Jan 30-Feb 4: Marsh Harbour
We headed to Marsh Harbour for Rib Night at the Jib Room, one of our favorite Marinas. Winds were ideal for some fabulous sailing along the way and we planned to take advantage of it along the way.
Located on the Great Abaco island, Marsh Harbour is the Bahamas third largest city (after Nassau & Freeport) and a vital hub for flights into the Abaco islands, for shipping and commerce.
For boaters like us, the harbour is well protected from most storms and is generally buzzing with activity. Marinas, mooring balls and anchorage options are all available and most marina staff are happy to help with any repairs or issues you might have on board. This is also the only location where you can get a pump out if your on board equipment is malfunctioning.
Regular flights in and out of town make it easy to visit Marsh Harbour and surrounding towns and islands. Taxis will get you from the airport to pretty much anywhere on the island. Visitors staying in Marsh Harbour generally rent a vacation home, stay at one of the lovely marinas, hop on the ferry, rent a boat or join a tour to visit surrounding islands in the Abacos.
It is not the most beautiful location and doesn't offer much for tourists but it does have some lovely areas and attractions. One of these areas is the 'Eastern Shore' along the north side of the harbour. Here lovely villas, cottages and homes (many available to rent) make up a fabulous community. You will often see residents jogging or walking along the fairly quiet road, and if you are lucky, a flock of green parrots.
On the harbour side sits The Jib Room Restaurant and marina, one of our favorite places to hang out, especially with their incredibly delicious Wed night all you can eat ribs. This year they combined Super Bowl with rib night and a chili cook off contest. Needless to say, with the beautiful surroundings of the Bahamas, it was one of our most memorable Super Bowl Sundays.
There are few beaches in Marsh Harbour but on the Abacos Sea side of this area, across the street from the "Jib Room", there is access to the public beach and Mermaid Reef just off shore. The reef is a very popular snorkeling spot which is accessible by land or sea. Fish are used to visitors feeding them and will swim right up to you to visit, even if you don't have food.
A few of our other favorite restaurants are Snappas and the Abaco Beach Resort. Both are located on the waters edge overlooking boats nestled in the harbour. Both food and ambiance are fabulous...a real treat.
For us Marsh Harbour is a great place to restock, get some great food options and find boat supplies. When guests visited, it was simple to restock for guests and then get them at the airport...and since there is a restaurant near arrivals, all of our guests were greeted with a cold, tropical Bahamian drink...of course! Fabulous!
Other notes on Marsh Harbour for visitors and boaters:
Large stores offer great variety and supplies that you cannot get in most towns.
- Groceries: Maxwell's grocery store is the closest you will get to the larger North American grocery chains, offering a wide selection of food, personal and home care supplies.
- Business Services: Most of the known banking institutions and shipping services have offices in town.
- Hardware, Boat & Auto: You can find most of what you need to fix things at the 3 different hardware stores, the National Marine store or at Quality Star Auto Parts.
- Alcohol: A good selection of beer, wine and Liquor stores are available with most prices similar or lower than Canadian prices.
- Propane: This is the best place to fill up propane tanks. Few towns have the service.
- Ferry: Many ferries run between Marsh Harbour and other islands. Each have their own docks, some close to the harbour and other quite a distance away. Check with your taxi driver or with any marina to find out where to go. Leave lots of time in case it is further than you expect. Visit http://www.theabaconian.com/ferry-schedules/ for ferry options and schedules.
- Car Rentals: Want to really explore? Rent a car and explore the island. We highly recommend the beaches of Treasure Cay, and lunch or dinner at Treasure Sands Club for some of the best food and ambiance you will find in the Abacos. http://www.treasuresandsclub.com/