Jan 22-24: Man-O-War Cay
Man-O-War Cay is a very serene island with welcoming, hard working residents. Only 2.5 miles long, it easy to explore most of it by golf cart in a morning. The rest should be explored by foot, viewing lovely island homes, wandering stunning beaches and venturing down winding walkways.
There are several options for visiting boats, anchorages, mooring balls and marinas but tidal flows do impact access to some of these so be aware.
We found an anchor ball in Man-O-War's protected bay and after a short dinghy ride, arrived at the public dinghy dock in the middle of town. We couldn't resist starting our visit with lunch at the lovely Dock N Dine where the food is fabulous and the view (as boaters) spectacular.
With a strong history of boat building, it is still the go-to location in Abaco for quality boat work, sail repairs, and parts. The Albury Brothers also continue to build boats, now using fiberglass, manufacturing a new boat from scratch every 6 weeks. We were able to see a boat in process and one completed. Fabulous boats! Visit alburybrothers.com and edwinsboatyard.com for more information.
Settled in 1870, the island has a rich history but remains in a bit of a time capsule, which has benefits and negatives. The sweet community seems to live a balanced life with time for family and friends throughout the day. Nice! However, businesses are behind with technology. Most don't have a website which is a shame since their merchandise can only be purchased in store or by phone for local delivery.
A great example is the Albury Sail Shop (now run by the 14th generation). They showcase a huge inventory of beautiful, high quality canvas bags. At least three women sew daily making stocked which is ordered in person or by phone at (242) 365-6014. Too bad I can't purchase online for next Christmas!
The town has a great variety of options for visiting tourists, boaters and cottage renters. Pick up quality souvenirs, custom clothing, fresh fish, great ice cream store and a well stocked grocery store. Bring your own alcohol though. This is a Christian community that prefers not to have it around. Only the Dock N Dine restaurant has recently begun serving it in the last two years.
What a joy to visit! We were mesmerized by the variety of tropical flowers and local wildlife such as turtles, birds and the very dangerous cats . . . lol. Andrew was trying to pet them all :)
With another storm rolling in, but a bit of time until high tide we decided to try out Hibiscus Cafe for the 'best cracked conch' in the Bahamas (and it was) and, of course, a half pint of Dip 'N Sip's Key Lime sorbet for the road. Back to safe harbour at Treasure Cay . . . next stop, a most memorable Super Bowl!