Hope Town is a village on Elbow Cay that has one of the most recognizable lighthouses anywhere. It is candy striped and lighted by kerosene, which is only one of three that exist. Everyone looks forward to arriving in Hope Town since it is a true village with shops, restaurants and cottages. Most of the transportation is by golf cart, bike or walking. As with the other islands, supplies arrive once a week by barge. All of the locals know when this is and make it a point to get to the markets when supplies are re-stocked.
We delayed our arrival in Hope Town by visiting other cays and really didn’t plan ahead for our arrival. We had been anchoring in Marsh Harbor without a problem. We knew that most boaters in Hope Town Harbor are on a mooring ball. Our plan was just to grab one that was not being used. Well, that didn’t work at all! It seems that staying in Hope Town Harbor is so popular boaters stay for the whole season!
We entered the Harbor and we pretty much aghast at how many boaters were in such a small area. We maneuvered ourselves around looking for an empty mooring ball. We found one and hooked ourselves up. Five minutes later we were told by “neighbors” that we would need to move because that mooring ball belonged to someone who had left to make water and dump their holding tanks. In the Bahamas most of the boats have a water maker on board because water is metered. In order to make water (desalinate) it is necessary to find clean water and that would not be in any harbor. The process can take over four hours. Embarrassed we promptly disconnected and went in search of another location. To shorten the story after five hours of waiting the Hope Town Marina was finally able to confirm dockage for us. This was probably the ONLY time we were stressed in the Bahamas!
Hope Town is enjoyable though and definitely worth the hassle. In the harbor there is a water shuttle that will pick you up at the marina or any boat and drop you around town. It is really easier than using a dinghy. The brightly colored houses make for an interesting walk. We quickly found out that we needed to be at Vernon’s Market at 2:00 for the arrival of their baked goods. We heard about the coconut bread and pies and were not disappointed. Imagine eating coconut bread French toast with Canadian maple syrup from the Loop! It was so yummy!
Hope Town Harbor is where everyone blows a conch shell at sundown. It is wonderful to hear everyone answering each other. Steve really developed quite a talent for holding the note the longest and received applause where ever we went!!
Hope Town is also very close to Tahiti Beach, which is also on Elbow Cay. Boats anchor off of the beach at low tide. Everyone is walking in knee deep water to collect sand dollars or sun bathe on the beach. It really is pretty cool to be in beautiful clear water and find these sand dollars. Jazzy loved it! He was able to run around and had no qualms about getting his legs wet. Note, he did not swim, but would wade. On weekends they have a bar anchored off of the beach, too. It is a must experience when you are close to Hope Town.
We had guests twice while in the Abacos and each time we brought them to Hope Town. They loved the quaintness and the ability to stroll around the village. There is even a song about going to Hope Town that sings in my head when I want to be back!