Raise the Flags – Abaco Strong
Thank you to Abaco Buzz for this photo. Be sure to follow them at www.abacobuzz.com and on Instagram.
Thank you to Abaco Buzz for this photo. Be sure to follow them at www.abacobuzz.com and on Instagram.
When I (Ryan Nelson) first posted about Firefly Sunset Resort closing due to Hurricane Dorian, the initial poster created said they would reopen on Tuesday, Sept 3, 2019. Little did we know that Hurricane Dorian would make landfall on the idyllic paradise that Firefly Sunset Resort is on – Elbow Cay – as the most dangerous Category 5 hurricane, carrying the strongest winds in recorded history for the northwestern Bahamas.
Lorenzo and the hard-working staff know the intense preparation that goes into hurricane prep. Most of the staff are native Bahamians; and hurricanes and the prep that comes with these storms is something they’ve endured since they were children. Many of them also have worked in the hospitality industry for years, so their extensive knowledge on guest evacuations, structure stability, supplies needed, and more.
They worked overtime to secure the resort. But even with their professional preparedness, they could never imagine a monster hurricane with wind guests at 220mph beating Firefly and Elbow Cay. This is just one headline that makes you cry to read it. “Hurricane Dorian unleashes 220-mph wind gusts as it slams Bahamas:
As of today, 9/2, The cell service is very spotty (if any) as the hurricane is still slowly hovering over Grand Bahama and Abaco is still being lashed with storms. Ann Irvin sent me these photos this am. And they’re hard to look at.
According to Ann, “Georgia Peach is 3/4 gone …the resort looks bad hit BUT Lorenzo and all the folks that took shelter are safe and alive! Thank you Lord!” We don’t know all the devastation on the island at this time but we thank you for your support. Our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages have been bombarded (in a fabulous way) with messages of Hope, Help and Love.
***For those wondering how these updates are able to be posted, I (Ryan) have worked for years with Firefly Distillery, Irvin House Vineyards and Firefly Sunset Resort on marketing/PR/social media and more. I am in Charleston and gathering as much information as possible to share with our visitors, friends and families. Please DM me on the Firefly Sunset Resort Facebook Page, Twitter Page and Instagram and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
PLEASE follow the Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue for news and updates!
Thanks to our visitors for posting “ROOM TIPS” on TripAdvisor. We love hearing from you!
“Best view is Java Rum and Mint-To-Be; for large groups do Sweet Tea or Georgia Peach.”
Perfect Place to Maximize Bahamas VacationGreat facility and staff. It has everything you really need for an awesome Bahamas vacation:
Clean, nice, updated cottages.
The kids loved snorkeling and playing games around the swim beach. Milo kept the kids entertained. There are large live conch, fish and rays right off the dock! The staff helped us with golf cart and boat rentals… would definitely go again.
I’m sure we can all agree that if you’re heading to The Bahamas, you’re probably planning to spend time in the sun. Some people spend time in the water, some are on the water, and tons are enjoying my personal favorite; by the water. There isn’t much better than a perfectly sunny day, with a nice light breeze blowing in from the water and through the nearby palms while you sit and enjoy a good book or a refreshing cocktail atop the soft sands overlooking the beautiful blue waters. If you’re an avid beachgoer, you’re likely aware that beaches can be extremely different from one another and no two are the same. This isn’t a bad thing, because it makes visiting different beaches something to always look forward to, and a new experience each time.
Depending on how long you’re visiting for, you may have time to visit all of these glorious spots, but if not, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay – At this private beach club, you’ll find beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s secluded and relaxed but provides opportunities to windsurf, snorkel, kayak or enjoy water sports you love. If lounging is more of your thing, lounge away under a thatch beach umbrella.
Treasure Cay Beach – This beach is highly desirable to many tourists thanks to it having some of the finest and whitest sand on earth. Not to mention the vibrant turquoise waters of the Sea of Abaco to look out onto. 3.5 miles of picturesque beauty. Calm waters are common here, and you won’t want to miss a sunset view from this spot. This beach was actually voted one of the 10 best Caribbean beaches and it’s no surprise why.
Tahiti Beach – You’ll find this beauty south on Elbow Cay. You can only access it by foot, bike or by boat. Get ready for relaxation galore on this secluded beach with soft white sand and clear waters. You shouldn’t have a hard time nabbing a spot here. Most of the time you’ll find that the sandbars extend pretty far out into the water, keeping the waters shallow and calm for your enjoyment.
Guana Cay Beach – It won’t be hard to nab your own piece of paradise along this seven-mile-long beach. Endless views of the Atlantic Ocean and white sands make this beach unforgettable. Depending on the time of year, the water can be a little rougher making snorkeling a little more difficult, but still enjoyable.
Ocean Beach – You will find this beach on the eastern end of Abaco. There is no shortage of water spots including diving, fishing, sailing and windsurfing. This is also a great spot for beach bars and restaurants. This beach may be more crowded than others.
Sandy Point Beach – A haven for shell collectors. This beach is located on the southwest tip of Great Abaco. Sandy Point is known for it’s large number of seashells, so bring your bucket and get ready to pick some beauties for your collection.
