The Abacos Charter Guide: Day 1

View flying from Ft Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor

Day 1: Marsh Harbour

Yesterday I landed at the charming Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbor, The Bahamas. The flight from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor only took about 40 minutes. After spending a few minutes at customs I stepped outside the airport and hopped in a taxi to Harbour View Marina. The ride took about 10 minutes and cost $15.

I arrived at the marina and walked down to Toro Bravo, a beautiful Jeanneau 519 and my home base for the week. The 3 cabin boat is very spacious and sleek. I looked forward to seeing how she handled under sail. After checking out the boat I took a quick walk around of the marina. There is a small pool, multiple bathrooms/showers and a small laundry room. Laundry coins ($1/machine), bathroom keys and laundry detergent ($1, enough for 2 loads of laundry) are available at the marina office during office hours.

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Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 519 interior

The marina has wifi which can be activated by visiting the marina office. Wifi fees are minimal and depend on whether you are using a cellphone or other device. After quickly exploring the marina, it was time to go to the store and provision. Maxwell’s Supermarket and Abaco Groceries are the two large grocery stores in Marsh Harbor. Both stores are about a 5 minute taxi ride from the marina.

Most items in the Abacos were much more expensive than here, in Rhode Island. Local business owners informed me that almost everything in the Abacos is imported from Florida. We spent most of yesterday creating a voyage plan for the week and reading up on some “must do’s”. We checked our fuel and water levels and filled a jerrycan to take with us for the dinghy. Water is not free in the Abacos. It ranges between $0.25 and $0.40 a gallon depending on where you fill up.

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View from inside Snappa’s looking out to the water.

To wrap up the night we went to Snappa’s Chill and Grill for dinner. The restaurant shares a gate with the marina and the food was quite good. They are open 11am-12am 7 days a week, offer free wifi and often have live music. Click here to take a look at their menu. After dinner we went to bed, to prepare for the full day ahead of us.

TIPS

  • Take out cash for your trip prior to arriving in Marsh Harbour
    • The only Atm’s in the Abacos are located in Marsh Harbour. Out of the 4 atm’s close to the marina, 3 did not accept cards from American banks.
    • Some stores and restaurants do not accept cards. I was charged an international fee on every transaction I made using a card (some banks/cards will refund you).
  • Check with your network provider prior to arriving in the Abacos
    • Make sure that you are covered for data, calls or texts to avoid racking up your cell bill.
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      View of Harbor View Marina from above (center dock with pool). Snappa’s is located to the left with catamaran dock.

  • Check with your health insurance provider
    • It is always a good idea to check with your health insurance before traveling to confirm what expenses may or may not be covered.
  • Bring 12v car charger plugs
    • Not all of the boats have inverters. You will not be able to charge your laptops or cell phones using the AC outlets on the boats. This is important because you will most likely be anchoring or on a mooring after leaving Marsh Harbor.
  • Mailing packages to or from The Abacos
    • I do not recommend doing this. Packages sent to The Abacos arrive in Nassau first. Once they leave Nassau they are no longer trackable. The main post office in Marsh Harbor has gone over three weeks without receiving any packages. They use a hand written log to keep track of mail.

Click HERE for Charter information!

Tomorrow we will explore Great Guana Cay and No Name Cay!

More pictures to come . . .

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