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What’s New in Abaco

June 14th, 2010

The World Billfish Series has a number of upcoming events, including

  • BBC Boat Harbour, June 9-12 @ Boat Harbour
  • Abaco Cay Billfish Tournament, June 13-18 @ Boat Harbour

Coconuts along the ShoreSince healthy oceans support the billfish we so enjoy, we’re pleased that part proceeds from the opening of the Disneynature film Oceans (April 22-28) were directed to The Nature Conservancy Bahamas Program to assist with coral reef protection through the expansion and management of new marine parks in The Bahamas. The Disneynature/TNC partnership has already resulted in $350,000 towards the Bahamas Protected Area Fund.

The Disneynature film is one example of how environmental stewardship is promoted to adults and children. In Abaco, that stewardship is seen on many levels.

On Wednesday May 12th, members of the Discovery Club were awarded their Weather Badge as well as their Endangered Species Badge.

Discovery Club is an after-school, badge-earning program for children aged 7-12. Designed by The Bahamas National Trust, it is organized in Abaco by Friends of the Environment and run by two wonderful instructor/volunteers Alana Carrol and Joy Chaplin.

Discovery Club picks up again in September, but over the summer Friends of the Environment are hosting environmental summer camp in north, central and south Abaco. Camp dates run from July 13 to July 23. For more information please call 367-2721 or email info@friendsoftheenvironment.org.

Environmental stewardship is not only for children. Research biologists from the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation (BMMRO) have been conducting a long-term study tracking marine mammals around the Bahamas since 1991.

Currently based in Sandy Point, Abaco, this project provides the only comprehensive data on marine mammals in this part of the world. This year BMMRO will be hosting a 5-day Whale Expedition for adults from July 25-30. Participants will have the opportunity to work alongside marine mammal biologists and learn firsthand about species identification, research methods and results, and conservation issues.

There will be a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 participants. The cost will depend on the number of participants but will range from $110-160/day per person, which covers everything except travel to Sandy Point, dinner at a local restaurant 1 night (approx $20) and any alcoholic beverages. For more information please contact Diane Claridge at diane.claridge@gmail.com

If you know of any other environmental programs or events in Abaco, please add them to the comments field below.

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Bahamas Ferries Invest in New Abaco Landing Facility

February 5th, 2010

Wednesday January 3, 2010
By Scott Armstrong ~ Guardian Business Editor

The Nassau Guardian is reporting that Bahamas Ferries is investing in a new Abaco landing facility.

A new $250,000 landing facility for Bahamas Ferries is taking shape in Sandy Point, South Abaco, as the company continues to expand and improve its service to the island.

The facility is taking shape at a one acre site near Duck Pond and includes a new ramp, an access road, a new ticket office, a staging area for containers and a passenger shelter.

Chief Marketing Officer for Bahamas Ferries Khaalis Rolle told The Nassau Guardian: “We have already completed the ramp and we have compacted the area and created a new access road from Sandy Point Airport, which is a mile and a half long.

The investment is an indication of Bahamas Ferries’ strong commitment to serving Abaco and bridging the gap between Nassau, Abaco and Grand Bahama.

According to the article, the new facility will also enable the transport of more heavy equipment and large vehicles.

Read the full article.

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Abaco Sea Glass Makes Beautiful Jewelry

January 19th, 2010

Sea Glass

The ultimate in recycling, discarded glass has become the latest gem of the sea. Abaco artists are transforming age-old pieces of bottles, lanterns, and lights into something much more.

As AbacoLife notes: “battered and broken by waves on the rocks … the fragments are worn smooth and rounded by continuous tidal action,” resulting in stunning jewel “stones.”

Local Abaco artists are taking those stunning stones and designing beautiful jewelry, such as these designs at Silver Moonrise, and other creations from the converted glass. The creations have caught the attention of lifestyle journalists, including Anna Shepard of Timesonline.co.uk, who writes that “sea-tumbled glass … has the ability to transform magically from ­something ordinary to luminous treasure after a stint in the sea. Hold pieces up and each one will reflect the light differently, casting a unique glow.”

Abaco Life’s Jim Kerr explains that sea glass is treasure to those who find it. And while collecting sea glass isn’t nearly as popular as shell hunting, many Abaconians and dedicated visitors consider combing for sea glass a combination of archeology and gem mining. “Sea glass collectors look for rare colors and a connection to people and history,” says Kim [Sands], who owns the popular Java coffee shop in Marsh Harbour.

Locals and visitors are excited to take home their treasures for their own unique works of eco-art. Plus these treasures are in keeping with the trend towards the “greening” of our world. Beyond recycling, as South Pause Jewelry puts it, these “bits of glass that were once bottles or jars of some sort have now found a new life!”

