Houseboat in the Hills
V and S
Sun 9 Jan 2011 18:07
Still at Norman's Cay. We walked to the the highest hill on the island to inspect the old houseboat. In 1980 when Norman's Cay was held hostage by Carlos Leder, the infamous drug smuggler, he ordered all residents off the island. Most left. He also was annoyed by cruising boats anchoring nearby. One boat in particular was a 35' houseboat. The owners left the boat anchored on the west side of the island and frequently went home. Leder sent thugs to tell them to take their boat and go away. They didn't. So, while they went stateside, the thugs towed the boat ashore and down the road to the highest hill. They dragged it to the top through heavy scrub and growth. It would never bob in the current again. It was rumored that Walter Cronkite brought his boat to Norman's Cay too and protested his treatment there during this time.
But Carlos Leder had bigger problems than boats anchoring by his island. The U.S. and Bahamian governments were plotting a raid to clean up Norman's Cay , and many other little islands harbouring criminals. He was arrested and brought to trial in the U.S. His grip on Norman's Cay was over.