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Monday, May 14, 2012

Normans Cay ....part 3


During our visit  I sure as hell didn't  see this sign, in fact there were no posted signs , I wonder how many other  sailors stumbled on to Normans during that time ?

Inlet  to little whale Cay anchorage,   Little Whale  top and the tip Big Whale   pictured bottom , Big Whale Cay only feature is a small airstrip   Hmmmm.

We motored to and tied up at the Pier , I looked at John  he certainly looked sick , I looked at Mary she seemed composed . The leader motioned me off and went below deck and began searching the boat , he did not ask for ID,registration or a Customs Declaration  The Cabin was small , visible to him would have been a Coleman camping stove,water jugs, dirty cloths and limited food stores and a 19 year old kid who looked sick..   It was about that time I sensed  the men relax somewhat , our story might just be  plausible  and we did not seem like a threat , the boat didn't even have a radio,   The man asked  "where we were going", I told him Hatchet Bay Eleuthera , he asked me again Where we were heading, I said Eleuthera, I did ask if he would sell us gasoline .  His shook his head and said Go to Eleuthera and don't come back.   You did not have to tell me twice , Mary quickly boarded and the outboard started on the first pull !  we cast off and motored away, I did not look back .                                                        As we motored around the South end of the Island no one spoke  and no one looked back , I set a coarse for Nassau .  Mary finally spoke " where are we going, I said "Nassau", she said "that works for me"    Thankful  we had our Jib sail repaired in Bimini and with a 15 knot wind at our back ,  We had a shot to make Nassau   by  sunset.   As Normans Cay  faded in the distance  we finally had time to reflect on what just happened . Were they drug runners  or  Bahamian Defence Force  or both ?  With so much money involved were there good guys  and bad guys ?, or just people doing business ?... OMFG  I need a drink !  Mary handed me the bottle of rum  after a long pull on the bottle I told John to get rid of the booty, all of it he said?  he wanted to keep some of the Beatles Albums and I needed to keep the boots we had "salvaged" from the Island . John pulled the items from under his death bunk, also hidden under the bunk our 4 guns  including an M1 Carbine.   We decided to keep some of the booty with the understanding if we were ever approached it went overboard..  Over the next 7 hours  we had plenty of time to speculate on just what the hell happened .                                                                   We made good time sailing North and made it  Nassau Harbor at sundown, motoring up the channel  we got our typical greeting "turn on your running lights you fucking idiot"  yelled another boater, it felt good to be back in civilization   !    Back in Nassau our plan was to sell some possessions , pick up supplies and  head back  to Chub Cay in the Berry Islands.   We set about selling some possessions and realized the mere mention of Normans Cay  got every ones attention and respect.    One guy was listening to our story his nickname was "The God Father"   I asked him for a dollar to buy a beer he gave me $20  !!  and he wanted to know every detail of our misadventure as long as he was buying Heavenly Ice Cold Becks Beer  I could talk all night !                                  We scrounged up a small fortune $53 dollars !   got some supplies and headed north the next morning   Chub Cay  was a day sail if the  wind held up ,   around 1 pm  we realized due to a wind change  we would have to anchor  between Big and Little Whale Cay.  It was also about that time we noticed a small aircraft was circling us , what looked to be a Cessna 150 , the plane was at around 500 ft  after a few passes it made a low pass at our stern , we guessed he wanted to see the name of the boat ..  a definite "oh shit" moment .                        According to the "Bahamas Cruising Guide" Little Whale Cay  was a privately owned Island  that  the owner had a vast collection of rare birds , Golden pheasants, peacocks and chickens.   We anchored and ate dinner ; white rice and Spam , around sunset  someone arrived at  Little Whale Cay in a Cigarette style boat  , they stood on the pier and looked at us for about 5 minutes ,  they didn't seem that they were thrilled about  us being there .  We sat about 200 yards from them, 2 men went inside and the third man went about doing a meticulous perimeter check , I don't know if he was looking for foot prints , or what.                  With no  power and no city lights and no moonlight ,   it was again a dark and uneasy night  with the aid of Cheap Vodka I found sleep.   Awake at Daybreak I looked out the hatch to check the weather.  At some point during the night a large fishing  boat had slipped in and anchored next to us   .  on board the boat was a dozen  para-military style men all armed with assault rifles ...   to be continued

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