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Lubbers Quarters Cay, Bahamas Travel Guide
 
Last Updated: Jul-09-2014, Hits: 9,217, Rating: 0, Reviews: 0, Votes: 0 Bookmark and Share
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Location: Caribbean
Geography: Island, Beach
Vacation Type: Relaxation, Adventure
Popularity: Off-the-Beaten Path
Costs: Moderate
Attractions: Scenery, Boating, Fishing, Scuba & Snorkeling

Facts & Stats:
Population: Approximately 15
Elevation: Sea level
Country Dialing Code: +001 (inbound), +011 (outbound)
Telephone Area Code: 242
Languages: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: Bahamian Dollar
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) UTC-5/UTC-4 (Summer)
Current Time:

Introduction:
Lubbers Quarters Cay is a small island in the Abaco Islands. There are few tourists, or even permanent residents for that matter, and is a perfect place for those who want to get a way from it all and relax. It is also a good choice for those into bone fishing.

Geography:
Lubbers Quarters Cay is located approximately 185 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida and 110 miles north of Nassau in the Abaco chain of Out Islands. The island is 2 mile long and 1/2 mile wide at its widest point. It is located just a half mile west of Tilloo Cut and Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay, approximately 3 miles south of Hope Town, and about 4 miles from Marsh Harbour.

Brief History:
The first inhabitants of the Abaco Islands were the Lucayan Indians, described by Columbus upon his discovery of the New World in 1492, as gentle and kind. Like everywhere in this part of the world, the Spanish explorers, who called the island "Habacoa", forced the Indians into slavery and took them to Hispaniola (Haiti/Domincan Republic). The Lucayan Indians died out sometime around 1550 due to overwork and European diseases. They likely never settled Lubbers Quarters, but certainly visited.

Abaco was not permanently settled again until 1783 when The Loyalists who had fled the U.S. during The Revolutionary War, were promised large tracts of Crown Land in the Bahamas. Most of the men were decorated British officers in the war against the states who left their plantations in New York and other states for the currently uninhabited Abaco Islands. Some 600 refugees from New York founded Carleton, the first Loyalist settlement in the islands on Great Abaco near the present-day resort of Treasure Cay. Remnants of some of their plantations still exist on Great Abaco.

The first inhabitant of Lubbers Quarters was Jack Patterson. After visiting Lubbers Quarters cay in the 1950’s, Jack fell in love with the pristine native forest and seclusion offered. He built a vacation home in the center of the island and 10 years later moved to Lubbers permanently in 1968. Jack and his family lived there until 1982.

Lubbers Quarters only had solar power until fairly recently when Bahamas Electric (BEC) ran power lines to the island. Phone followed a few years later and internet after that. This has led to substantial growth on the island.

People & Culture:
This community prides itself on their enviromental friendliness. Many of the homes were solely solar powered before commercial electricity was made available, however, the solar panels are often still used in conjunction with the electric power. Rain water is often collected and stored in cisterns for use in houses and recycling is practiced by some.

There isn't really anything in the way of the arts, museums, or other cultural attractions. Lubbers Quarters is a place to literally get away from everything.

Food & Nightlife:
There are only a couple of restaurants/bars on the island. For more options, you can make the short boat ride to Elbow Cay. There are no grocery stores on Lubbers Quarters. Elbow Cay has a few smaller stores and larger stores can be found in Marsh Harbour. There are also no liquor stores here, so BYOB.

Money & Costs:
Bahamian money is on the same scale as the American dollar and you can use both while here. In other words, 1 Bahamian dollar is equal to 1 American dollar. Make sure that you use all of your Bahamian money while you are there, or exchange it before you leave, because you will get a worse exchange rate (in the USA at least). There are no banks or ATMs on Lubbers Quarters. Your best bet for banking is Marsh Harbour.

For accomodations, Lubbers Quarters is slightly less expensive than Elbow Cay, but also lacks many of the amenities. Unlike many of the other Abaco islands, you will NEED a boat if you stay in Lubbers Quarters. This can cost an extra $100-$200/day depending on the size you need.

The standard tipping rate is 15%.

Entry Requirements:
U.S. visitors staying for 8 months or less need a return ticket plus a passport. Naturalized citizens require naturalization papers and photo identification. Permanent residents (green card holders) require their green card and a valid passport from their place of birth. Canadian visitors not staying more than three weeks need the same identification as those from the U.S.. All others need a valid passport. Some visitors may also require a visa.

Getting There & Around:
To get to Lubbers Quarters Cay, you will need to fly into Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH). This small airport is serviced by Continental Airlines, American Airlines, BahamasAir, and Yellow Taxi Air. There is also service to MHH and Treasure Cay from Florida by Locair. Depending on where you are coming from and how many people are in your group, you may want to check out charter flights.

Once you arrive at the airport, you will want to get a taxi to take you to one of several places. You may wish to go to the grocery or liquor store to stock up. If not, you will most likely want to be taken to your boat rental as the ferry does not run to this cay.

