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Leder's Lair and McDuff's Are Gone

Mike: 23 Jun
So today we stopped at Normans Cay, sailing close hauled on a north wind of about 10kts up from the Marine Park on Warderick Wells, 17nm to the south. Entering the cay area at low tide, we touched bottom in the sand - the chart suggested that we'd be in at leat 2 meters of water and we only need 1.7m. I guess we hit an underwater sand drift or something. We were idling on the way in and were showing in excess of 6kts on the GPS speed log - lots of current. No sweat though and we anchored just fine. There's a whole lot of current flowing and when I tried to snorkel our anchor set, I just couldn't get there. In the evening we were one of 5 boats at Normans. Amazing how earlier in our travels we'd be the only boat.

Norman Cay is the site of drug lord Carlos Leder's empire. Here he ran his multi-million (billion?) drug supplying empire in the 70s. Today, all of the trappings - the grand house, the dock, the runway and the semi sunken drug transport DC3 are still there. The buildings are standing but in disrepair 30 years after. Most of what was has been overgrown but the locations of the terraced gardens are still evident. While the guide book suggests that there are bullet holes in the walls, we only found the holes that nails that were fired into the conrete walls to hold panelling were. No bullet holes.

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We snorkelled the DC3 at low tide. It's mostly intact but the years have taken their toll. Much is now encrusted with coral growth. The friendly fish that hung around had obviously been fed by visitors.

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Lastly, after a long walk down the runway to where McDuffs was supposed to be, all we saw was a sign tht McDuffs was under new ownership and was gone. No more to be!

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All together, a relaxing day on the water. Tomorrow, we head on to Allens Cay to see the Iguanas.

The motley crew finally finished off the birthday celebrations in style... we've now had cake three days in a row and are glad to see the end of the chocolate colossus.

Alison made the acquaintance of a feline resident of the island, who really would have appreciated a tidbit or two. Not a stray, because he was sporting a collar.

There were a number of guesses as to how long the private airstrip was... but after having walked 3/4 of the distance in the heat of the day, my tired old feet didn't really care. Screams were heard from this country girl as she encountered the killer 3" geckos on the path.

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A beautiful complete rainbow set the ambience for a lovely dinner of barbied chicken with peas and rice - Caribbean style - an original recipe cooked up by the deck fluff. It will be really hard to top this birthday!

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P.S. For my dermatologist - tan's looking good... so business is looking up for you.

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:25

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Hi Gang. We've been following your great log since you started this fantastic trip. In a few hours we leave for UK and then on to Kremik in Croatia for our bareboat charter. First thing I'm gonna do is check the bracket on the holding tank... Man, that blog sticks in the mind.

Cheers, Keith and Madeleine

by kda

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