Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tour of Mayaguana

Lovely view from only house in defunct development
Another must-stop place for us in the Bahamas is Mayaguana. This island is not on the beaten track unless you’re headed to the Turks & Caicos or farther south, but it’s worth the effort to get there. First, it’s got a five-mile-long lagoon – Abrahams Bay – on the southwest side of the island that protects from most seas, especially if you anchor near the reef so there’s little fetch. Little patch reefs abound, as do lobsters. Snorkeling is delightful, and the people are friendly. Though we’ve extensively explored the waters here, we haven’t done much ashore aside from a bit of shopping and feasting on the great fried chicken at Reggie’s. This visit we treated ourselves to an island tour with Scully Cartwright, the go-to guy on the island for cruisers. After a drive around the settlement, he took us to North Shore Villas – or villa, if you want to be accurate. This was supposed to be a big development, but only one villa was ever built. It’s a beauty – beachside, with a pool and dock and incredible views. Then north to the Pirate’s Well settlement, named for a…well…a well. It’s small but always full. Though the island seems dry and scrubby, there’s apparently abundant ground water. After a sandwich lunch at Baycaner Bay Resort, we went on to Betsy Bay and did some tidal pooling. South again, on the ridge Abrahams Bay, we saw the monument commemorating the landing spot of the Thor missile packet, which contained the first color photographs from space. Also atop the ridge are the ruins of an old U.S. radar tracking station with a beautiful 360-degree view of the island from the roof. We recommend Scully – just call him on VHF channel 16.

The house itself, along with the saltwater pool and dock is lovely

Snails and urchins in tidepool

Abandoned radar facility

View from ridge top

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