REBlog: SNORKELING IN THE ABACOS

The following was provided courtesy of Cruise Abaco, check them out for a great way to experience the Real Bahamas 242!

snorkelling

The Abacos carry an unusual air that borrows heavily from the yachting atmosphere of New England and blends expertly with the Caribbean tropicality of the Bahamas.  Look across the Sea of Abaco and enjoy the vista of dozens of billowing sails dotting the blue horizon.  The result is a decidedly unique environment; from “busy” Marsh Harbour to elegant Green Turtle Cay to the exclusive private island of Walker’s Cay, the diversity is simply amazing.  This extraordinary chain of islands offers rich shallow reefs, encounters with friendly wildlife and a decidedly relaxed attitude.

Defining the eastern and northern edge of the Little Bahama Bank, the Abacos begin on the southern edge hip-hopping up to tiny Walker’s Cay, the northernmost island of the Bahamas.

On the island of Great Abaco, Marsh Harbour is the largest settlement in the chain – the town even has a single stoplight!  This is a bustling population center but remember this – in the Bahamas, “busy” takes on an entirely different meaning!

The nearby Cays are easily accessible and invite exploration.  Photograph the candy-striped lighthouse of Hopetown on Elbow Cay, visit historic Man O’War Cay and converse with the ship builders or enjoy the excellent deep-sea fishing in the rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  You have the opportunity to explore the many glorious beaches, old wrecks and beautiful stands of shallow Elkhorn corals encircled by fish.

Seek out Pelican Cays National Park where small islets combine their resources with surrounding bands of lush shallow coral gardens – the overly friendly grouper are a constant feature around these parts!  Visit the unique artist’s colony at Little Harbour and learn about the only working sculpture foundry in the Bahamas.  While you’re there enjoy lunch along with a classic Bahamian libation at the world-famous Pete’s Pub.

Guana Cay features only one resort along with a tiny village – a perfect destination for aficionados of idyllic beaches.  You will find a sprawling reef just 50 feet from shore that offers an amazing variety of coral heads, purple sea fans and soft, fuzzy sea whips where occasionally dolphins will come to frolic.

Head to Green Turtle Cay where you will experience a yachting atmosphere with lush tropical pleasures.  After an afternoon of coral exploration enjoy a stroll through the pastel-shaded gingerbread and clap board houses of picturesque New Plymouth.  Water taxis offer a convenient and romantic form of local travel.   Spanish Cay features a marvelous development that provides snorkeling adventures on virgin reefs just a stone’s throw away.

Calm waters, warm breezes and astonishing panoramic beauty make our 120 mile-long chain of islands a boating and sailing paradise.  Come and experience the warm hospitality, friendly people and the extraordinary vacation experience for which the Abaco Islands are so well known.

ABACO SNOKELING SITES

coral

Sandy Cay Reef – Watch for spotted eagle rays and huge southern stingrays in the sandy patches.

Hope Town Reef – Elkhorn and brain coral with plenty of schooling fish to keep you entertained.

Fowl Cay Reef – The most famous resident of the reef is “Gillie” the friendly grouper.

Mermaid Reef – Schools of snapper and big green moray eels.

The Pillars – Huge Pillars of corals. Look for the fairy basslets darting over the reef.

Angelfish Reef – Angelfish swarm around the reef in less than 20 feet of water.

Elkhorn Park – Huge acres of elkhorn coral rise towards the surface, many octopus here.

Pelican Park – Often sea turtles will come here to rest and eagle rays patrol the area.

Blue Strip Reef – Fish spawning area with lots of tropical fish and schools of blue striped grunts.

Sanka Shoal – Lots of puffer fish that blow up like spiked basketballs.

Meghan’s Mesa – A plethora of corals of every type. Look for the small plume worms.

Smugglers Rest – Plane wreck sits upright and porcupine fish have taken the controls.

Hobias Head – Watch for long spined sea urchins and sea stars.

Crawfish Shallows – The best place to find lobster. Watch for occasional sleeping nurse sharks.

Wreckers Reef – Where pirates once plundered unsuspecting ships. Watch for sea turtles.

Jeanette’s Reef – Look for barracudas and garden eels. Lots of small invertebrate critters roam the reef.

Spanish Cannon – Spanish galleon sunk on the reef. Scattered cannons lie among the ballast stones.

Pirate’s Cathedral – A labyrinth of arches and caverns with safe swim through openings.

White Hole – Numerous grottos and caverns surround a well-protected coral basin.

Spiral Cavern – Large numbers of groupers congregate here.

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