Posted in the Southeast Forum as well. Hoping you guys can give me specific advice on planning a short Bahamas trip with the following parameters...
- End of November
- 3-4 night stay
- 4-6 people
- Flight from Fort Lauderdale
- Boat rental included with accommodations or easily accessible nearby
- Good mix of history, sightseeing, food, drink...with at least good snorkeling. Ideally it would be an area that had protected waters for snorkeling/spearing/lobstering, and the possibility of pelagics offshore if the weather was prime. A charter is also in play.
Preliminary checking the Exumas, Eleuthra, or points east of Marsh Harbor. Feel free to PM me or drop a phone number if its easier to talk. Thanks
As much as I'd like to tell you to go to Eleuthera or Exumas, I'm going to recommend Elbow Cay / Hopetown. Reasons:
- lots of home rentals available as well as several very nice "resorts" (Abaco Inn, Hopetown Harbour Lodge, Firefly/sunset resort)
- several boat rental companies
- Variety of restaurants including great food at Firefly
- centrally located - on your rental boat you can go across to Lubbers, Marsh Harbour, Man-O-War. A bit longer ride would be north to Guana, Treasure, Green Turtle or south to Little Harbour
- Sightseeing - a walk through the pedestrian village is nice. A visit to the maritime museum is a must (I think that was documented in the 2014 Chronicles)
- Snorkeling / spearfishing / lobstering - plenty of areas NE of Elbow and ESE of Man-O-War + the reef on the inside at Sandy Cay (south by Little Harbour) is very nice - no take - just be aware that if it's rough, that area isn't quite protected
- Fishing - if not too rough and you can get out, zebras should be chewing. Several charter boats out of Marsh and Boat Harbour.
- Protected area - IMO the sea of Abaco is normally better protected than the Exuma bank (bank is wide and deep water on West side and East side outside the cays) or around Harbour Island. Try going through devils backbone on a small rental boat (probably without a chartplotter or depth finder), or snorkeling on Thunderball grotto when it's blowing. If you don't mind exploring by land if it's blowing outside, you can take the ferry from Briland across to the mainland on Eleuthera, rent a car and go explore some beautiful towns, villages, and beaches... (I can't remember if I documented that in 2015 or 2016 of the Chronicles, but it's in there) - that's if Harbour Island is your final choice.
PM if you have more Qs. I'm not checking the forum actively...