Just Another picture of the Hope Town Lighthouse

Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar - Green Turtle Cay
Hurricane high water mark

At Capt'n Jacks - Trivia Night.

On the Ferry

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Sandy Estabrook's Abaco Guide Update No. 7
This would have made it 40 years visiting Abaco.
A supplement to Sandy's Abaco Guide

This would have been our charter.

Fall is Lobster season too!

First let me say, we haven't visited Abaco every year although sometimes we did visit twice. I would say somewhere around 30 times we visited with the first being in 1973 prior to Bahamian independence from Great Britain. The last time we visited Abaco in the Fall, that was just after 911 about the quietest we've seen it.

This trip would have been the first time we chartered a plane for our visit. We were to be accompanied by my wife's brother Dave and his wife Maria who were flying in to Ft. Lauderdale on Jet Blue from Western NY, while we drove over from Sarasota.

Our charter was with Air Flight Inc, run by David and Lisa Donovan who have been in business for over 25 years. The great thing about your own charter it's on your own connecting schedule both arriving and departing. There are no long custom lines, no lost luggage, and no hassle. It's well worth the price and comparably priced traveling with 6-8 people. The other big advantage was we could fly into Treasure Cay and return from Marsh Harbour. Perfect since we usually split our trip between the two islands of Green Turtle Cay and Elbow Cay....................

Then came Hurricane Sandy!

When Sandy's computer tracks started pointing to the northern Bahamas, we canceled our trip and remained in western NY on Lake Ontario at (Wilson) and where Sandy would eventually head. Imagine that, a Wilson - Abaco connection! As Sandy's outer bands were hitting New Jersey, we jumped aboard a Southwest Flight out of Buffalo to Tampa. A couple days later, Sandy's presence was felt in the Great Lakes. We escaped it but it was too late for Abaco and the decimation in store for the Northeast US. My namesake storm, Sandy, although female and now retired, will be no doubt be etched in the history books ahead of the the likes of Andrew and Katrina.

Our planned a trip was for four nights at the Green Turtle Club, and four at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge. The above couldn't be reversed because of water damage to the low lying GTC and we would have no assurances of what vendors and services would be opened. This only complicated by our bringing 1st time visitors and not wanting to disappoint.

Regrettably we canceled our trip and will reschedule next year when we generally post this update. Any changes of permanence will be updated on our home page as reported.

Spring came and we got caught up in moving to a new Florida home. Our usual traveling companions along with their son, comedian Carrot Top and girlfriend planned a quickie trip for end of May. Normally we would have joined them but as things turned out....

We had a good time....despite the miserable weather. The wind was relentless...25-30 from the east. Rained most of the time so it was mostly cloudy....a little sun Fri. and Sat afternoons.  We cancelled our rental boat for Thur. and got it for Fri. and Sat.  Decided to get a golf cart. 

Tried to go to Guana Fri. and had to abort after we made it as far as MOW.....we were all SOAKED (even with rain gear).

We even had the 23’ Albury (rental boat) that day because they were working on our 20’er.   It was a good 3’-4’ sea with a 2’ chop between Elbow and MOW.  The ocean looked like at least 6’ waves....POUNDING!  We pulled into MOW and looked around a little bit and then fought the rough water back to Hopetown and had lunch at the Harbour’s Edge.  We went back to Abaco Inn and chilled.  Went to Cap’n Jack’s Thur. nite for Trivia.... Katie was the hostess (she’s also working as the bookkeeper at the Abaco Inn).  She said that Roy was at the house and was doing OK. Sat. we set out south.  Couldn’t get past Tilloo...too rough.  We stopped at Tahiti beach....decided it was too chilly to snorkel (no sun and windy).  Went over to Cracker P’s for lunch.  Had a rough time docking with the wind....they are on the windward side of Lubber’s.  From there we cruised thru Hopetown harbor...too crowded at the new Hopetown Inn and Marina (where Gary now works) so we didn’t stop.  Turned the boat back in and the “kids” took the golf cart down to Tahiti beach.  Our plan was to go to Sea Spray Sat. night for live band and BBQ dinner but found out that was canceled so we went to the new Firefly Resort for dinner...very nice. Of course we got special service everywhere because of “Carrot Top”....he got bugged quite a bit for pics and autographs.

We decided to split the cost and charter a ferry for Sun. morning so we didn’t have to catch the 8:00 Hopetown Ferry for a 11:40 flight.  We ended up calling it close for check-in....I thought it was 1 hour before flight, it’s actually 2 hours!  We were about 1:45 and they let us check-in....whew!  The new terminal is now scheduled to open in August....it really looks impressive. I ended up taking very few pic’s but here’s a few.

Silver Airlines (United) was real nice....big plane (even a stewardess and drinks!).  Right on time...in fact a little early.  Orlando customs was a pain....different than Melbourne.

That’s a quick wrap-up...Larry

PS .... a couple other things;  First, I had no problem using my netbook and Skype in the lounge on WiFi calling our house and checking in with our house/dog sitter.  I had already established a $10 credit in my account to cover any calls....it’s 12.1 cents/min.  It was a good clean connection.
  Scott and his girl friend had iPhones and had established “international roaming”...or something like that...I know nothing about all this stuff....they used their phones like we were right at home...no problems (I have no idea what all that costs).
  My VHF Radio (walkie talkie) was just about useless.  I never could get Island Marine Rentals to answer (twice)....had to call them from the AI house phone (they said they must have been out of the office).  I only heard Cruiser’s Net one morning...the other mornings there was no broadcast.  In fact there was very little traffic (hailing) on Channel 16.....not like it used to be. 

Summary - As mentioned on other pages of this website, the kind of weather my Larry and party experienced, can often be avoided by extending your trip to a week or ten days. The frontal patterns causing such weather usually come and go in a four day on and four day off (nice weather) all throughout the winter and spring tapering off in June.