Hope Town's signature lighthouse (37 m or 120 feet in height) - (click on this link to read an excellent and informative article about the Bahamas' mechanically operated lighthouses) - one of the very few mechanically operated lighthouses in the Western hemisphere (the light "floats" on a bed of Mercury and is powered by a "grandfather's clock" type chain mechanism, with pirate cannon balls as the powering weights) - stands guard over Elbow Cay's picturesque harbour.
One of The Abacos' more popular island hideaways, and certainly one of the largest, Elbow Cay is home to The most famous landmark in the Abacos - the red and white striped lighthouse. After docking at the Lighthouse Marina near the base of the 1863 lighthouse, a climb up the lighthouse's 101 steps to a breathtaking view of the outlying Parrot Cays and Elbow Cay's enclosed harbor is well worth the effort.
The Hope Town lighthouse is one of only three kerosene-powered lights in the world, and all three are in the Bahamas. The large Fresnel lens floating in a bath of mercury generates a light visible more than 17 miles.
There is no motorized traffic in Hope Town, and the hilly streets must be explored on foot. Water is visible on both sides of the island -- the blue ocean on one side, the green harbor on the other -- during a walk down Back Street, a narrow lane running along the spine.
The Wyannie Malone Museum, in one of the oldest houses in Hope Town, is named after the settlement's founder. Filled with simple treasures donated by island residents, the museum traces the history of Hope Town through photos, documents, and maps, as well as china, quilts, and other heirlooms. At the Wyannie Malone Museum, you will also find exhibitions on Lucayan Indians and Loyalist settlers are on display. The Cetacean Museum is dedicated to whaling.
Elbow Cay is unique in its diversity, and offers a real potpourri of island style diversions.
We hope to make significant additions to the Elbow Cay-Hope Town pages in the first part of 1999. We are planning to include a selection of interesting accommodations, diversions and cay information. Please visit us again in the next few months.
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