The Area of Interest – Norman’s Cay, The Exumas
Norman’s Cay is located in the Exuma Islands and is southeast of Nassau. The Exumas are an island chain in the Bahamas made up of over 360 islands; the largest city in the Exumas is George Town which was founded in 1793 and is located in close proximity to the Tropic of Cancer. The island chain is 130 mi long and covers approximately 27 square miles. The Government of The Bahamas has created the Exuma National Land and Sea Park over a large majority of the Exumas protecting fragile coral reefs, blue holes, caves and extensive marine and land wildlife – including the last known refuge of the giant Bahamian iguana. In fact, there is a 6,000-foot drop off, known as the Exuma Sound, which is home to teeming giant marlin, sailfish and wahoo populations.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Carlos Lehder (portrayed in the move Blow by Johnny Depp) took control of Norman’s Cay. Carlos used the small Bahamian island as a headquarters for his drug smuggling operations; purchasing most of the Island and then building a personal air strip. Concerned with his security, Lehder installed radar and even hired armed guards to walk to the beaches as protection for the loads of drugs being flown in from Colombia in route to the United States. In 1982, under heavy pressure from the US to shut down Carlos’ operation, the Bahamian government reclaimed the island which is now a tourist destination.
I visited the Island twice in the spring of 2001 on a week-long trip of the Exumas. On my first visit, we hired a local pilot who flew us from Nassau to Norman’s Cay in a Cessna 182, the flight took about 45 minutes. We landed, walked 50 feet or so to the Norman’s Cay Beach Club @ McDuff’s and enjoyed a delicious lunch with tropical drinks before heading back to Nassau. The flights were a lot of fun!
We came back a few days later on a diving boat and snorkeled around parts of the island. There is a ditched C14 aircraft in about 30 feet of water that crashed while trying to depart from Norman’s Cay. The plane is almost completely rusted away but provides a unique diving and snorkeling site. I would highly recommend a trip to Norman’s cay if you are in the Bahamas. In the QuickBird image (enhanced with eMap ImageBoost) below, you can see the Norman’s Cay Beach Club buildings and the runway built by Carlos Lehder.
Senior Sales Manager
Back to top^
Visit eMap's Website