Man-O-War is a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds, heritage and community, that is the essence of island living.
Roughly 300 people live here year round – some work on the island, but most take the ferry to Marsh Harbor daily to work on the mainland. There’s a tiny little library next to a tiny little schoolhouse next to a tiny little post office, like a box of pastel crayons.
The houses are just as cute – yellow, purple, turquoise – with coconuts and conch shells lining the properties and golf carts parked outside. Water is sourced from cisterns that catch and store rain water.
Walk the main street off the marina and you’ll pass by friendly neighborhood cats, ducks quacking at the piers and swimming alongside turtles, cotton trees bobbing in the breeze, and shops that may or may not be open, depending on the owner’s plans for the day. You’ll most certainly meet at least one Albury – the family has been on the island almost from the beginning, generation after generation of boatbuilders, sailmakers and master woodworkers. It is a maritime town to its core.
As you head northwest on Queen’s Highway, the island narrows and at The Low Point, a slip of road and a picnic table is all that separates the Sea of Abaco from the Atlantic Ocean.
The air is fresher here in Man-O-War, the pace slower. Life is simpler and more vibrant, and pleasures come easy – like the slick of salt on your top lip from the spray of the steady ocean breeze.
The beautiful view from our mooring
Headed to town on Coconut
Dock and Dine, a little dockside restaurant where we enjoyed the best meal we’ve had in the Abacos thus far. Also our go-to spot for complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, and the only place that offers beer and liquor on the otherwise dry island.
Leonard, the female cat that lives around the marina, enjoying a cozy afternoon snooze.
Family-owned and operated for three generations, this sail shop is an island staple. Originally, the bags were made from sail cloth,.
The lovely ladies hard at work at their sewing machines on new creations
A chat Andy, a craftsman who specializes in wooden rocking chairs and half-hulls of the boats made on the island.
Sally’s Seaside Boutique specializes in authentic Bahamian fabrics and prints. You can buy gifts, or fabric by the yard to create your own.
Claire’s nook at Sally’s
Getting ready for a wet dinghy ride, as the winds were still kicked up
Cotton plants scattered throughout the island
Hartley’s shop, where I found my hair clip and we learned of “Lady Claire.”
Hibiscus Cafe, a great stop for lunch. There’s also an ice cream stand outside of the restaurant, though we never stayed late enough in town for it to be open. In this pic, Aaron is on a Facebook Messenger call with family back in the States. I love technology.
The schoolhouse and the post office. The library is just to the left of the schoolhouse.
School time on board
One of the more picturesque cemeteries I’ve ever seen, with the Atlantic just over the ridge.
Cemetery Beach, appropriately named, as it was just over the hill from the island cemetery.
We rented a golf cart for the afternoon and explored, enjoying a picnic lunch, some swimming of course, and coveting the beautiful homes on the northern half of the island.