With the Christmas events behind us and New Year’s just ahead, we decided to get out of the harbor for a couple of days, along with Cutting Class. Man O War is just 6 nautical miles away so it only took us about an hour. We anchored north of Dickies Cay, outside of the harbor. The water is crystal clear and you can swim right off the boat. We made two trips here in 2013-2014 and always enjoyed it. I described a lot of Man O War then, so I’ll skip repeating it. You can visit the old post here.
We wandered about Man O War for just a short time, checking out a few shops, they have some nice ones here.
I couldn’t resist taking photos again the Albury Sail Shop, where they make handcrafted canvas duffle bags, toiletry bags, hats and more. It’s so colorful with all of the fabrics, although the finished items are a bit too expensive for us.
After the bottom cleaning, we went snorkeling off the little micro-cays nearby.
The snorkeling was nice, a good variety of fish, but I was terribly disappointed at the lack of conch shells. Last time there was a huge underwater “dumping ground” with piles of conch shells discarded by fisherman. We found a lot of nice ones that were still pink inside and reasonably clean. Nothing this time except old crusted over broken ones. 🙁
After a leisurely morning, we moved over to Marsh Harbor, just another short trip. Going to Marsh Harbor is like traveling to the city. It is the largest town in the Abacos, and the third largest in the Bahamas, after Nassau and Freeport. We were close enough that it was worth stopping just to go to Maxwells, the big grocery store. Maxwells is the largest grocery store in the Bahamas. You can find most of what you want or need, for a price.
We took a happy hour dinghy ride around the harbor with Marcia and Dan, checking out the marinas and the charter boats. (Should have had my camera……..) The Marsh Harbor Marina/Yacht Club and Jib Room is across the harbor, so we dinghied over to find our friends, Peter and Laurie, on Navigator and say hello. They invited us onboard to join their happy hour whereupon we met some new folks and old friends from our first trip – Mike and Ann on Traveling Soul. Ann and Mike are leaving soon for places farther south, but she had a gift ready to give to me.
Time to head back to Hope Town, so we left Marsh Harbor mid-morning. Eager for a swim and some snorkeling, we decided to stop at Matt Lowes Cay just past Marsh Harbor. As we slowly approached where we were planning to anchor, I looked down over the side of the boat from the flybridge, and saw a fin. A fast moving fin. In just a second I knew it wasn’t a dolphin, and I yelled “Oh my God, oh my God!” It was a shark. A hammerhead shark. Al saw it too. I wish I had recovered from my surprise more quickly because I would have gotten some awesome photos. It circled around long enough for me to get these shots. You can sure see a lot from a flybridge (but feel safe!)
Swimming off the boat right there no longer seemed like such a great option, even after the adrenaline rush dissipated. Instead, we dinghied inside of Matt Lowes Cay to the little protected cove. It is a private island now where they are developing 17 lots, but as long as we stayed below the high tide mark, it’s ok. It was completely isolated on this side, and very pretty.