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What to Do

You can lay in a hammock and read a book, but beyond that most visitors to Abaco love the water and make an effort to get on and in it. Abaco is one of the few places in the world where you can do this on your own by renting a boat and, with a bit of orientation and instruction, head off on your own on a calm, protected sea for reefs, deserted beaches, island settlements or fishing grounds. You can lunch on a grouper burger in a harbourfront restaurant, snorkel on a coral reef, browse through shops and galleries in a picturesque village and swim in a deserted cove - all in one day.

There are some bigger ticket items as well, like billfish tournaments and yacht regattas. The challenging 18-hole championship golf course at the Treasure Cay Resort is another alternative, as well as the much-acclaimed four-mile beach there. Good roads allow you to explore the 100-mile-long mainland by rental car. Along the way, you can see villages with lots of history, photograph island architecture and take a hike in a forest preserve with a population of protected wild parrots.

You can also count dolphins swimming the Sea of Abaco, climb the steps of the historic 1863 lighthouse in Hope Town, and collect shells on the beaches. Oh yes, the beaches -- wide, deserted, palm-fringed, soft, warm, uncommercial, unlimited and unbelievable. No peddlers or hawkers. Safe for swimming and snorkeling, but bring your sun block.

Meeting the people is also a highlight. Their forbearers date back to 1783, when loyalists and slaves founded the place. They were pushed out of the Carolinas, New York and elsewhere in the colonies after the American revolution because they sided with Mother England. They are industrious, church-going people; prosperous and self-reliant. Craftsmanship and skill is in evidence everywhere, whether it's boat-building, home construction, lobster fishing, sailing or growing gardens. Abaco has artisans galore, and we feature one in every issue of Abaco Life.

For more details, go to our "Advertisers" page for an alphabetical list of Abaco Life advertisers, their websites and e-mail addresses.

E-mail: jimkerr@mindspring.com

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