Put into Tropical time-out
The following morning we pulled into Great Guana's Settlement. There was this business about Frozen Nippers. While Matthew and Kimberly supervised the kids, Dana and I set off under a sizzling sun to find Nippers, overlooking the stark, deep-blue Atlantic. It's a sprawling, open-air place with multiple bars, tiered levels, and pools connected by a waterfall that you can sit in with a drink.
Thirsty from our trek, we toasted our brief hiatus from the kids, the warm sun on our backs, and the sweet, icy concoction in hand, a secret blend of sugar and rums. It was, in fact, as Holly had warned, impossible to have just one.
Figuring that naptime was about over on the boat, we hustled back to gather the tribe, and we all returned to Nippers like hummingbirds drawn to nectar. The kids couldn't get enough of the beach and the waterfall, and the reef turned out to be one of the best snorkeling spots of the trip (except for the plastic drink cups strewn across the reef). The place was a score.
As we were winding down, we met a gentleman from, of all places, our home state of Rhode Island. Thunder rumbled in the distance; he claimed it hadn't rained in the Abacos for more than a month. Then came sheets of rain.
Given the promise of more squalls and a Nippers' buzz, we stayed put in the Settlement. It wasn't the prettiest anchorage by any stretch, but it was a mooring and a restful sleep.
Just south of Great Guana was Man O' War Cay, and this was next on our hit list. Man O' War has quaint streets to wander and unique little shops. We also scored ice-cream sandwiches for the kids and our most important commodity: ice. The highlight, however, was a 12-inch freshly baked cinnamon bun straight off the back of Ms. Lola's golf cart as she made her late-morning deliveries.
It was no beach day, so we committed to a change-up in the itinerary and a long haul to Little Harbour. It would've been a straight shot if not for Tilloo Bank, a two-mile-long speed bump of a sandbar that goes dry at low tide.
Talk about a detour.
Once in Little Harbour, countless sea turtles greeted us, sneaking up to the surface and quickly disappearing. Turtle spotting was excellent entertainment for the kids, and the anchorage was a hit with the boys, particularly the finding of rodent bones in the shallow caves in the southwest corner of the harbor. But our stay here was brief: We had to get to Lubbers Quarters for the hyped full-moon party at a bar called Cracker P's.
Cracker's, however, was a bust: it was hopping, but it was no kid-friendly party, so we dinghied back and celebrated the moon phase with our own routine: card games and drinks, jokes, and forgettable embarrassing moments.