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BAHAMAS

The Abacos, Bahamas: Why Little Harbour? By Carolyn Corbett

B

oats drawing much more than six feet are out of luck. The entrance to Little Harbour, Abaco, is shallow. At low tide you’ll find three-and-a-half feet in the channel, two feet if you stray from it. Follow the directions in the guidebook carefully; the short, narrow channel makes a turn to the southeast. Stay centered between land on each side till you line up the channel balls, then trust them. The light green water over the sand patch is the deepest water there is. Wait a minute! With 84 nautical miles of beautiful cays offering over 60 recognized anchorages to choose from, why bother navigating this difficult channel? Why swing on the hook in a temporary anchorage waiting for enough tide to float your boat into this harbor? Palm trees and sandy beaches abound in the Abacos. Why not simply pick a different piece of paradise?

Let me count the whys… 1. Location Little Harbour is often the last stop for cruisers departing the Abacos for points south. North Bar Channel and Little Harbour Bar each provide deep, wide routes from the Sea of Abaco to the Atlantic Ocean. When one channel is impassable, it is often possible to run the other.

heads to the south of the lighthouse are breathtaking to behold. When conditions are too rough for snorkeling on the ocean side, try the reef in protected waters directly off the sandy, palm-lined beach just outside and to the east of the Little Harbour entrance. 4. Abundant Turtles, Fish and Other Marine Life Turtles and dolphins swim freely throughout the anchorage, which is part of the Pelican Cay Land and Sea Park. Little Harbour ’s cliff, north beach, reef, and harbor are all protected under the Bahamas National Trust. The Trust, which was established in 1959, is responsible for conservation of wildlife and preservation of natural beauty. Strict laws prohibit fishing, spearing, and disturbing or removing any plant or animal life, including shells, coral, and the eggs of birds or turtles. It goes without saying that the dumping of garbage is also forbidden within the 2000-acre Land and Sea Park.

5. Dinghy Exploration Just around Tom Curry Point the Bight of Old Robinson beckons. This undeveloped wilderness encompasses countless small cays and islet-studded creeks. Sandy beaches abound on the cays along the north shore of the Bight. The view of the harbor from Pete’s Pub on the The water colors, which are spectacu2. Excellent Protection Many cruisers headed for Eleuthera or eastern shore. Both anchoring and moorings lar throughout the area, are at their Nassau wait for weather in this snug are available to cruisers. Notice the palm tree very best in the shallows off the northwest shore of Bridges Cay. The opporrefuge, where both moorings and growing out of the picnic table. tunities to explore the Bight and Little anchoring are available in seven to 10 Harbour Creek are limited only by the amount of gas in the feet of water. Little Harbour is a circular, landlocked dinghy and the depth of the water. Schedule gunkholing anchorage where high cliffs and hills provide protection expeditions for a rising tide. from winds of any direction. Boats that require a rising tide to enter Little Harbour can find temporary anchorages off 6. Bonefish Flats Lynyard Cay or west of Tom Curry Point. Bonefishing is reported to be excellent on the flats in both O’Neil’s Creek and North Robinson’s Creek. 3. Sensational Snorkeling Fishing is allowed, for these areas are not within the A hike up the hill to the old, boarded-up lighthouse proboundary of the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park. With vides a vantage point from which to appreciate the majesty only one foot of water covering the coral between the of the Atlantic Ocean and determine whether or not it is a small cays on the way into O’Neil’s Creek, bonefishersuitable day for diving offshore. The outer reefs and coral 52

November 2005

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