I was so happy to be back in the Abacos. While we were in Eleuthera I mentioned something about Abaco to another sailor. He sniped back, â€œThatâ€™s not the Bahamas.â€ I imagine the Abaconians would take exception to his remark. Still, I think I understand what he meant. Abaco is full of sailing snowbirds and tourists. They have invaded and taken over like squatters in a freshly abandoned building. It is hard to see the real Abacos through the Bocce Ball tournaments and St. Patrick Day parades. But it isnâ€™t these transients and migratory retirees that I love about this part of the Bahamas, it is what they like to call, â€œthe protected Sea of Abaco.â€
The Sea of Abaco is like one huge sheltered anchorage. Through any inlet, you leave the deep currents and big waves of the Atlantic Ocean behind and enter calm clear waters. Any direction you look, you can see land and it is gorgeous. When the winds change another anchorage in the lee is just a few miles away on the other side of the sea.
This is the reason that Abaco is so blighted by tourist and snowbirds, the sailing is so easy.
But there were plenty of things I loved about Eleuthera. Not once while we were there did we hear country music, unless you count the island influenced remake of Kenny Rogerâ€™s â€œThe Gamblerâ€ that seemed to blast from the fish fries and political rallies on the shores of the harbors we anchored in. Most nights the music booming over the water was Caribbean style, the one exception being the evening we got to hear Michael Jacksonâ€™s â€œThrillerâ€ album in its entirety.
I also loved the exploring on land â€“ the caves, the Queenâ€™s Bath, the ocean holes. Eleuthera is eat up with natural beauty. Iâ€™m sure the Eleutheran Adventurers thought they had found the perfect place to worship God among His wonders when they landed here in the 1600s.
I loved the chance to do more sailing in open waters. I loved the high cliff that is the western Eleutheran coastline. And I loved meeting people, Bahamians and other sailors.
We may return to Eleuthera someday, but not anytime soon. The rest of our stay in the Bahamas will be spent here in Abaco entertaining visiting friends, snorkeling coral reefs, relaxing in calm anchorages, and visits to Maxwellâ€™s, keeping stocked up on fresh veggies and Ezekiel bread.