Gilliam Bay Beach – If you prefer no breeze and some hot, hot heat, this is the beach for you. This beach is protected from the wind and only a 15-minute walk from the main town of Green Turtle Cay.
One final thought
As previously mentioned, you can’t go wrong with any beach and each offer a different style. With that being said, we kindly remind you to take care of our beaches like they were your own. Keep them clean of litter or debris, and respect the beautiful natural elements while you enjoy your stay in The Abacos.
Join us Tuesdays at 6pm for Sushi by Chef Gereko Swain. Fresh and delicious.
Albury’s Ferry Service is more than just a way to get where you need to go; we’re a family owned and operated transportation and tourism company that’s focused on identifying and serving the needs of our beloved Abaco community as well as the visitors and guests we love welcoming here. In addition to ferry service throughout the Abaco Cays, we proudly offer point to point charter service, bespoke adventure and sightseeing tours and provisioning and delivery services.
Since the day the airport opened in Marsh Harbour, Albury’s Ferry Service has been the leading provider in transportation around the cays. With over sixty years experience navigating the local waterways, it’s no wonder we’re the most trusted name in tourism and transportation.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Abacos, they are a group of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas. This 120-mile-long chain of paradise is home to beautiful beaches, warm breezes, sunshine and, you guessed it, scuba diving adventures.
Now, if you’ve dived in the Bahamas before, The Abacos are a completely different experience. The waters are relatively shallow and most areas are 60 feet or less in depth. The fringing reefs you’ll find in these waters are extremely ornate. There is actually an extinct coral base with Star and Elkhorn corals growing on top creating the beautiful formations you will see. You’ll also find cathedral-like caverns in the form of an underwater maze as you’re swimming around. These tunnels formed from tidal flow hitting against the base reef. You’ll also be experiencing the third largest barrier reef in the world, which is saying a lot for a smaller island area.
With more than 100 miles of reef to explore, the visibility is ideal in the turquoise waters, and is usually over 100 feet. Of course, weather can affect visibility, but with lots of sunshine, The Abacos are considered a great diving destination all year round. Just a heads up, June through October is hurricane season and October to June is considered best for shark diving. Be ready to experience lush coral gardens, steep drop-offs, plenty of fishes and even friendly sharks and rays.
If you aren’t a diving aficionado, or are in need of a lesson, they are available. Here are some places you can work with to get your feet wet.
– Froggies Out Island Adventures
– Above and Below Abaco
Lesson prices vary by each company and can range from $150-$350. If you are already an avid diver, you can pay for dive excursions as opposed to lessons. If you are already a certified scuba diver and are able to dive on your own, remember to bring your certification card for proof. Otherwise, you will not be able to venture off on your own, or will have to complete lessons again.
The Abacos are considered a great place to learn how to scuba dive. Before you venture out and “dive in,” you will first be introduced to all the pieces of scuba gear. Generally, with each of the businesses listed above, you will spend the first few hours learning on land and in a pool. This gets you comfortable with breathing underwater and you will learn skills like clearing your ears and how to use your buoyancy compensator (BC) inflate/deflate valve and how to ascend/descend properly. Some of the gear you can expect to learn about includes a face mask, BC, regulator, wet suit, tanks, snorkels, weight belt/weights, and fins.
Once you’ve completed your informational session, your instructors will take you out to the beautiful reef for some diving action. Have no fear, you won’t be left completely alone when you are out on the water. Your instructors and scuba companies will be with you each step of the way to make sure you are comfortable and safe.
For those who want to expand even further than just initial scuba lessons and a single experience on vacation, you can also work on getting your own scuba certification. If you will be in The Abacos longer than four days, that is plenty of time for you to get scuba certified. If you would prefer to get certified with a local dive center near you, it can take a few weeks since classes are generally one to two times per week. PADI (Professional Association of Divers) classes are what are widely offered on the island. Again, if you are certified when coming to visit The Abacos and plan to dive, please bring your certification for proof.
More advanced divers can further their experience and gain other certifications, or take courses like advanced open water, air diving, underwater photo and several others. There is even an option at many locations to become a dive master if you are looking to make a career out of scuba diving.
The northernmost island of Walker’s Cay has one of the most unique shark dives in all of The Bahamas. You can see groups of up to 150 sharks coming together when dive boat engines turn on in what looks like a coral arena. The sharks eat bait while divers can swim around with them. It may sound a little scary, but your dive instructors and guides will keep you safe.
These are considered the top Abaco diving locations:
The Towers: Huge coral pinnacles 60 feet tall, pierced with tunnels and caverns
Grouper Alley: 40ft. Numerous tunnels beneath a monstrous coral heads
Wayne’s World: 70ft. A tour of the outside of the barrier reef
The Cathedral: Huge cavern where shafts of sunlight dance on the floor
Tarpon Reef: High profile corals for a school of Tarpon and a huge Green Moray
Coral Caverns: A series of winding caverns filled with clouds of shiny Silversides
San Jacinto: 40ft.The wreck of a large steamship sunk in 1865
The Catacombs: A shallow sun-splattered cavern with abundant tropical fish
If you are ready to get your dive on, reach out to one of the local companies above or feel free to ask around at the Firefly Sunset Resort for some help, as someone will always be happy to help you have fun!
