

Three more words... love going along!

by lprof

Is it June yet? Is it June yet?

And for the first time ever, I think I disagree with you on something: That tuna & grits looked AWESOME! :)

by TraceyG

I can't wait until June to see what you think. And don't get me wrong....the tuna was good....the grits were good....the tuna and grits together....not so good. I think you need to try it when you go. THEN tell me what you think. ;-)

by vicki_h

Now that is an amazing trip! Thanks for turning me on to Abaco to add to my Caribbean addiction! Might have to re-think our 11th trip back to STJ and figure out how to get to your favorite place on Earth~:)

by msgcolleen

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