You should reserve a boat well in advance, especially during high season. Below are some important boating tips:
  • If you are going to boat, make sure that somebody in your party knows how to drive/park one. The Sea of Abaco is shallow and there are places where you can beach your boat, although most boats have depth finders to help with that. We would highly recommend buying The Cruising Guide to Abaco which is updated yearly. This book has depth maps, things to see and their locations, and tons of other information related to boating here.
  • Never boat at night. It is not only dangerous, it is against your boat rental contract. If you wreck your boat at night, you just bought it.
  • Never take your rental boat into the Atlantic for the same reasons as above. Stay within the boundaries set by your rental company.
  • When boating, make sure you check the weather conditions before heading out, especially off season. The waters in the Sea of Abaco can get very choppy from weather known as "The Rage". Catamarans are better in choppy seas. Catamarans also only have a draw of 2 feet or less. Be prepared to get stuck elsewhere when boating as weather conditions may prevent you from returing to Lubbers Quarters.
  • "Don't Rock Passage" is easier to get through than most will tell you in good conditions, but make sure the seas are very calm when you do it and that your rental company allows it.
  • The "Cruiser's Net" radio show is every morning at 8:15 on VHF 68. This show provides weather forecasts, reports on conditions around the Whale Cay Passage ("Don't Rock Passage"), announcements, and other discussions related to boating.
Once on Lubbers, you will still likely be using your boat to get around a lot of the time. Although there is discussion of adding a new road, there currently isn't a north/south road that would allow you to get to Cracker P's (for example). The southern portion of the cay does have several roads, and some of the accomodations provide a golf cart for exploring. The cay is small enough that walking is a good option as well.

Weather:
Low season in the Abaco Islands is from June to October - no coincidence that this is also hurricane season. The waters in the Sea of Abaco and the Atlantic are much rougher and you are more likely to experience rain and storms, some of which can be very strong. High season is from November through May.

Below are the current conditions and weather forecast for nearby Hope Town on Elbow Cay.


The table below shows the average high and low temperatures.

Month High Temp Low Temp Water Temp Rain
January 77°F 66°F 70°F 2"
February 77°F 65°F 71°F 1.6"
March 78°F 67°F 74°F 1.4"
April 81°F 69°F 76°F 1.6"
May 82°F 70°F 79°F 4.3"
June 82°F 70°F 80°F 4.3"
July 87°F 75°F 85°F 3.8"
August 88°F 76°F 86°F 4.4"
September 88°F 75°F 85°F 6.2"
October 84°F 74°F 82°F 7.4"
November 81°F 71°F 79°F 2.6"
December 79°F 67°F 74°F 2.2"

Contacts:
  • Emergency - VHF channel 16 or 911/919 on phone
  • Marsh Harbour Emergency Services - VHF channel 80
  • Police - 367-2560 in Marsh Harbour
  • Hope Town Fire Rescue - VHF channel 72 or 242-366-0023
  • Bahamas Air Sea Rescue - VHF channel 22A
Tips & Additional Information:
  • Most communications in the Abacos are via VHF radio. You will likely have one in your rental home and will definitely have one on your boat. To use the radio, first change the channel to 16. Next push the talk button and announce who you are trying to get in touch with, who you are, and the channel you will meet them at. Typically, this will be channel 11-14. Do not attempt to have your conversation on channel 16 as it is used for emergencies and will prevent others from setting up their conversations on other channels.
  • Some cell phones work in the Abacos. Check with your provider.
  • There is Wi-Fi on the island and many of the rental houses have it. Services are provided by Out Island Internet and they have fixed location and roaming packages for sailors.
  • Don't be an idiot. The Abaco Islands are a very bad place to get seriously hurt. There is a clinic in Hope Town, but the closest major hospital is in Nassau. Don't take any chances.
  • Don't touch the coral reef.
  • It is a good idea to spend your last night in Marsh Harbour in case weather conditions prevent you from returning there the day of your flight.
  • The Abaco Islands are one of the few places we would recommend visiting during high season. The Abacos are sleepy enough that you can visit during high season and still be off the beaten path.
  • Watch out for Portuguese Man-O-War (hence the name of Man-O-War Cay) and jellyfish. We were all stung by small translucent packs of jellyfish and saw another group of them while snorkelling. We have been unable to identify what type these are. The pain is unique and doesn't last very long.
  • Watch out for Lionfish. They are not indigenous here, but have been showing up in increasing numbers. The locals have been fishing for them and serving them in restaurants. If stung, put some vinegar on the wound.
  • There are sting rays in the Sea of Abaco and you will likely see them swimming in the shallows at places like Tahiti Beach. They are beautiful creatures who won't mess with you if you don't mess with them. The biggest danger is stepping on one that has buried itself in the sand. It is a good idea to shuffle your feet as you walk in the water.





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