For live and premium content, sign up for our email newsletter and we'll send reports directly to your inbox
Our report in the November, 1995 issue (see pages 9 and 10) on Cargill Creek Lodge in the Bahamas and the mysterious disappearance of former owner, Stanley Bain, jarred loose a very interesting letter from subscriber Dick Fontana of Tavernier, Florida. Fontana fished at Cargill Creek Lodge this past month and, unfortunately, collided head on with torrential rains that all but washed out the fishing. He says the bonefishing was so shut down by the weather he turned to tarpon fishing, about which he has observations that will interest some subscribers. He concludes that, weather aside, his weekend trip was a good one. He has particularly good things to say about the food and service at Cargill. We are placing his report in our Trip Planning Database where it can be ordered by paid subscribers.
The really interesting thing about Fontana’s letter are his remarks about Stanley Bain’s disappearance. Seems some of the locals he talked with are still of the opinion that Bain was abducted by Cuban "thugs." Curious about the origin of this persistent rumor, we called Cargill in hopes of speaking with new co manager Sandra MacMaster. Instead, we reached a brand new manager named Jan Neymour. A Bahamian, she used to be Bain’s main assistant in Nassau, we were told.
As for the Cuba rumors, Neymour says there are two possible grains of truth in them. First, she says there have been a few ugly encounters of late between Bahamians and Cubans on the high seas, mostly over lobster traps. Seems there may have been at least one incident involving gunfire. Second, there is still a small possibility that Bain was indeed seized by Cubans – not by pirates or thugs, though, but by the Cuban Navy or Coast Guard after he accidentally strayed into Cuban waters. This possibility is taken so seriously that the Foreign Ministry has made official inquiries about Stanley Bain, Neymour says.
It may be of some interest to know that the American Embassy in Nassau pretty much confirms what Neymour had to say. A USIS official (United States Information Service) told us at press time there were indeed some tensions offshore between Cubans and Bahamians. She didn’t know anything about gunfire but she did say some Cuban boats have actually been stopped recently by Bahamian naval vessels and the captains charged with "poaching."
At the risk of beating this rumor to death, she said our call had inspired embassy "security people" to check out the possibility there was some kind of previously unknown threat to travelers in the Cargill Creek area. She said their checks turned up "…zero threat."
The bottom line in all this is, no would be tourists need to be afraid of Cuban "thugs" anywhere on Andros Island, even on remote Grassy Cay where Cargill plans to reopen its outpost lodge later this month. As we reported last month, this outpost lodge is generating great excitement and we hope to have a writer over there soon. In the meantime, if you are among those first guests headed that way later this month be sure you file a report so the rest of us will know how things went…. – Don Causey.