Our First Abaco Adventure
13.04.2018 - 17.04.2018
Years ago I started following an awesome travel blogger. Her side-splitting wit and gorgeous photos drew me to her a like fruit fly to an overripe mango. We eventually started emailing, then we met up when they visited our neck of the woods, and finally we planned a trip together.
On a Friday morning in April, we met Vicki and Matt in Florida, hopped into their 6 seater Seneca and took off across the pond to paradise. Our jobs were insanely stressful at this time so a beach break was desperately needed.
1.5 hours later we touched down on Treasure Cay airstrip. Matt had to do some work on their boat before we could take it over to Guana so Vicki, Mark and I (and their 2 little dogs) headed over to Treasure Sands Beach Club for some lunch and pool time. Very nice, and very swanky for the out islands. We enjoyed a lobster BLT, spicy chicken sandwich and tomato and feta salad. And of course some colorful cocktails.
We walked down to their beautiful beach but it was very windy so we settled into a cushy lounger with a glass of prosecco.
Then it was time to meet Matt at the marina. So we waited at the taxi stand...
Treasure Cay Marina
And soon we were treated a violent crossing of the Sea of Abaco. We were bounced around and sprayed with chilly seawater for what seemed like forever. Before docking we cruised by exclusive Baker’s Bay...land of vacation homes for the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Tom & Giselle, Michael Jordan, Elle MacPherson, and JLo. We hopped into a golf cart and made our way to the settlement of Guana Cay. Matt and Vicki to Bikini Hut and us right around the corner to Beach Walk cottage.
We settled in, freshened up and made the short stroll to Grabbers for sunset. And I got to try my first frozen Grabber. Ahhhh.
Dinner was at tiny Kidd’s Cove which was literally 6 steps from Bikini Hut. And it was pretty great. Conch fritters were outstanding. The lobsters were small but tasty. And Mark had a massive steak. All served on baking trays. But take my advice if you go here...avoid the mixed drinks!
Since we had been up since 2:30 AM to catch our flight from DC, we called it a night.
We woke to the sound of a rooster crowing and to a beautiful day.
The wind had died down some but not enough to make it all the way to Pete’s Pub so we worked our way as far South as we could.
First order of business was a morning boat drink....bloodys for the boys and limoncello mimosas for the girls.
We stopped at the beach at Man O' War Cay to play in the water and relax in the sun.
When our tummies got rumbly we cruised down to Firefly restaurant on Elbow Cay. I loved this place! We all ordered Firefly vodka drinks except for Matt who preferred the creamy Peter Whacker cocktail. Lunch consisted of juicy burgers and blackened hogfish sandwiches.
Full and content, we climbed aboard Painkiller and made our way to Tahiti Beach. This was a place I was very excited to visit, and it was very cool, but I found that I liked other spots we visited better. We walked along the beach and sat in the shallow water with Vicki's homemade rum punch. It was a delightful way to spend an hour.
Final stop of the day was Hopetown. This should have been an easy docking but my husband accidentally tangled the perfectly coiled lines so we had to idle and circle around by the dock for what seemed like forever until he got them loose #firstmatefail. I was stressed at this point and forgot to look for the resident manatee. Vicki and I took off to do some shopping while Mark took Matt out for a couple of beers. Hopetown is such an adorable settlement. I could easily live here. We found the boys enjoying the view at the Hopetown Harbor Lodge. Cute, quaint, friendly place on a beautiful beach.
Tonight we had reservations for Mermaids on the Rocks. My other favorite restaurant. We arrived wind-whipped from the golf cart ride in time to catch the sunset. The non-existent sunset. No matter, the view was beautiful and the cocktails tasty.
But the wind was getting worse so went inside to find our table.
Surprise surprise…Vicki had arranged for a belated birthday mermaid themed celebration! Balloons and props adorned the table. Such a sweet and fun gesture! For apps we had wonderful lobster fritters, then I had a lobster pasta for dinner. And we shared some delicious cake for dessert. The staff here is just awesome. I really hope this place sticks around.
Sunday Funday dawned bright, clear and windy. After a bagel and coffee breakfast on the little deck of our cottage, we bumped along the now familiar roads on the golf cart to get to the boat.
