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.
Have no fear, the 2019 SIP Hope Town daily schedule is here! Each day is chock-full of fun that you won’t want to miss. Reservations are not required, but, they are recommended since each venue fills up quickly. If you are unable to get a reservation, our advice is to arrive as early as you can to find a spot where you can kick back and relax.
This schedule is strictly for all the extra events that are happening, not when each musician will be performing. The idea behind the non-scheduled line-up is to have all SIP Songwriters playing a little something each night. Strict schedule or not, the good times will be rollin’. Remember, thanks to generous venues and sponsors, SIP Hope Town is free to the public! The only event that is $20 at the door is the Hope Town Fire & Rescue Benefit.
February 12th: Opening night Tuesday night at Firefly— 7th annual SIP Hope Town “Jam & Greet.” This will be a relaxed night with old friends, new friends, Whiskey Jam cocktails and to hear a few songs from each SIP Songwriter.
February 13th: The second show will take place Wednesday night at Sea Spray Resort & Marina, White Sound, Elbow Cay, Abaco, Bahama.
February 14th: Thursday night’s SIP show is the Hope Town Fire & Rescue Benefit at The Harbour’s Edge in downtown Hope Town. This bar packs out for almost three hours of non-stop music. Please note, this is the only event that has a fee which is $20. This is a benefit and your generosity is appreciated!
—Join the SIP Hope Town Songwriters Friday morning from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00p.m. for a beach clean-up on Elbow Cay. If you’re interested in helping beautify the island further, you can meet at the Abaco Inn at 10:00a.m. Once there, everyone will break into “pick up crews” to walk and pick up trash between Abaco Inn and Sea Spray. Trash bags will be supplied.
—The Friday night show will be at Hope Town Inn & Marina. The stage is set up right on the sand so the audience can relax in beach chairs or on blankets!
— Saturday afternoon will be the third annual charity basketball game. It’ll be Team Django vs. Team Devero at the downtown Hope Town basketball court at 1:00 p.m. Raffle tickets will be sold for $20 each for either team, and all proceeds are going to SIP Hope Town charities.
—The annual Saturday night blow out is something you won’t want to miss. This non-stop, fun filled evening are at The Firefly Sunset Resort. Last year’s Saturday night was overflowing, so we recommend getting here early and not moving!
— The annual Sunday afternoon farewell show will be at the Abaco Inn at 1:00 p.m.This is a bittersweet event, but still so fun!
— What was an initially an impromptu Sunday night charity karaoke has become an annual part of the SIP line-up. How does it work? If you want someone to sing a song they get to choose, you pick the person and donate $20-$99 to the SIP Hope Town charity fund and they pick a song they want to sing. However, if you want someone to sing a song that you pick for the, you donate $100-$500 depending on how bad the song is. This is the perfectly hysterical way to end the week in paradise!
Hopefully you can make it to all of the events through the week. If not, you’ll have a blast at any single one you can get to! You can also get an additional schedule break down here.
REMINDER – Firefly Bar & Grill will be closed starting TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 until TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
If you will be visiting the area between September 25 – October 16, 2018 – please note *** Our Firefly Bar & Grill will be CLOSED. During that time, we will be adding upgrades and sprucing up the restaurant as we do annually. Thank you in advance for understanding.
Special Thank you to Orlando Style Magazine for featuring the Songwriters in Paradise 2019 event. We’re already booking for it, so make your plans now. READ IT HERE: https://issuu.com/styletome/docs/orlando_style_magazine_19e8fa1bf7fc21/38
FROM OUR FRIENDS AT BOOMERANG AIR CHARTER… Twitter: “Ready for the 7th annual SIP Hope Town??! Check out all the info about it in the latest Orlando Style Magazine! Come fly with us right from Orlando Executive airport! We’ll get you to the Bahamas in less than 90 minutes!”
More details at www.songwritersinparadise.com
On this day the beautiful country of The Bahamas gained independence from the United Kingdom. July 10, 1973. Happy Independence Day to all of our Bahamian family! We will be celebrating tonight. CHEERS!