Just a short flight from Florida, the sheltered cruising grounds of the Sea of Abaco, in the Bahamas, are a favorite of bareboating families and are loved by sailors the world over for the tropical setting and clear water. These azure seas contain the world’s fourth-largest barrier-reef system and are home to some of the most spectacular tropical fish in the world. Ashore, picturesque villages ooze charm. Sunsail recommends this route:
Day one: Depart from the base at Marsh Harbour, on Abaco Island, and sail over to Hope Town. It’s home to the famous candy-striped lighthouse, one of only three kerosene-powered lights in the world. This is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets.
Day two: Located just northwest of Hope Town, Man O’ War Cay has a picturesque village that still retains its traditional West Indies charm. If you’re looking for a tropical rum punch or refreshing brew, be sure to bring your own as this is a dry island. Enjoy snorkeling and bonefishing.
Day three: Sail to pretty Baker’s Bay, at Great Guana Cay, and explore the five-and-a-half-mile-long sandy beach of this incredibly scenic island. Be sure to visit Nipper’s Beach Bar and Grill. On Sunday, staff host a wild-pig roast starting at 11 a.m., with live music and dancing into the night.
Day four: For a change of pace, sail over to Green Turtle Cay and take advantage of the swimming pool and resort facilities at the Bluff House marina. Live music, exceptional beaches, deep-sea fishing, and fantastic diving opportunities abound.
Day five: Head back to Abaco Island’s Little Harbour, where a narrow sandy spit separates the Atlantic from the harbor. The picturesque and secluded village has been home to a group of artists since the 1950s.
Day six: For the more curious explorer, sail back to Green Turtle Cay to explore the village of New Plymouth. which offers numerous historical and other sights waiting for you to discover.
Day seven: Before you check the boat in, make sure you don’t miss the charming inlet at Treasure Cay, where you can walk barefoot along the beach.