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.
The wind was so strong the tops of the waves were getting blown off. They remind me of horses with their manes blowing back.
Looking up and looking out form our walk on the beach.
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.
Pretty nice day, a little cloudy and cool as we passed the Fish Cays.
The entrance to the Treasure Cay channel is somewhat hidden until you are practically upon it. Follow the markers around the shallows and there you are!
Nothing like a little welcome sign to let you know where your are and how deep (or shallow) the channel is.
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 took a mooring off the channel in this little basin, right in front of the condos.
There are condos and canals all over. Very reminiscient of Florida. There are concrete walls that surround the canals and hold back the soil.
We dinghied in towards the marina to explore Treasure Cay.
Do you know what this is??? If you are older than 20, you will. A BATELCO phone booth! I wish now that I had picked up the phone to listen for a dial tone. I will bet it is not a working phone booth.
The Treasure Cay graphic (same as on the welcome sign in the channel) in the center of the round-about. Yes – a roundabout! There were also little subdivisions of homes along the road.
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.
The Coco Beach Bar sits overlooking the beach.
A gazebo is on the path over to the beach.
First look at Treasure Beach, a long crescent shaped beach of fine-grained, beautiful sand. So civilized there are umbrellas, but you have to pay $10 to sit under one. The lounges are free. 😉
Ahhhh, looking out a sailboat passing by in the distance. Sunny skies, blue water, white sand. The Bahamas, mon.
It was still too cool for us to plunge into the water, which was a shame, but it was fine to walk in with our toes.
A snow fence for the sand!
Third, Cinnamon buns from Cafe Florence. Florence and her husband Captain Forty own a little bakery that sells huge cinnamon buns.
Cafe La Florence
Dishing out those giant buns!
Confession time. We each ate our own cinnamon bun., no sharing.
Evidently, the Treasure Cay guys meet here at Cafe La Florence for morning coffee and breakfast and to hang out. Like McDonalds back in the states??
WOW! Were we surprised to see spotted leopard rays as we dinghied. Look at the length of the tail!
We anchored for our second night and left early the next morning. After leaving the Treasure Cay channel, we looked back and could see the Don’t Rock rock (on the right.)
An easy ride back to Hope Town and look who we pass, on their way back from Great Guana Cay and Marsh Harbor – our buddies, Cutting Class.
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.