Lat: 24 36N Long: 76 49.5W
Well, who would have ever thought of this place. The anchorage at Highbourne was a bit rolly at all times and there wasn't much of a beach without a bit of a dingy ride.
So, yesterday afternoon, after taking Peter and France for a sail ... they've never been on a sailboat before ... we headed down to Normans Cay. What a great place. Here we are anchored in 7 feet of water off a pure white sandy beach. The water is crystal clear and ashore we can see two small homes and a trailer.
Normans Cay was once under the unfriendly control of drug lord Carlos Lehder. There is a paved (well, coral) landing strip which is still in great shape. Last evening we all go for a dingy ride into shore and walk through the brush to find a bar .... and they have a 42 inch LCD TV .... and we're all watching the Super-bowl. What a unique place.
NOW .... you have to keep in mind that FIVE peo;ole inhabit this island which is 3 miles in length by 1/2 mile wide. We still can't figure out why there were 6 jeeps parked out there.
The bar looks full because there are crews of twelve other Canadian boats in there for the game too.
It really was a nice place, but remember, we're still a zillion miles from civilzation.
The bartender was a bit of a dog, but served up great drinks and ice cold "KALIK" beer.
While Ron was chatting it up at the bar with this younger couple, James and Kelly, from Scotland, he finds out that James had rented one of the two planes out back from the States and they were touring the Bahamas. After a couple beers and a lot of talking, James works in ATC for overseas flights and regularly talks with Gander and RCC Halifax. Well, that's all I needed as I used to work in RCC Halifax (Rescue Coordination Center).
Still after more talking, James makes my day ... YUP, WE'RE GOING FLYING TOMORROW !!!!!!! YIPPEEEEEEEE !!!!!!!!!!!!
Behind the bar is the old air strip with two Cessna 172's parked beside the welcome sign.
This is Normans Cay International Airport !!
Kelly, you can tell Ryan that this is what to expect when you guys get here.
Like I said, the landing strip is in good shape. We're anchored off to the left. So, today is tomorrow, and Peter and I are all primed and ready to go.
See you when we get back.
That's all I can say. Peter & I had a great flight with James.
We took off at 11am and circled Normans Cay and Shroud Cay. What colours!! On the south side of Normans Cut we saw the DC3 that the US shot down. It belonged to the drug lord here and the US had had enough of him. We also went through the house ruins and drug lab that he had.
Again .... the colours are spectacular.
James is a great pilot who explained to me that in the Bahamas you use a 50/40 takeoff .... That means that you take off and remain at 50 feet above the runway. When you reach the end and just before you aer clear of the trees, you climb steeply at a 40 degree angle until you reach 1000 feet then level off and head to your destination.
Here we are looking north over the pond in the middle of Normans Cay.
We're anchored to the left side off the beach.
On takeoff you could see the "Welcome to Norman's Cay" sign.
You can see the colours where the pure white sand and the deeper channels meet. Man, I still can't get over the colour of the water down here. When you navigate through the shallow channels it's all by sight and the colours of the water. You go around the coral heads.
James and Kelly got engaged last night on the beach and everyone had a great time. YUP ... He looks pretty young for a pilot ... He's 33.
Here we are flying over the DC3 that belonged to the drug lord here in the 1960's. You can see it in the bottom right of the picture. Can't wait to dive on it.
Oh yeah Kelly & Ryan .... The runway is great but the airport kind of sucks here.
So, with that, I'll bid you good night and we'll see what tomorrow brings.
I wrote this on a wall in the run down drug lords' living room !!
Today, Tuesday, we went for a dingy ride to check out the downed aircraft and discovered this great little beach on the side of Gilligan's Island.
It was going to be a great afternoon of swimming and fishing for conch. We met up with past travelers George & Marianne, from Ont.
Well, George and Ron were the first ones to head for conch country when Peter spied this 7 foot shark swimming along about 50 feet away. So much for snorkeling!! So lets just party on the island. That's twice!!
Ever wonder what a hard bottom Bahamian cruiser's dingy is made of ...?
A couple of 2x4's , a sheet of plywood, some fiberglass and a couple straps to hold it all together. Talk about engineering!!
While Jan was showing off her fantastic tan .....
Ron was out at the top of the world .... well, at least at the top of the island. We found a bench that has "Grampa Ron" written on it. Thanks Guys!!
This afternoon Ron decided to change one of the anodes. During his fifth dive he noticed an nosy shark approaching and after 10 minutes of playing dodge ball around the keel, the shark decided it was going to chase Ron's ass up the swim ladder. How fast can you climb a ladder with fins on?? It was only a small shark ..... But it still had teeth !!
Last night, Tuesday February 08, we all got together on Wind Warrior for sundowners .... and what a great sunset it was.
Tomorrow, we work our way down to Warderick Wells Cay.