Drug Lords and Crashed Planes
11 March 2009 | Norman’s Island anchorage (24o36.090N, 76o49.505W)
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Well at 7:15am Spirit and the other 3 boats left the anchorage. I waved at them while taking pictures of the sunrise, moonset and yelled over that we hope to see them in Georgetown. The moonset took place behind clouds so I didn't get it sinking below the horizon.
After coffee and cereal we dinghied over to the other side of the island to explore and look for the crashed plane and the old drug lord's house/compound. While walking the beach Aeolus (Ken and Cheryl) landed in their dinghy at the beach so we explored the area with them. At one time in the late 70s, early 80s, Norman's Cay was under the control of a drug lord - Carlos Lehder - who had a profitable cocaine smuggling operation located on the island. The only reminders now are quite a few bullet holes in the buildings and a crashed airplane that lays in the middle anchorage. Needless to say, Wayne needed to see the drug lords abode and the bullet holes and we had to follow several dead-end paths that led to other ruins and an old dump, but we finally found the place with its bullet hole ridden walls. It looked like it was quite a beautiful place in it's day and the view from the place was spectacular. It looked out over the pond (the North Harbor) where the crashed plane was. Ken said that when they were chased out of here the only things they took were their clothes, money and jewels. When they left, they left everything else, food, stores, furniture, etc... it was like they'd left for the day or week only never returned.
There's a place called the Dead Head Wall in about 70 ft of water named after a fan whose VW lies on the reef. To deep for us to see but I suppose if you're a diver and a Grateful Dead fan - it might be worth a look?
After our hike on land we jumped into the water then dinghied over to the plane wreck. There's not much left of it but the fuselage is still visible at low tide and the wings are still visible under the water. I remember hearing someone on the radio say it was a DC 3?
From there we came back over to the west side and walked over to the airstrip. We'd watched a couple of small planes take off from there today and saw one plane come in.
Back at the boat, Wayne read a little and took a nap and I plugged in a course to Warderwick Wells where the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Headquarters is located. We radioed this morning and requested a mooring for there tomorrow. They take requests at 9 am the day before and had trouble hearing us so another boat relayed our info to them for tomorrow. At 9 am tomorrow, hopefully they'll be able to hear us? You're supposed to call in your intention of who's coming and who's going each morning so they know who to assign which moorings to by your size and draft.
Cooked up some of my frozen salmon in a butter, garlic and lime sauté and made a sauce for it with tartar, dill and sour cream. Served up with green beans - it was tasty. A definite repeater recipe.