Sandy Point is located on Abaco's mainland about 50 miles south of Marsh Harbour (Large map). Our first visit was back in '97 on a trip to the Abacos by boat aboard Motu Iti (34' Catalina Islander). Staying at The Conch Inn Marina in Marsh Harbour, we and our traveling companions rented a car and headed to Sandy Point.
Sandy Point - Great Abaco
From Sandy Estabrook's Guide to the Abacos, Bahamas
The Road to Sandy Point - a Video.
As we arrived the Churches were letting out and all the women and children were dressed in their Sunday finery. We couldn't help but wonder where in the Abacos could they buy such pretty clothes.
This picturesque community of about 200 make their living from the sea. We stopped by to talk to a couple of fishermen (not attending church) who went out of their way to tell us of their work. They also spoke of new work opportunities for their village due to it's proximity to Gorda Cay eight miles off shore. Gorda Cay (to be later called, Castaway Island) was recently purchased by Walt Disney and to be the new out island home of Disney's "Big Red Boats". Disney has purchased the Island and building facilities to accommodate their cruise ships on this remote island. Most of the labor will come from the folks of Sandy Point.
We can concur with the Yachtsman's guide description: "Sandy Point is a picturesque and friendly settlement standing under the shade of an extensive plantation of coconut palms. The settlements small houses are brightly painted with colorful flowers and shrubs and well kept ."
Having brought a picnic lunch, we found a spot on this tip of Abaco in the shade of some casuarina trees looking out at Gorda cay while thunderstorms loomed on all horizons.
That was then, and here we were over a decade later looking forward to seeing the changes to this little community. The first indication of change was the "Sandy Point Airport" - more like an Air Strip, just outside of town as you enter. As of yet it is not part of any regular scheduled carrier. There is also a brand new police station.
Aside from those, things are pretty much the same. E&E Grocery and the gas station is still there. There's the ferry office where you can buy a ticket to Nassau ($65). It leaves for Nassau weekly - Friday morning and returns Sunday Evening (www.bahamasferries.com/).
We happened to hit upon their annual "Homecoming and Conch Fest" which is this towns major happening. It's held around Bahamian Labour Day the first Friday in June. It's not unlike a field day & homecoming of small town America used to raise money for community services. Folks come from all over Abaco including Marsh Harbour, (50 miles) and I'm told even as far as Coopers Town (another 50). Stalls, are lined up along the shoreline selling Bahamian wares and of course Bahamian Food. There was even a booth serving Gully Wash, AKA the Swidgel, the often sung about "Gin & Coconut Water". The fest lasts well into the night.
In Sandy Point, it seems all streets wind up at a restaurant / bar called Nancy's. It's one of those friendly fun joints that one happens upon completely unexpectedly now and then. Leslie, is the gentleman boss whom, if you run into can fill you in on the conch fest and all the happenings going on. You'll often see a group of young men & women whom work for Disney on the porch having lunch or dinner. They are either coming or going to Castaway Island just off shore. At the dock is the sleek catamaran used for transport to the island. Sorry, employees only. Still furthure off shore and a little more northward, lies the Abaco island that some say time forgot, Moore's Island. It has two settlements Hard Bargain and The Bight and written about on our page of the same name.
. One not mentioned is the "eco-friendly" development planned for this area is called Gilpin Point. Aside from that, in settlement accomotations are few. A couple that come to mind are geared for the bonefishing sportsman.. Dr. Larry Towning of East Ohio says about "Rickmon Bonefish Lodge, it's a bonefisherman's dream. Great hosts, guide, food and location. My dad who is 78 is having the time of his life. This has been our best Father/son trip yet and we have been coming here for 6 years." Dr. Larry has provided a most of the picts below from his last trip. Also and not to be overlooked, there is the recently remodeled Oeisha's Resort often described as a bed and breakfast. Check out their YouTube Video with pictures of the town. Finally, we've also heard of a new health spa being planned for the area.
I get the impression that Sandy Point is going to be a new Abaconian hot spot (economy permitting). Seems others feel so too as there are 3-4 major new developments planned which you'll pass in route and mentioned on our page "Abaco - Off the Beaten Path"
Sandy Point is an easy trip from Marsh Harbour in a rented car. On the way down you can stop for lunch at Pete's Pub & Gallery in Little Harbour and check out the settlement of Cherokee. Hole-in-the-Wall may seem nearby but should be a trip unto itself and only in a 4-wheel vehicle. As mentioned we suspect Sandy Point to be a trendy new destination in the years to come and as soon as more accommodations become available. That new airport is the clue.
Picts below (except inside of Nancy's) by Dr. Larry Towning
Next Stop Eleuthera
Abaco Life on Sandy Point | GoFish.com on Bonefishing
Short Video: On the road to Sandy Point and its South Beach