"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

March 25, 2015

Mar. 24 – Man-O-War Cay

Man-O-War Harbor Mooring Field

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” —Mother Teresa

We finally pulled out of Hope Town Harbor this morning. We had rain during the night, but this morning was sunny with light winds, a great day to be on the Sea of Abaco. It was nice to have the rain during the night, it gave The Pearl a much needed bath…we’ve been collecting a lot of salt the past few weeks. Our destination today was Man-O-War Cay, just five miles north of Elbow Cay.

Man-O-War Cay more than any other island in the Abacos, has retained the strongest ties with boat building, boat transportation and boat maintenance. It’s the boat building capital of the region. The Albury family, which founded this cay, once built remarkably large sailing schooners here. They still built hand crafted boats on the island and run the Albury’s Ferry Service, which provides service from Marsh Harbour, Hope Town, Man-O-War, and Great Guana Cay.

This island is only about 2 miles long and at the "Narrows" it isn’t much wider than 20 yards. There are no cars on the island and the best way to get around is either by walking, golf cart or bicycles. As with neighboring cays, Man-O-War was settled by Loyalists and a trip to this cay is like stepping back in time. The pastel colored homes and white picket fences make visitors feel like they are visiting a New England fishing village.

The island is quiet and has beautiful beaches, which we spent time exploring this afternoon. But the main reason I wanted to come to Man-O-War was to visit the Albury's Sail Shop. It’s a family-owned business that has been operating for three generations on MOW. They make all kinds of totes, bags and other accessories from bright sturdy canvas fabric, the kind that was traditionally used for sails. All the items are made on site by the ladies of Man-O-War and can only be purchased here...no online sales, no catalogs.

Albury Sail Shop
You can get things in all sizes and colors
This display shows some of the sizes they carry. I bought a sling bag like the one on the right, but mine is made out of Androsia Fabric (canvas).
This is my bag. All the bags are a little expensive, but you can only get them here. This sling bag was $70. the bags on the table above run from $40-$110 depending on size.
Annie, using the same sew machine her grandmother and mother used to sew sails and then bags for the Sail Shop
The "Narrows" - the Sea of Abaco on one side and the Atlantic on the other. What a great view that house has...they get a clear view of the sunrise and sunset.
A few of the pictures I took of the gorgeous water today
Even the lizards enjoy looking at the beautiful water
One of the roads leading to the beach
The Methodist Church - built in 1912
Our view from the deck this afternoon...reminds us a little of Maine, especially when the tide went down.

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