The Abacos Other Lighthouse
From Sandy Estabrook's Guide to the Abacos, Bahamas
Photo by ShareAbaco.com
Everyone if familiar with the candy striped lighthouse in Hope Town. Yet in Abaco there are two others, The "Old Lighthouse" (a tower) at Little Harbour. which is actually defunct, and a considerably more important lighthouse on the baron Southeast Coast of Great Abaco where there stands guard the Hole in the Wall Lighthouse. Contrary to what one might imagine, it's name comes literally from a hole in the wall of a rocky tidal outcropping by the sea shown below. To many it's name would suggest an out of the way location which is in fact a lonely but beautiful spot all alone and 15 miles from the nearest paved road. It's access is through a single lane unpaved, rock strewn and bumpy road taking you through the pine barons of the Bahamas National Trust where you can find the endangered Bahamian / Abaco Parrot. Car rental companies wont permit you to go in anything but a four wheel drive car with good clearance for such a rugged trip. I'll take you over an hour with no civilization to be found in case of an emergency or breakdown. Yet the Lighthouse beckons and visitors still go there. If you rent to explore the island skip Hole in the Wall unless you rent a 4-wheel drive specifically for that purpose. More Info can be found at "Abaco Friends of the Environment".
Guided tours have been available but they seem to be an on again off again thing until recently. That changed (2/09) with a posting in the Abaco Forum which we have included on our "Trip Page". It's by a Hope Town resident and island guide, Cap'n Plug. He can be reached at ♦ Captain Plug's Adventures. 242-366-0554. We suggest you give him a call. The below list of organizations at one time listed themselves as guides. However as early '09 ther websites were not up and we cant speak for their phone numbers. Here is our contact info of last record:
♦ www.abacoislandtours.com. 242-367-2936
♦ www.abacooutback.com. 242-367-5358
♦ Bahamas Naturalist Expeditions at 242-367-4505
The Hole in the Wall Lighthouse was built in conjunction with the Hope Town Lighthouse in 1838. This was despite the objections of the local residents as a good portion of their lively hood came from salvaging of the wrecks of the Abaco reefs. Sabotage of the building process commenced. However maritime interests prevailed and the commerce of wrecking diminished in the Abacos. The Hole in the Wall Light became automated in 1995 and serves as a beacon for Maritime traffic from the Bahama Bank, Nassau the the Communities on northern Eleuthera. Today the lighthouse is run down and beat up by the hurricanes of 1999 & 2004, but it still operates. Folks still climb to the top albeit a bit rickety. The views from the top are spectacular as you will see below. On occasion you might run into a naturalist group, dolphin researchers or whale watchers that go there to observe the Beaked Whale that frequent the region. (We once passes a pair of beaked whales when trolling off Hope Town, written about in My Solo Trip report.
For more lovely pictures like the two above check Marinas.com.
For administrators and information click Lighthouses of the Bahamas.
For the adventurous who want to go.
In 2007 we covered mainland Abaco from top to bottom. It's all written about in our 2007 Update. Hole in the Wall was not part of that trip but stops along the way are, along with the settlement Sandy Point on Abacos Southwestern point. Others have made the journey to Hole in the Wall and posted their reports on the Abaco Message board or Abaco Forum. Two recent postings can be found here.
The road to Hole in the Wall
Member: Abaco Forum - 2008
......The other highlight of the trip was one that I have been trying (unsuccessfully) for the past 3 years to do. We finally were able to find someone to take us to Hole-in-the-wall!!! What an amazing day that was!! We drove through the Abaco National Forest for what seemed like an eternity! I definitely would not want to take my own vehicle through there! Our "guide" was extremely familiar with the area and knew what all the plants and birds were. We saw a couple of parrots! I was very pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Hole-in-the-Wall Lighthouse
From what I have read, I really expected it to be in bad shape. It was BEAUTIFUL!! Looked like it had a fairly fresh coat of paint. The doors weren't attached so we were able to go in. I was quite amazed that every step was there and in good condition. We were able to go all the way to the top WOW! What an amazing view from there! We then walked down to the actual Hole-in-the-Wall. That in itself was quite a hike I only fell once there! It was pretty windy so we didn't walk out on the wall, but I could've stood there all day and watch it! The water has such force as it is coming in from both sides at the same time. It was very impressive! (the whole report can be found at Abaco Trip Tales
Member: Abaco Message Board - 2006
Photos from our Journey to Hole In The Wall Lighthouse
....... In October my uncle took me to Hole in the Wall. The drive down the rocky road took 2 hrs. The two wood doors which lead into the lighthouse were destroyed. I do not know what I was thinking but I decided to venture up to the top. I would never do it gain. Way too dangerous! There are 6 concrete landings that bridge the wood stairs up to the top. These landings are beginning to detach from the lighthouse walls as the rebar is rusting and busting out. The spiral iron railings are beginning to break away in addition to several of the wood steps are broken and split. The top of the lighthouse is separated into (2) levels. The first level has smaller windows. There is a separate steel staircase that takes you from this level up to where the light is. Many of the windows are broken allowing the salt air, almost like a cancer destroying it from the inside.
This is the so called "Hole in the Wall." for which the name was given back in the 1800's.
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