Staniel to Norman's Cay

Trip Start Mar 22, 2010
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Trip End Jun 30, 2010


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Flag of Bahamas  , Out Islands,
Sunday, March 28, 2010



 Sunday March 28, 2010

Today we got up and had breakfast and listened to Chris' weather report and then again at 8:30 to Staniel Cay’s report.  We left Big Majors around 9:00 and headed North to Norman’s Cay.  On our way up, we passed by numerous boats heading south.  One was a supply ship and another picture I snapped was a Yacht with a tender probably the size of Beltane.  (couldn’t resist showing you this).  We had to go out around Sandy Cay and up past Sampson Cay, Cambrige Cay, Bell Island, past Warderick Wells Cay, to Cistern Sand Bore, Elbow Cay and then into a weigh point off of Norman’s Cay and in to the Eastern side of Norman’s.  There is a cold front coming so we’ll have to sit it out in here.  On our way up we heard a distress call off of Shroud Cay from a Beneteau 41 named La Nena.  He had lost his mast and was requesting assistance.  We listened to this to make sure he was safe and didn’t need immediate assistance.  The Exuma Land and Sea Park was close enough to him to help him out.  Norman’s is most famous for the drug smuggler Carlos Ledher, who during the late 70’s and early 80’s bought up most of Normas Cay and pushed the other locals off the island so he could run drugs from the Columbia Drug Cartel to Florida.  He had quite an operation going, fixed up the airstrip, but was eventually caught.  The story goes that the authorities, CIA was set up on Wax Cay watching him near the end of his infamous career.  He was arrested and his operation was shut down.  There are some interesting buildings on the island that still have bullet holes that his men decided to shoot up.  There is a sunken plane that you can snorkel around just off a sand bar in behind the anchorage.  You can see it at low tide and all that’s left now is the fuselage and the right wing.  When I first visited here in 2003 with Sarah, we snorkeled around and you could still see the fuselage intact and you could have sat in the cockpit.  Now in 2010 all you can see is the cockpit and the wings.  Most of the fuselage has been washed away.  It’s quite a sight to see.  There are numerous stories about the plane and how it ended up in the water.  Some say it was shot down, others say the pilot was practicing low landing and take offs and then some say Carlos didn’t want anyone to be able to use the plane so he ordered the pilot to crash it in the water.  Whatever the real reason, it is a great spot to snorkel and keeps people intrigued with this area.  When we arrived in the anchorage there were 5 boats here and by sundown there were at least 16.  Had my first supper at Norman’s in the daylight.  The other times I’ve been to Norman’s it’s always been in December where it’s dark by 5:00pm…. Around 6:30 there were 5 or 6 Canadians who arrived in Beneteau’s.  I was quite a bit surprised as they all got their bathing suits on and went for a swim.  You don’t normally swim after 5 or 6 because the sharks come in the harbour.  I was a bit concerned about them but they all made it out safe and sound…  By the end of the day there were 16 boats anchored in Norman’s.   

Monday March 29, 2010

This morning was nice and sunny but a bit windy.  Got up and had breakfast and decided not to go ashore today.  Norman’s Cay Beach Club is closed on Monday’s and it was too windy to put the tender in the water.  So we just read and spent most of the day lazying around.  Around noon, La Nena, the 42 Beneteau who lost his mast arrived in Norman’s.  We offered him the use of our radio so he could let the Exuma Land and Sea Park know the location of his mast, rigging and sails.  I took a couple of pictures of the boat on it’s way into Normans.  Frank Hernandez, from Miami came aboard and told us about the ordeal.  He said when he heard the noise, he hit the deck because he was afraid the boom and mast was coming his way.  He let all the turnbuckles go and over the side the mast, boom, sails and rigging all went.  He marked it on his GPS and he said it was only in about 15 ft of water but it was a mess.  He needs to get in touch with his insurance company to see what he needs to do.  It was kind of funny, Exuma Land and Sea Park wanted to know if he was going to do the salvage himself…(as if he could, lift this out of the water and put it on his deck….)  Anyway he is quite depressed as he just started a 10 day holiday and now it’s virtually over, without sails…  Later in the day we started swinging and the wind pick up and one of the Canadian Charter boats, Congo dragged across Normans and almost hit a Catamaran…. But Sean (sp) saved the day…  (Later when the people who were staying on Congo returned, they couldn’t find their boat… as Sean had moved it up by the plane out of the way… Meanwhile we were too close to Chalet Girl who anchored too close to us.  He is traveling with La Nena and so he moved up by the plane to avoid us swinging and tangling in the night.  Wow what a night.  We watched the lightening off in the distance over Nassau, then the wind picked up and it sounded like a helicopter was landing right beside us… almost makes you think it might have been a small water spout going by us.  One of the boaters came on the radio to announce something to all boaters in Norman’s Cay but we weren’t sure what he was trying to tell us.  Maybe that was it… Anyway after that, the black clouds came over the little island and blew by us with very little rain.  We all slept very well on Monday night… Dad was up to check our bearings, but we never did move with only one anchor. 

Tuesday March 30, 2010

Woke up late in the morning and then dad and I flipped the tender over.  I cleaned it and placed our registration numbers on either side of the bow.  We hoisted the tender over the side and put the outboard on so I could go ashore to wash my hair.  After that, we came back and read for a bit.  Nice sunny and not too windy a day today… not at all like last night.  Good thing the cold front went through.  Dad thinks we will head to Nassau tomorrow but will most likely have to power because the winds will be out of the North, North East.  Maybe once we get out past Norman’s stake we can put the jib up…  Anyway that’s tomorrow.  We took a walk up to McDuff’s or Normans Cay Beach Club for a burger and beer.  Talked with the owner and the dogs and headed back down to the boat around 4:30.  Hoisted the tender on the forward deck and got ready to head out to Nassau in the morning… A very quiet night was anticipated and a quiet night we had…Happy Birthday Charlotte.  Your gift and card are on their way….
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