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  • Katharine Hesmer

DAY 28 | January 10, 2022

"The Pond" at Norman's to the West side of Norman's Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map.

Woke up to another overcast day in this nicely protected anchorage known as "The Pond" at Norman's Cay. There's not much to see or do here, but that's completely ok with us as we've got work to catch up on, and it's nice to not have anywhere we HAVE to be by a certain day or time. It's also wonderful to have a reprieve from bobbing around. I cannot overstate the perk of finding a flat anchorage.

One thing I put together before we left home that seems to be working fairly well is a pancake pre-mix recipe I found online that mimics the premixes you can buy at the grocery store, but instead of adding water, you add milk and an egg. An inexpensive alternative that simplifies the process, and Skeet seems to like them. I guess anything drowning in syrup is pretty much a kid's dream breakfast. 😂 It could probably be a piece of cardboard as far as he's concerned and he'd be fine. (Kind of LOOKS like cardboard in that picture come to think of it. 😳) The boxed milk is another thing I tried to stock up on for obvious reasons, and it's really nice to have a backup supply in one of our hatches in the floor of KORKZcrew so you don't have to worry about it going bad in the fridge.

We started the day with basic chores and more efforts at getting organized. I guess it's a constant struggle. I remember reading a blurb a long time ago that said housework is like threading beads on a string with no knot at the end. Pretty much! Luckily though, Steve is always close by to offer assistance. 🙄

After all of the rain we've had off and on for a few days, we needed to run the dinghy to remove the water it's accumulated. Ron gave that job to Skeet, who's got a lot of experience driving the dinghy and even has his NC boater's license, which is a requirement for anyone operating a vessel over 10 hp on North Carolina waterways. He has not drained the dinghy before, which is not a difficult task, but it can require a bit of dexterity when replacing the plug while underway. You'll hear Ron encouraging Skeet to be mindful of his steering in this video. I keep thinking about everything Skeet is learning on this trip and I cannot help but smile. He's such a willing "student", too. . . eager to help, and receptive to input.

Once Skeet successfully drained all of the water, he came back to pick up his dad, and the two of them went exploring. When we entered The Pond the other day, Skeet had consulted The Waterway Guide where it mentions two caves you pass on the way to your anchorage, so Ron and Skeet decided they'd go back and investigate. I'm not sure that they found anything terribly interesting there, but it was a nice chance for them to get a change of scenery and some fresh air.

Ron and Skeet had another powwow this afternoon about next steps, and decided we'd go ahead and move KORKZcrew to the west side of Norman's Cay and try a different anchorage. The weather outlook still looks fairy iffy, but we thought based on the wind direction that we might be in good shape.

Do you get the impression they're getting sick of my picture taking?!

We pulled up anchor and made our way back out of The Pond's super skinny entrance. This time, the ocean chop wasn't nearly as bad as it had been on the day of our arrival. Thank goodness for small favors.

Today as we made our way south and west around the island, we passed by a popular tourist attraction and snorkeling spot, which is a sunken airplane thought to be part of the cartel that was using Norman’s as a smuggling base years ago, and flying planes full of cocaine to the US. You may already be aware of Norman's rather seedy past, but it's wild to think about it now, especially as you stare at this gorgeous, unassuming and non-threatening setting.

This is a drone picture I took in 2019, when we chartered a catamaran out of Nassau with our good buddies George & Christine Reddin . It makes for some pretty interesting snorkeling - and story telling!


“Norman’s Cay was used as a stopping point for drug transportation between Colombia and the US in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The operation was headed by Carlos Lehder of the Medellin Cartel. There are all kinds of relics of Lehder’s reign throughout the island, probably one of the most apparent is a plane wreck in the shallows of Norman’s Cay’s cut. It’s a popular spot to snorkel and there’s a lot of speculation about the crash.”⁣⁣


Passing by the southern tip of Norman's Cay, where the plane wreckage is located

Our new anchorage is just offshore from MacDuff's cottages and restaurant, and looks pretty charming from the water. We're hoping to have a chance to walk on the beach tomorrow and check out our new surroundings.

Night night, Norman's!

1 hour underway; 6 nautical miles traveled

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