Looking to the northeast from the Elbow Reef Lighthouse. On the far left, middle of the photo, is the house on Eagle Rock (on its own little island). It is the main landmark for entering Hopetown Harbour from the west. After the red and green markers, keep the rock to port, avoid the sandbar and follow the channel south to Hope Town.
Voyage of Rhombus 2018 – Leg 7
Hope Town and Treasure Cay By Fred Braman
e had a great first week visiting Little Harbour, Marsh Harbour and Great Guana Cay in the Abaco Islands, but time was ebbing away on our long Bahamas cruise, tropical storm Alberto had come and gone, and Crew Steve DiFranco and I had several favorites yet on our schedule. May 29 was clear and breezy, and although sailing conditions were on our nose, our next destination in the Abacos was Hope Town on Elbow Cay, which lay less than ten miles to the southeast. With only a short trip ahead, we loitered a bit, had breakfast ashore and departed Marsh Harbour by midmorning. Shortly after rounding Point Set Rock at the eastern tip of Matt Lowe’s Cay, we began to pick up the Elbow Reef Lighthouse that looms over the delightful community of Hope Town. Steve Dodge writes in Abaco, the History of an Out Island and its Cays, that the lighthouse was built by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service in 1863. Today the lighthouse is Hope Town’s tourist business centerpiece, but it wasn’t always that popular. In the 1860s, Elbow Cay residents did their best to prevent its construction. In the mid-nineteenth century, half of the able-bodied men in the Bahamas were “wreckers,” seamen who salvaged merchant ships that piled up on Elbow Reef. Dodge writes that “Wrecking played an important role in the economy, providing an inexpensive source of imported items, and produced goods for export to the United States and England.” Simply put, lightIn one of the planet’s great backdrops, the Elbow Reef Lighthouse towers over the harbor and the Hope Town Marina. 28
March 2019 S O U T H W I N D S
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