Seas were rough on this day so we only went as far as the lagoon between Guana and Scotland Cays. What a beautiful, protected oasis.
We sipped strawberry frose and drank in the view.
Unfortunately you must vacate before low tide or you will get stuck. After putting the boat back on the lift, we headed to Grabbers for lunch, and of course a frozen Grabber. This is a such a colorful and fun yet low key place to while away an afternoon. And the fresh conch salad made right in front of you gets two thumbs up.
Then it was time for Nippers. I was anticipating it with a sense of both excitement and anxiety based on the stories I've heard. And here is where my title comes into play.
This apparently wasn't a super crazy Sunday but there was a good crowd and the music was playing and drink were flowing. I had my first frozen Nipper and while it is similar to the frozen Grabber, it had more of a banana flavor. Both are delish!
After a bit of people watching and photo taking, Vicki and I hit the dance floor leaving the boys to guard our table. I knew the Nipper had done its job when this awkward white girl started shaking it to Booty Call. We boogied over to a group of fun looking ladies and joined their dance circle as well.
The day was hot so we all descended the steep stairs down to the beach to cool off in the water.
Then back up for another cocktail and to soak in the pool and listen to the music.
After a while we decided to call it an afternoon. To my husband's ears, this means we are leaving NOW so he promptly made his way down to the beach to make our way home. The rest of us were still in the process of getting out of the pool, trying to dry off and pack up. We had no idea where he went. We wandered around Nippers for a long while trying to locate him.
Meanwhile, this woman who had been eyeing Mark all afternoon made a beeline for his solo-self standing on the beach. She approached him and asked if he would assist her with putting on her mermaid outfit and then help her up on a big rock in the water. Always polite, he agrees. So he is on the beach holding open her mermaid tail while she steps in. By this time a crowd has gathered above and is cheering him on. Next up, hoisting his buff sea siren onto the rock so she can pose and do handstands. I wish I had seen this. He said he thought he was on candid camera. Somehow I got not one photo her but here is a good likeness...
Finally we see him in a new shirt and swimsuit walking up the road entrance. After he had escaped her clutches, he walked the 5 minutes home to see if we were there and decided to change his sweaty clothes and grab a beer. The moral of the story ladies is to not lose sight of your man (even if he is almost 50) at Nippers on a Sunday.
Then on the way into our cottage, I accidentally kicked one of the conch shells which lined the steps and my foot was impaled by the sharp point. It took weeks to heal. It's not an Edsall vacation if someone doesn't get injured.
Before dinner we toasted our red wine to the cloudy sunset which signaled the impending cold front. And who do I see giving me the evil eye from her perch at the tiki bar across the street...the sea siren...sparkly butt on one bar stool and mermaid tail draped across another.
Then it was off to Orchid Bay for dinner. The men folk had a full proper seafood meal, but V and I chose to split a large pepperoni pizza. Boy did that hit the spot after a day of fun in the sun. We carted home quickly as the sky was threatening and the wind was whipping.
The rain started in the morning so we had a leisurely start to the day. When the wet stuff let up we did a little shopping at the local establishments.
By 11:00 the sun was back out and we headed off to the boat with a stop a long the way to see the Dreaming Tree.
Then back to Man O' War Cay (aka the boat building capital of the Bahamas) for lunch at Dock N Dine. Tasty cracked conch and lobster sandwiches all around. Then V and I hit some shops while M & M went back to the boat to chillax. Great shopping on this island, including the famous Sail Shop.
The conditions were just good enough to be able to anchor at Fowl Cay which boasts an awesome tide pool.
The sinking sun signaled that it was time to make our departure.
One last Grabbers sunset...
Our final dinner was in Nippers vintage dining room. Picture it: kitchsy, wood paneled, and reminiscent of the seafood houses in the 70s where I went to dinner with my parents. Hogfish, fried shrimp, cole slaw and a brick of mac and cheese. All washed down with wine in a plastic cup. Surprisingly delicious.
The next day was a long travel day home after too short of a trip. But we got a taste of a new out island, and we were hooked.
Cheers to new friends and more exciting adventures to come.