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Norman's Cay





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We spent five days in a place called Norman's Cay. Not many people have seen this cay. Norman's Cay, at one time, was the kingdom of a South American drug lord. Now that pristine haven is mostly deserted with just a few people (American ex-patriots) living on it. We had been here two years ago. There was a restaurant here then called Mcduff's. Mcduff's had the best hamburgers in the Exumas. However, the business was sold and the new owners have closed it for remodeling. They expect to reopen within a month... so maybe we will stop in on the way back to the states this spring.

An angry cold-front rolled over the area Saturday night. Strong winds and persistant tidal currents kept the boats anchored east of Norman's Cay very active on our anchor rodes. We decided to stay aboard ship on Sunday and read. That was a good choice, because just after mid-day a secondary cold-front rode the area. This one was the big brother of the front from the night before. Gale force winds whipped through the anchorage. Needless to say, the ride at anchor was uncomfortable at times. The conflicting influence of strong winds and strong tides rocked and rolled the ships like leaves clinging to a tree on a stormy day. The upper mass (top-sides) of the ships were answering to the wind, but the keels were being directed by the heavy current in the water. The wind was mighty; but the current won. Two boats had their anchors come loose and started dragging across the anchorage. The crews of both ships alertly recovered and were able to reset their anchors. We were all thankful that this happened during daylight hours when it is easy to see what is happening.

While in Norman's Jill and I took a dinghy ride back to the very remote Half Moon Bay in Norman's pond. Half Moon Bay is the place to be during a big blow. It is protected on all sides from the ravages of the wind and it does not have a menacing current flowing through it. The approach to the pond via 'big boat' is very shallow with intricate turns. A vessel the size of Shibumi can only get in, or out, during high tide. The ride via dinghy back into the Bay was beautiful. There were several boats enjoying the quiet remote anchorage there. We decided not to bring Shibumi back there this time, but we made note of this gorgeous refuge for future trips to the area.

I have only seen the Milky Way Galaxy maybe ten or twelve times in my entire life. Anchored off of Norman's Cay in the Northern Exumas, the view of the sky is fascinating. The various sized pin-points of light against the black sky is inspiring. The lightshow if galaxies is something that cannot be seen in areas that have man-made lights. Even in a small town such the one we live in back in Florida, the residential lights drown-out the beauty of a clear night time sky.

Our walks on the Cay gave us great excercise and it was fun to explore the ruins of the former drug lords empire. Part of those ruins was a boat marooned atop the highest hill on Norman's Cay. It was not wash up there by storm it was put up there by the drug lord, as an example to all, when the boat owner refused to depart the anchorage near the cay. Needless to say not many people visited this area uninvited during the 1970s and 1980s.

We met Richard and Jennifer on Norman's. They are a very nice young couple who are sailing their boat Margaurita to St. Croix. Margaurita was built by Richard's uncle in the 1990's and Richard and Jennifer were sailing it to the Virgin Islands to help a friend start a business down there.

We also met another fun couple, Jim and Ann aboard the sailing vessel Beesknees. Jim and Ann had recently purchased Bees Knees and were on a shakedown cruise.

Two days after we arrived at Norman's Cay Harry and Melinda aboard their boat SeaSchell from Ft. Lauderdale, via Nassau. We have known Harry and Melinda for four years. Our cruising paths have crossed several times during that period. It is great to see them again.




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