If you want to collect your own sea glass, try along the beaches of Abaco. Ideal places for gem hunting include: Lynyard Cay, Spoil Bank Cay in Baker’s Bay, Sandy Point in north Abaco, north of Treasure Cay and Little Harbour.

If you’d like to learn more about Sea Glass collecting, you might enjoy:

Should you wish to purchase jewelry made with sea glass, here are just a few Abaco suggestions:

Joe’s Studio in Man-O-War Cay

Marlee Mason (Silver Moon Rise)

Sea-Glass Designs

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Fishing in Abaco

December 16th, 2009

by Jennifer Hudson

Whatever your fishing preference, whether you enjoy just relaxing and throwing a hand line from the rocks or whether you prefer the excitement of doing battle for hours with a giant marlin offshore, Abaco is sure to provide the experiences you are looking for. Abaco is known to have some of the best fishing in the Bahamas and has a large variety of fish to satisfy every angler’s taste.

Tahiti Beach

A number of seasoned fishermen arrive here in their own personal boats which they have sailed over from the United States’ Atlantic Seaboard. Some dock their boats in marinas while others prefer the experience of anchoring out at sea. Many come by air to pick up their boat, which they leave here all year, or else to charter or rent a boat from the many rental companies on Abaco. Some people like to hire a guide, especially for their first few times out, and there are many professional fishing guides in Marsh Harbour and the cays who are happy to offer their services.

The reefs which surround Abaco are home to many species of fish which include grouper, grunts, porgies, hogfish, hind, jacks, goggle-eyes and many different types of snapper. These reefs are very fragile and require being treated with care. Further out beyond the cays the Atlantic Ocean offers dolphin, Wahoo, tuna (mahi mahi), bonita, mackerel and barracuda. These deeper waters are also home to the huge bill fish which keep the sport fishermen very happy. The Blue Marlin which appears on the Bahamian Coat of Arms and the $100 bill is prized by many. Each year many Billfish Tournaments are held on Abaco, drawing fisherman from far and wide.

According to a seasoned fisherman, bait can be difficult to find and he suggests using a small hook or tiny jigs to catch small fish as bait. Conch makes great bait as it is tasty and durable.

conch with fishing line

Trolling is a popular way of fishing, mostly done by using a rod and reel over the back of the boat while it is moving. This may be done anywhere but trolling for yellow tail and grouper is especially popular inside the reef at Spanish and Powell Cays.

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Spear fishing is a sport enjoyed by many but it must be borne in mind that it is restricted to the use of Hawaiian sling only and is not allowed within 200 yards of the coast of Abaco. For all other fishing, gear is restricted to hook and line and the maximum number of rods that can be used at any one time is six.

There are a few other fishing restrictions of which the visiting fisherman needs to be aware. There is a closed season for both grouper and crawfish during which time they may not be caught. Closed season for Grouper is sometime in December to February, depending on when they are spawning, and the closed season for lobster/crawfish is April 1 to July 31.

The bag limit for lobster is six tails per person at any time and the minimum size limits are three-and-three-eighths-inches carapace length or six-inch tail length. Egg bearing females are protected. For wahoo, dolphin and kingfish, the bag limit is six of any combination per person.

The harvesting and possession of conch without a well-formed lip is prohibited and the bag limit is ten per person at any one time. The taking of any marine animals from the National Sea Parks is prohibited.

Access to the miles and miles of world class bonefishing flats of the Marls and Cherokee Sound makes Abaco a prime location for bonefishing and it has become one of the most popular bonefishing destinations in the world. Professional guides with years of experience who know the flats and tides and have a profound understanding of the bonefish and its behavior can be hired and they will provide a shallow draft ‘flats’ boat and top class fishing gear. After motoring you to the flats they will then silently pole you through the quiet waters. Fishing on the marls is a unique experience as the flats are also a habitat for many types of bird such as the heron and egret. Bonefish is in abundance not only in the Marls but also in Cherokee, Green Turtle Cay and Sandy Point. There are many large bonefish to be caught but all must be released. A great advantage is that there is no closed season for bonefish. Several bonefish lodges spread throughout Abaco provide comfortable accommodation, the most recently opened being the luxury Delphi Club in South Abaco next to Serenity Point with very easy access to the Marls.

Exterior Delphi Club by delphi.bahamas on Picasa http://picasaweb.google.com/delphi.bahamas/TheDelphiClubAbacoBahamas#

Abaco’s excellent climate, which provides good weather for fishing almost all year round, and its pristine, clear waters free of pollution make it an ideal place to enjoy whatever type of fishing takes your fancy.

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