"Notorious Normans" Norman's Cay by grandmaR

Norman's Cay Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 8 photos

Norman's Cay, one of the longest islands in the Exumas, is approximately 6 miles long, about 100 feet wide. Almost all of the cay is elevated with steep hills on the west shore that rises to 40'. There's a large unused and unlite antenna tower near the old clubhouse at the southern end of the island that is often mistaken for Batelco Tower. A beach stretches for nearly the entire length of the western shore.

One of the guidebooks indicates that visitors are to wait to be invited into the northern end of the island. They are not welcomed there because of past instances of vandalism.

The Bahamas have long been a haven for pirates, privateers, wreckers, bootleggers and blockade runners. But in the 1970s and 80s a river of money from drug smuggling that dwarfed all previous periods of prosperity from illegal activity flooded into the country like a tidal wave. While Andros and Abaco were also involved, the center of this activity was on Norman's Cay.

Norman's Cay (which is pronounced by the Bahamians 'key') was notable as a drug traffic stopover. Little is left of Normans notorious drug running past except some bullet holes in the buildings on the southern end of the island, a ruined 'Berlin wall' dividing the north from the south end of the island, and what one guidebook calls "an evil feel". I must be atmosphere impaired because I didn't feel especially creepy there.

The runway is still there, along with the wrecked airplane in the harbor. Small private planes fly in and out of the airstrip bound for MacDuffs Bar or his vacation cabins.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:MacDuff's Bar
  • Cons:Isolated
  • In a nutshell:Sordid reputation belies reality
  • Last visit to Norman's Cay: Feb 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (1)

  • Kid-A's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2007 at 12:59 AM

    Interesting story about Norman's Cay. And I ask that age-old question: why are outlaw stories so entertaining? Thanks! Brian


“"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”

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