Monday, February 1, 2010

MacDuff's: aka: Norman's Cay Club

After several days of boating food, a night out to a real restaurant sounded like a very good idea.  First we had to make sure the anchors were set properly to leave the boat unattended in the 5 knot current whipping thru the anchorage.  Yes, I said "anchors".  This is the Bahamian Achoring system where you place one anchor for one wind direction, and a second for a proposed change of direction, thus ensuring your boat does not swing on the change and end up on the reefs nearby.  During this week's full moon, we are experiencing the lowest tides of the year.  Captain is truly on his toes these days, and especially these nights when he really wants to close his eyes and sleep without worrying.

It's a 10 minute walk, down a crumbling paved road, across a working air strip and into the grounds at MacDuffs.  An oasis in a barren land, this is the NEW Norman's Cay Club.  Steffan tends the bar and doubles as waiter.  The chef is newly arrived from Peru, and manages to put out the same-old, same-old conch fritters, fish burgers and fries as we find everywhere thruout the islands.  He does give a really mean ceviche though.  If you're like me, you'll want to ask him to hold back on the hot sauce, or suffer the consequences. 

Indoor seating is nicely appointed with many island flora and fauna decorations.  If you happen to hang around for a while, there are games, books, and various diversions to keep your attention.  Who is studying Spanish this hard????? 

Outdoors, the easy chairs, couches and sofas are comfy and relaxed.  Vintage pieces give a feel of whimsy and nostaglia.  While you're there, check out the bathroom:  rattan walls and roof, tiled floor, the most lovely provincial commode, all give the impression that one is back in time and space to a Victorian retreat in paradise. 

Three resident dogs welcome visitors of the four-legged variety, making for an easy-going time of it.  When the supply boat comes in, so does the band.  Hacks at best, and drunk to boot, they are all the entertainment needed for a hearty sing along.  This piano was brought here last month on the deck of an open boat, all the way from Miami.  It sits outside under a loose tarp.  Any bets how long this not-so-finely-tuned instrument will hold its pitch????

There are several cottages for rent in this club and "the pretty people" hang out in the bar along with the cruising riff-raff in smelly tee shirts.  It's a good opportunity to hob-nob with the rich and famous and make new friends. 

As the sun goes down, the mood mellows and Captains begin to wonder how things are going back in the anchorage with the tide change.  Let's wend our way home, flashlight in one hand, dog leash in the other.  One last pee for pouch on land and it's back to the gently rocking boat--our craddle for the night.

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