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Old 27-05-2016, 10:38   #1
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Norman's Cay - Exumas

Can anyone advise as to whether the Norman's Cay Beach Club (formerly MacDuffs) has re-opened?

In June 2015 there was construction going on at the airport and some major landscaping taking place in preparation for what I was told will be new homes – but the restaurant was closed.

We're planning to explore further inland later this Summer and check out Lehder's 'volcano' home which I'm told is in the northern reaches of the island (not to be confused with the smaller residence on the south end that was for staff and parties). Any suggestions would be appreciated!
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Old 27-05-2016, 11:43   #2
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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Originally Posted by Kim Petersen View Post
Can anyone advise as to whether the Norman's Cay Beach Club (formerly MacDuffs) has re-opened?

In June 2015 there was construction going on at the airport and some major landscaping taking place in preparation for what I was told will be new homes – but the restaurant was closed.

We're planning to explore further inland later this Summer and check out Lehder's 'volcano' home which I'm told is in the northern reaches of the island (not to be confused with the smaller residence on the south end that was for staff and parties). Any suggestions would be appreciated!
From what I've read they're building a resort at the northern end of the island, so expect it to become more "private" than it used to be.

Good luck getting to Volcano as well! The neighbours weren't too happy about us trying to gain access last time we went (although that was in 2009). Post up photos if you do get in... if I had the cash, I'd honestly buy a plot there just for the history

n
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:14   #3
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

Was there few weeks ago and witnessed very little activity.
However some major construction going on on the southern tip where the old bar used to be.
A lot has changed since my first time there in the late 70's.
It was a little scary back then. Was intimidated by some out of place looking natives.
BTW are you ex-SF????
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Old 09-06-2016, 13:56   #4
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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Was there few weeks ago and witnessed very little activity.
However some major construction going on on the southern tip where the old bar used to be.
A lot has changed since my first time there in the late 70's.
It was a little scary back then. Was intimidated by some out of place looking natives.
BTW are you ex-SF????
Is the old hotel / resort still in the SE corner of the island?

n
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Old 09-06-2016, 14:33   #5
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

McDuffs was open a month ago when I was there. The construction on Normans has slowed down. Apparently the construction manager died. The marina basin is dug out but no entrance yet. The airport has been extended and jets land there now. The new dock is substantial. The island just north or west of Normans Cut has some construction going on. A basin was dug into the cay (Boot Cay) this spring but it's small and looks like a private house will go up there.

As for Normans I've seen three or four attempts to develop the place since I first visited in 1990 This recent one has gone the furthest. I used to worry that the spot would be developed and ruined for cruisers but so far little has changed. Oh, the plane in the anchorage is nearly all rusted away. That's about it..
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Old 09-06-2016, 14:34   #6
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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Is the old hotel / resort still in the SE corner of the island?

n
If you mean the clubhouse with the antenna, yes, it's still there. And there's water in the cistern.
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Old 09-06-2016, 14:48   #7
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas



It is a beautiful spot.
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Old 09-06-2016, 14:59   #8
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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McDuffs was open a month ago when I was there. The construction on Normans has slowed down. Apparently the construction manager died. The marina basin is dug out but no entrance yet. The airport has been extended and jets land there now. The new dock is substantial. The island just north or west of Normans Cut has some construction going on. A basin was dug into the cay (Boot Cay) this spring but it's small and looks like a private house will go up there.

As for Normans I've seen three or four attempts to develop the place since I first visited in 1990 This recent one has gone the furthest. I used to worry that the spot would be developed and ruined for cruisers but so far little has changed. Oh, the plane in the anchorage is nearly all rusted away. That's about it..
Thanks for the update! I haven't been back since 2009 and was worried they might have killed the mystique of the cay with over-development. Where's the marina basin located?

Back then, only the part of the plane that was underwater remained... hopefully there'll still be some to snorkel when I get back there (sooner or later!!)

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Old 09-06-2016, 15:15   #9
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

I was there in 2003 and the flying club provisioned their clubhouse for the best burger of the Bahamas, where they put all the fixings on the table and you build it yourself That was all there was, plus some abandoned houses with beds that had only the steel springs of the mattresses still on: the rest had rotted away
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:33   #10
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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I was there in 2003 and the flying club provisioned their clubhouse for the best burger of the Bahamas, where they put all the fixings on the table and you build it yourself That was all there was, plus some abandoned houses with beds that had only the steel springs of the mattresses still on: the rest had rotted away
Nice one - thanks for the update.

Have you guys ever read the book "Turning the Tide"? I bought a copy from the Exuma Land & Sea Park station at Warderick Wells after we'd been to Norman's and the place has fascinated me ever since....

On the one hand, it's a shame they want $3m per plot of land on the cay... on the other hand, I guess it's keeping it from being over developed!

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Old 10-06-2016, 06:19   #11
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

Went by but knew better than to stop and anchor back in the early 1980s
The drug activity was extensive in the Bahamas back then and was risky to be somewhere where drug transfers were taking place i.e.isolated anchorages esp. on nights w/o any moon. These were not small operations and were carried out by serious dudes with modern motherships and small plane surveillance . I once spent an anxious night an a remote anchorage as a transfer occurred that involved a Boston whaler that took a number
of men the whole night to complete ,only a few yards from my sloop.Anybody remember the Trinka?
There were other nights when I dashed below deck to turn on my spreader lights to warn a helicopter skimming the surface at high speed that my mast was there to trip him out of the sky_____no running lights of course,wouldn't have been pretty.
These pilots were unemployed vets fresh out of Viet Nam and already had been to Hell and back ,and had become addicted to an adrenaline soaked existence .Some also drove high speed watercraft as well ,and made interesting bar companions once the liquor began to flow.
Anybody remember the Cigarette boat Blue Thunder?
Interesting times indeed, these midnight transfers often meant that some"cargo" would end up in the water and since they were well wrapped they would ultimately be fished out by cruisers and gave new meaning to beach potluck gatherings.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:53   #12
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

Not too many square groupers out there anymore.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:18   #13
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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It is a beautiful spot.
I always enjoy seeing that pic, Rick. To me, that's what the Bahamas is all about.

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Old 10-06-2016, 11:56   #14
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I always enjoy seeing that pic, Rick. To me, that's what the Bahamas is all about.

Ralph
Yes. And that's my boat in the background. What more can you ask for.
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Old 12-06-2016, 19:22   #15
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Re: Norman's Cay - Exumas

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Nice one - thanks for the update.



Have you guys ever read the book "Turning the Tide"? I bought a copy from the Exuma Land & Sea Park station at Warderick Wells after we'd been to Norman's and the place has fascinated me ever since....



On the one hand, it's a shame they want $3m per plot of land on the cay... on the other hand, I guess it's keeping it from being over developed!



n

Great Read. Interesting what went on during the drug cartel days. "Killing Pablo" is another great read that connects
Norman's to the distribution network.


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