Little Harbour, Abaco
The story of Randolph Johnston, It's Caves and "Old Lighthouse".
From Sandy Estabrook Guide to the Abacos.

Many folks make a day trip out of a cruise down to the underwater park at Sandy Cay then on to Pete's Pub at little Harbour for lunch & libation. Yet many are unaware of how Pete's Pub and its accompanying foundry had its beginnings.
The die was cast in 1950 when a Canadian, Randolph Johnston. and longtime professor at Smith College in Northhampton, Mass, pulled anchor and headed south in his schooner, the Langosta. Accompanying him was his wife Margot their daughter Marina, and three sons, Bill, Pete and Denny. His mission was to escape the "megamachine” and continue his work on an island destination to be determined.

It was May 1952 he and his family stepped ashore in Little Harbour. "There is no sign of man except the distant roof of the Little Harbour Light.” he wrote in his Log. "to the west were sheltering "high, verdant cliffs, pierced by numerous caves.” It was in those caves they he and his family settled along with bats and land crabs the size of a footballs. They built thatched hut and eventually came their home and foundry. Later, Pete started his pub and the rest is history.

At the right is the (out of print) illustrated book Johnston wrote of his and early family life living in the caves (shown on cover). Copies can still be found on eBay and in Hope Town gift shops.

Little Harbour is 30 miles south of Marsh Harbour, on Abacos mainland, off the Great Abaco Highway, However getting there is much more fun by boat than car. And the caves very difficult to access except with a boat. This writer visited those caves on his first boat trip in 1992 just prior to the passing of the senior Johnston. The caves still remain of course, but natural growth has obscured them somewhat since that visit.
For more on Randolph Johnston & Little Harbour check out these sites;
On Johnston & Little Harbour | Profiles of the Person

- Little Harbour Caves -
All photos by Frank Delege - Abaco Eco Nest

Recent visitors to Little Harbour were Frank Delage his son Adam, and Golden Retriever Triton from Treasure Cay. In addition to Pete's and the Foundry gift shop, all written about on our main page, they explored two often over looked sights by many, the Caves and the "Old Lighthouse". Frank made this photo essay available to us.

Fun day at Little Harbour
My son visiting on spring break suggested kayaking over to the caves across from Pete's Pub, I suggested the fish sandwiches and Blasters. They were all great. Even on a cloudy windy day, the seas are calm in Little Harbour. Of coarse we didn't leave Triton behind. After lunch we walked to the lighthouse, then paddled over to the caves. We found the smaller cave on the left to be the best. We didn't have to venture far into the caves. A fun time was had by all, check out the bat pics! They were every where. - Frank

- The "Old Lighthouse" -

Often over looked is (or should we say was) the "Old Lighthouse" as it is called. It was established in 1889 at the entrance to of Little Harbour channel, the southern entrance to Abaco Sound. Once it was a manned light, with the lighthouse keeper and his wife being the only inhabitants of Little Harbour. Of course the keepers are long gone and so is most of the house. The light tower was converted to solar in modern times but was dealt a devastating blow by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Access is via a path which starts from the shoreline and winds up the hill through seagrapes and bush. Few people venture up here these days. If there is a big ocean swell running, walk down to the cliff top in front of the lighthouse, where you'll find a blowhole known as the Dragon. Depending on swell height, it could be roaring, snorting and shooting out clouds of spray.