Man-O-War Cay, a true treasure in the Bahamas

Yesterday, Sunday, we arrived here in Man-O-War Cay after a short five mile motor from Hope Town.   The flavor of this island is so different than Hope Town with it’s thriving boat building waterfront.  Hope Town is much more of an island resort and this island seems to be all business.  In some ways, nix the palms and you’d almost think that you were in Maine.  The harbor is very small and well protected and with loads of moorings, some of which are alarmingly close to one another.

Last night we went on a “cocktail cruise” in our dink and enjoyed the sights of the waterfront and harbor.   This little wooden boat caught our eye.  It seemed right at home near the rustic cabin.  Not the sort of sight that we have seen much of here in the Bahamas.  It looks like someone named Billy-Bob should live in that house.    Nearby there were several egrets that eyed us suspiciously   Fly away, not fly away, fly away…

What a beautiful sight. These lovely Abaco sloops were moored out in front of Albury’s boat shop.  They used to make a lot of these in the past but much of their work these days is in fiberglass fishing boats.   We have seen their fishing boats all over the Bahamas.  This morning we headed ashore with the hope of having breakfast but no luck.  The only spot to eat is open for lunch and dinner.  However, that did not deter as we just toughed it out until lunch.

As we were walking around we spied this lovely sloop fresh from the paint shop. 

All of the boats here on the island aren’t traditional.  I am not sure exactly what this is but expect that Jacques Cousteau would have a pretty good idea, I’ll bet.Brenda was particularly excited about coming here because the island is home to a store selling batik fabric from a company called Androsia and we were told that this store is the largest distributor for Androsia.  These fabrics are died and patterned by hand in a shop on the island of Andros,  an island that is not on our itinerary for this year.  (Andosia from Andros?  Get it?)

Brenda was in heaven and had a tough time deciding which fabric to buy.  The colors are great.  While Brenda was shopping, I was enjoying the view of the harbor from out in front of the shop.  Nice boat, that Pandora.  Wonder who’s she is?  Our next stop was the canvas shop.  This used to be THE place to have sails made for the wooden ships and sloops coming out of this harbor’s yards.  Now, descendants of the same sail makers turn out wonderful canvas bags, and lots and lots of them. Now Brenda heart was really racing.And, they were even making MORE bags.  What’s a girl with a bag fetish to do?  You guessed it.  Buy a bag!!!  In case you are wondering, Brenda showed admirable strength and resolve and only got one.  But, it was a BIG one and the PERFECT bag.   I am sure that the flight attendants will be green with envy as two or three of them help her hoist it into the overhead compartment.   “Would you like us to check that for you Miss?”.   “No, thank you, I am sure that with just a few more helpers we will able to lift it.  No really, I am sure that it will fit just fine, if we push just a bit… harder.”

The main transportation on the island is golf cart and there are well maintained concrete paths going everywhere.  The homes and yards are very well manicured.  We particularly liked this lovely garden path.There are flowers in profusion.  With more rain here than in the southern Bahamas, things are a lot more lush.   Brenda and I enjoyed the flowers.  I guess that April is a good time for flowering trees.  Do you recognize this one?  If you guessed poinsettia, you’d be right.  I expect this is what they look like if you put them out after New Years and they don’t end up under a snow drift like up north.

No idea what this vine is but they are very pretty.  The flowers are about 3″ across.The fruit of a palm but clearly not a date palm. Some sort of lily although the plant is not so lily like. These trees put out a riot of yellow flowers.    Quite a sight.These red flowers are on a bush that is trimmed into a sort of feathery hedge.  This spiny plant had an alarmingly sharp spine on the end of each leaf.Of course, the ever popular hibiscus.These 5″ flowers looked like they were made of velvet.   An amazing color.
After lunch we headed back to Pandora just ahead of a deluge of rain.  After months of sunny and dry weather it seems that we are in the rainy season.  I was told that it rains a lot in April.  It’s nice to keep the salt off of the decks.   Yes, it does look a lot like Maine.  Speaking of Maine, we’ll be there in a few months.  I had better swim while we are here because I’ll not be in the water much in Maine.

Man-O-War.  Now this is a lovely spot, rain or shine.

2 responses to “Man-O-War Cay, a true treasure in the Bahamas

  1. I love the photos. beautiful! The Sail shop looks amazing. We’re the bags expensive and do they take credit cards? We are going in ten days. I can’t wait. Sally

    • Amazingly, in the Abacos they do take credit cards and generally don’t charge a premium for their use. We thought that they were very reasonable given the high quality. Don’t miss the hand died batik fabrics at a nearby spot (can’t recall the name). The fabric is died on Andros. The brand is Androsia.

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