Bahamas Destination: Unique Normans Cay (longish)

OK, it seems that summer and the worst of the hurricane season is now behind us. If youÂ’re like me first hints of fall have the thoughts of a long cold winter creeping into your mind. So, what to do? I know what I do: I start thinking about travel to warmer climes. [H]

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Now at the risk of sounding like the Bahamas Tourism Office, IÂ’d like to share information about a really unique destination in the islands.

Now before your get too deeply int this post, I must warn that this place is not for everyone. In fact, it wonÂ’t even house a dozen. But if youÂ’re interested in getting away from it all, and I do mean all, this is a place to consider.

NormanÂ’s Cay is a tiny island in the Exuma chain. Like many others this particular island has a colorful past. As the legend has it, in the heyday of the Caribbean drug trade, the Columbia Cartel member Carlos Lederer landed on the island and made all residents a very generous offer that none resisted. If I recall correctly, they were asked to leave the island within 30 minutes with whatever they could take, including their lives, or else. (See what I mean, very fair and generous.) At some point in the 80Â’s Mr. Lederer was persuaded to leave the island. The suggestion apparently came from the U.S. Government, who decided that a reward for past deeds was in order, so Mr. Lederer was given free quarters and the GovernmentÂ’s expense.

Enough history, Let’s talk paradise. This little piece of nirvana has about a half dozen private homes, an excellent protected anchorage for passing yachts, and a wonderfully quaint “resort” named McDuffs. McDuffs is owned and run by a colorful couple, with a staff of one, that being Rosie. Together all three run the hotel, bar, restaurant, shopping mall, and all amenities.

OK, to be clear, this resort only has 4 guest rooms. The bar seats about 8 and the restaurant about 10. (This is a fovarite anchorage for boaters, so it is not uncommon to see a few yachts or sailboats anchored offshore and the crew coming ashore to enjoy the hospitality.) But the bar is very nice in a Buffetesque/”Barefoot Man” fashion. The restaurant is good, if not gourmet, and the beach is absolutely wonderful. There are BBG grills so you can bring your own provisions for a change of pace.

I donÂ’t want to give all of the amenities away, but it is a nice place to explore, snorkel or dive. There is a DC3 in about 15Â’ of water where you can swim through the cockpit and back end. The origins of the plane are reported to be from the drug days. The beach is long, narrow and silky white. The water is warm and crystal clear.

The island is located about 35 Miles south of Nassau. It is not a Airport of Entry (AOE) so you will have to land at some other island first. While Nassau is the most logical, it is also the most expensive and busy. IÂ’d recommend stopping at South Andros if youÂ’re flying in from Miami, or either Freeport or Bimini if youÂ’re arriving from Ft. Lauderdale, or any of the Florida cities further north.

NormanÂ’s Cay does not have fuel, but you probably will not need any. It is less than 1 hours flying time from Florida. The runway with about 3,000 feet and in pretty fair condition. I have witnessed a Citation land and take off, so we should not have any problems.

Due to it size limitations, this place will never be a CBA (COPA Bahamian Adventure) destination, but it would be a terrific stop for anyone wanting to extend the spring trip by a few days.

Rates are about $225/night and the place books up months in advance. They offer no discounts (not even to COPA members or my firends [:(] ).

I have posted photos in this post for those with dial up conections. If you’d like any additional information, copies of my pictures, or other suggestions, please email me through this web site or at In about a week, I will post info and pictures about another Bahamian destination with spectacular views, historic charm, and a little more variety than Normans Cay.

Wonderful pictures. My lady and I also made an island hopping trip to the Bahamas last summer. Our favorite island was Cat Island, about 300 miles east of Florida. It’s 50 miles long with only 1200 permanent residents. There are only two resort locations and most of the island is wild. In fact, it was busier and more populated in the late eighteenth century, when American loyalists move there after the Revolutionary war…the remains of some of their mansions still stand. We stayed at Fernando’s Bay. Very relaxed, open bar, happy hour everyday, four o’clock sharp! The nice thing about it is all of the guests, except for one young couple on honeymoon, were pilots and their significant others…so happy hour was always filled with comraderie and flying stories

A few winters ago, I stayed at the other resort, Pigeon Cay Beach Club , on Cat Island. It was run by a couple from Telluride who had traded snow for sand. The half–dozen cottages were very nice. In the morning I’d raise my head from pillow and look out over the turquoise sea. Days were spent snorkeling among the coral. At the end of day, everyone would gather at the cabana for drinks, and then head off to a local restaurant. Had a great time. We flew into Arthur’s Town, and I recall two other airports on the island. A great place.