One of the most interesting islands in the Bahamas is Man O War Cay. We found it quite charming with a lot of character, but very different than some of the other stops. We were drawn to the simple life and their history. They also have a very protected harbor for anchoring or docking.
Man O War is the boat building capital of the Bahamas. Albury Boats are specifically made for Bahamian waters. The first Albury came to the island in the 1870’s and started building boats. These Albury boats are seen all over the islands, especially for rentals and ferries between the islands. While on Man O War you can see boats that are still being built right there. In addition to that there is a canvas/ sail making operation that is run by 3 generations of women. They sew canvas bags and hats – none of which are cheap! But, it makes for a really nice industry for them.
Things are definitely quiet on Man O War. The inhabitants are very religious. There are no liquor stores. Just this year the Dock and Dine Restaurant can now sell beer and wine. Prior to that no alcohol sales were permitted on Man O War. I am sure that not many people know this yet that haven’t been back to the Abacos.
Part of the charm of their island is that it is small and it is easy to walk to the beach on the other side. There is a cemetery is right by the beach. A sign tells the story that during a storm many of the graves were washed away. They have restored the location further from the ocean. We noticed that most of the headstones have the name Albury since they were the first settlers. We saw several Russells, too!
We found it very relaxing to stay at Man O War, but maybe the best draw for us was the ice cream stand. It was the best we had in the Bahamas and you know that made Capt. Steve happy!