Are you planning to come visit the beautiful islands of The Bahamas soon? If you’re not, we highly recommend you do. While all the islands are captivating in their own ways, there is a special place in our hearts for The Abacos, specifically Elbow Cay. The turquoise waters, long stretches of sandy beaches, abundance of sunshine and wonderful locals are only a few things that should make this high on your destination list.
Even though there are obviously dozens upon dozens of activities and things to see and do here, we are going to focus on what is seemingly most popular. These are not in order of ranking, they are simply the highest ranked or sought after activities and places for visitors in Elbow Cay.
Sport-fishing Charters – Plenty of water means plenty of fish! If you’re a fishing fan, you won’t want to miss hopping aboard a sport-fishing charter. There is opportunity for reef fishing, deep sea fishing and fly fishing. We recommend two local companies you could use and get some yummy and large catches with. The first is A Salt Weapon Sportfishing Charters. The second is Local Boy Deep See Fishing. It will cost you a pretty penny at $500 for the half day and $800 for the full day with either company, but it’ll certainly be worth every cent. Boats leave from the main dock in Hope Town Harbour at 8:00 a.m. Make sure you bring sunscreen, a sun hat, cameras and drinks of your choice.
Wyannie Malone Historical Museum – This historical gem is in downtown Hope Town. If you are a history buff, or even just want to learn more about local heritage, then you should pop into the museum. Inside, you will learn about pirates, rum-runners, Lucayan Indians and wreckers. Gaze upon displays of ship building and ship wrecks and even hurricanes. The museum operates from November until August between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Adult ticket prices are $5 and children 5-14 are $2.
Scuba Diving – If you caught last months post, you’ll know we highly recommend scuba diving. You can take beginners courses, advanced courses and even become a dive master if you want to get a scuba career going. You’ll have the chance to learn how to scuba first during your instructional lesson on land and in a pool, and then your instructors will take you out along 100 miles of beautiful reef. You will get to see tons of fish and friendly sharks, lush coral gardens, and swim through maze like caverns. There are a variety of local companies you can work with for your diving experience. Prices do vary by company, but can range anywhere from $150-$800 depending on what level of courses or trips you are looking to do. Here are a few we recommend:
– Dive Time Abaco
– Froggies Out Island Adventures
– Above and Below Abaco
Golf Cart Rentals – What better way to get around the beautiful island than by golf cart? There are tons of cart rental companies available, some of which will even deliver your cart to wherever you are staying. How convenient? A golf cart is a convenient way to see plenty of sights, get a nice breeze and cut down your travel time if you’re visiting any other locations than where you are staying. Here are a few places you can rent your golf cart:
Boat Rentals – If golf carts aren’t your thing, and you want to be on the water, there are plenty of boats for rent. Boating is a great way to see Elbow Cay all around, and even make your way over to other islands if that interests you. Calm blue waters make for the perfect water road for your boating excursion. The boat rental companies we recommend are:
Water sports – Next up is some true fun in the sun, and the water. If you aren’t interested in diving deep into the water for scuba, you have the option to check out some other fun activities. These include snorkeling, kayaking , kiteboarding and paddle-boarding. If you are looking to enjoy one of these activities or any other water sports that may be offered, please reach out to our front desk as they can certainly assist you with rentals nearby. We do offer complimentary kayak rentals at Firefly Sunset Resort that you can enjoy.
Bicycle Rentals – The island wouldn’t be complete without bicycle rentals! If you want to do all the leg work, and aren’t interested in a golf cart, bicycles are surely the way to go. You can take a bike to the beach, to dinner, or just for a nice ride in the sunshine. You can check out The Bike Shop, Harbour’s Edge, Sun Dried T’s and A&S for all your bike rental needs.
Elbow Reef Lighthouse – Of course we couldn’t leave out this landmark. The Elbow Reef Lighthouse is probably the most recognizable landmark in this area. The red and white stripes can be seen from afar, and you’ll certainly want to see this up close, too. This lighthouse is actually one of the last manual lighthouses in the world. The lamp burns pressurized kerosene oil with a wick and mantle. The fresnel lenses concentrate the mantles light into a beam directed straight at the horizon Whoever is on duty as the lighthouse keeper has to wind up the weights every two hours in order for the lighthouse to be seen from 17 miles away. You can visit the lighthouse Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. It is closed for visitation on Sundays. If you aren’t afraid of heights, go ahead and climb the 100 feet to the top, and make sure your camera is ready for some beautiful photo ops.
Tahiti Beach – If you’re unaware, Elbow Cay is known for it’s absolutely beautiful beaches. One in particular is Tahiti Beach. This isolated beach is at the far end of Elbow Cay. You can expect to see sparkling waters and white powdery sand. You can only access this beach on foot, or by riding a bicycle across sand and gravel paths from Hope Town, or you can take a private boat. Get ready to perfect your tan and hit the maximum level of relaxation when you decide to visit Tahiti Beach.
Obviously you can’t go wrong with anything you choose to do when you visit Elbow Cay. There will always be fun in the sun, sand and water.