The weather pattern has continued – big winds, very cool for here in the Bahamas. After the most recent high winds and surf we used our bikes again to visit the beach area down by Abaco Inn.
As soon as we heard there would be a 2-3 day suspension of the wind, we left Hope Town harbor to visit a new place – Treasure Cay. Treasure Cay is 20 nautical miles north of Elbow Cay, located on the eastern shore of Great Abaco Island, near Don’t Rock Passage (remember that??) It isn’t a “cay” (island) any longer, but rather a peninsula that juts out from Great Abaco. At one time it was separated from Great Abaco by a small inlet that was gradually filled in from hurricanes and storms.
I found some history about Treasure Cay in a small document from the Mariners Cove Condo Association. This was the location of the first settlement in the Abacos. A group of Loyalists (the colonists who sided with the British during the American Revolution) from New York arrived in September 1783 led by Sir Carlton. As the little band grew, dissension and infighting broke out among them (I have no idea what caused the dissension other than to imagine that, like today, any gourp of humans trying to organize and govern themselves are bound to have disagreements!) The majority of the population moved 20 miles southeast to Marsh Harbour and the settlement of Carleton then died out after a few years. But…. I also read in another source (Steve Dodge) that the settlement was destroyed by a hurricane in 1785. So….???
Fast forward to the 1950s and Leonard Thompson, a WWII bomber pilot, born in Hope Town. He acquired the lease to the land from the Crown with the condition that he build 5 permanent buildings, a hotel, golf course, roads, and dredge and landscape. Thompson and investors pulled it all off and opened the hotel in 1961. The area was known as Sand Banks Cay on charts, but the owners legally changed it to a more “romantic” sounding name, Treasure Cay, playing off the history of Spanish treasure galleons that sank along the coast of Treasure Cay in 1595.
Through the 1970s and 1980s Treasure Cay continued to grow with second home buyers, a second hotel, condominiums, villas, time shares, marinas, medical complex, and small airport nearby. The sport fishing industry has also added to the growth. In 1972, the movie “The Day of the Dolphin” starring George C. Scott was shot in Treasure Cay.
Besides the history, why did we decide to make a visit to Treasure Cay? We hadn’t been here before and other cruisers told us we should go, especially for the beautiful beach.
I have heard people (Floridians?) say that the Abacos are just like Florida, and I have never understood how anyone could think that. Not at all. Not at all. But, now that I have seen Treasure Cay, I think this is what they must mean.
We dinghied in towards the marina to explore Treasure Cay.
There were three things on our list to do at Treasure Cay. First, was the laundromat. Friends told us that you can have your laundry done (note the word done, as opposed to do your own laundry) for $4.00 per wash and $4.00 for drying, plus a tip. Really???? It costs me $5.50 to wash and then $5.50 to dry each load at the marina in Hope Town, doing it myself which includes lots of waiting. We had our sheets and towels done while we had fun.
Second, the beach is beautiful. On our second day, we spent the afternoon there.
Third, Cinnamon buns from Cafe Florence. Florence and her husband Captain Forty own a little bakery that sells huge cinnamon buns.
Which of those three things is my favorite at Treasure Cay? Tough question. I’d have to say that if you go to Treasure Cay, you have to do all three and enjoy them equally, for obviously different reasons.