Saturday, February 20, 2010

South Table at Normans Cay




We arrived at the South Table anchorage at Norman’s to find Celebrian and a few other boats anchored here. The water is so crystal clear that you think you are about to run aground---it can’t possibly be 10 feet deep! There are some coral heads to avoid, but these are very obvious, and at mid tide, we did not have any problem.

With transportation provided by Goldberry, we hiked over to Volcano, drug lord Carlos Lehder’s now run down enclave. Lehder was the head of the Colombian cartel and ran a very successful cocaine operation out of Norman’s, flying in the raw material in cargo planes (one of which is ditched in the Norman’s South anchorage) and the finished product out in small private airplanes. All went well for quite some time, and Lehder was raking in a couple of mil a day in profit, until some grown up dropout researching hammerhead sharks here got involved. Soon, the US DEA snagged Lehder, and he was sent to a Federal Prison for the rest of his life. The saga is recorded in Turning of the Tides by Sidney Kirkpatrick, out of print but worth looking for on the used book market.

It looks like the several buildings that Carlos and his gang used to inhabit have been abandoned, although there is some sign of attempts to refurbish in the not too distant past. I gathered a floral arrangement for my dinner party this evening and thank Carlos for his generosity.

The South Table anchorage is perfect with Northwest winds, but with North winds we found that we rolled. Our buddy boat Celebrian moved on, so we decided to transit to the South anchorage. We ventured through the Norman Cut from the Sound, which looks very scary on the chart (we avoided it for 2 years) but the route is simple and the anchorage is a lot bigger than you would think. So we wait for weather to settle for our trip to Nassau.

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