After a short trip of 19 nm, we arrived at Norman's Cay and anchored inside the southern harbor. Another front was coming through on Friday, and this would be a good all-around sheltered spot to be when it passed through. No storms predicted, but 20+ knots out of the North, clocking around to the more desirable East by Friday night.
Norman's Cay has a colorful past. From 1978 to 1982, it served as the headquarters for Carlos Lehder's drug-smuggling operation. He bought up most of the island and ran out all of the residents. A significant airstrip allowed transshipping large amounts of cocaine in one direction and money in the other. At one point, one of the DC-3s they used missed the runway and crashed into the shallow harbor. Its remains still rest there today. Most of the superstructure that was above the water has eroded away, but a surprising amount of the plane underwater remains relatively intact. It is a favorite destination for snorkelers. We anchored a few hundred feet from it, and got in the dinghy to have a look.
From the surface, its not very impressive. We were about halfway to low tide, and just a few bits of ribs and skin stuck up. It's more impressive from underwater or in the air (more on that later).
|Not Much to See Above the Waterline|
|You can make out the rectangular windows below the water.|
Thursday, February 9, 2017.
So today, at slack tide, armed with snorkeling gear, an underwater camera, and a mask-mounted GoPro, we got into the water and swam to the wreck. Other snorkelers were already there, so the sediment was stirred up and the water not as clear as usual.. A large number of small, striped sergeant majors surrounded us and were quite unafraid.
|Joan with Camera|
|Nose and Cockpit|
|In the Belly of the Beast|
|Empty Cargo Hold|
|Inside the Cockpit|
|Inspecting our Prop|
A few hours later, a French-Canadian woman from one of the nearby boats, came by and offered to fly her camera-equipped quadcopter drone around our boat and her son would edit the footage into a video. She was asking "$5 of whatever you want to pay". Of course, we took her up on it!
The resulting video was stunning. It's too big to upload here, but here's a link to it on Google Drive.
Meanwhile, enjoy these stills I pulled from it.
|Dolce Vita at Anchor|
|The Plane Wreck|
We paid him $20 for it. His face lit up like he'd won the lottery!
Life is good.