MANGROVE CAY CLUB
Mangrove Cay is an island in the centre of Andros, separated by waterways that bisect the island from east to west. These are the North, Middle and South Bights, themselves dotted with countless uninhabited cays. Combined with the vast banks and sand flats of the West Side of Andros, this is the largest area of bonefish habitat in the world and the reason why Andros is known as the "Bonefishing Capital of the World".
Mangrove Cay Club was developed by a team who knows fishing and has operated lodges in the Bahamas before and, more importantly, they have had the advantage of learning from others' mistakes and successes. The whole project has been based around making keen anglers very comfortable. While very proud of the guest accommodations, Mangrove Cay does not pretend to be a resort for non-fishers, unless they are keen on local culture and content to relax in quiet comfort, perhaps snorkelling or kayaking with the local dive centre.
The cottages are each split into two guest suites. On the outside wall of each suite is an extensive rod rack with a bucket for cleaning reels and a freshwater hose for washing rods and all other equipment each day - an important feature for a saltwater lodge.
Each bedroom is equipped with a bedside table with a bright lamp, as well as a good-sized hanging cupboard and chest of drawers. All bedrooms have air-conditioning and all bathrooms have copious amounts of towels, two waffle-weave robes, a hairdryer, electrical outlet (electricity is standard US 110 volt), as well as a full range of bathroom products supplied.
The floor plan of each suite allows an angler who has awoken early, to work with his fishing gear in the sitting room or have an early shower without awaking his companion. Likewise, one guest can snooze in peace after fishing before dinner while the other has another room to do what they wish. Our air-conditioning units are adjustable and our hot water is plentiful and hot 24 hours a day. Each cottage has its own system so there is no competition for hot water and we have worked hard to ensure excellent shower pressure. Our rooms have plenty of electrical outlets for camera, video and laptop computer charging.
The Kitchen & Cuisine
Fresh local seafood is the focal point of many of the dinner menus. Local fishermen pull up at the Mangrove Cay Club dock with their catch to allow the chef, Iyke Moore to make his selections. Lobster, grouper, snapper, conch and even stone crab claws all make regular appearances. Bahamian favorites, grilled entrees and classic cuisine are all prepared to Iyke's high standards.
Coffee made from freshly ground beans, and a selection of teas and juices are offered in the lodge from 6.30 a.m. onwards. A variety of cold cereals with fresh milk, yogurt, fruits and freshly baked pastries (croissants, biscuits, muffins) are offered along with hot breakfasts of eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, grits and toast.
Lunches are taken out on the boats, packed in a cooler with plenty of ice. Guests create their own lunches from a wide selection, because the best sandwich is one prepared by one's self with all the tiny eccentric likes and dislikes that we all have. Lunch selections include a variety of sandwich breads and rolls, tuna salad, freshly roasted turkey breast, ham, salami or roast beef, with cheeses, lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes. All of the condiments are laid out buffet style to allow you to make your lunch to your preferences. Freshly baked cookies and brownies, fresh fruit and potato chips complement the selection. When lunch is fried chicken and salad, this will be packed in the kitchen for you. A jug of iced drinking water will already be on the boat. Soft drinks or iced tea complete the lunch menu.
Hors d'oeuvres are served at the bar during cocktail hour. Stone crab claws, cracked conch (a Bahamian specialty), grouper nuggets, crudites, and spring rolls made with a variety of seafood are some of the items to regularly appear.
Dinner begins with a salad or soup. Bahamian conch chowder and Iyke's cream of lobster are amongst the favorites of our guests. In addition to Iyke's repertoire of seafood, grilled chicken or prime rib au jus are included in dinner menus. All entrees are served with pasta, rice or potatoes and vegetables. Sumptuous homemade desserts, especially Iyke's key lime pie, are not often refused, but a fresh fruit salad is the light alternative. To accompany dinner, a selection of red and white wines is offered by the bottle and by the glass. Dinner is followed with coffee or tea, and liqueurs, cognacs and brandies for after dinner drinks.
The thought that has gone into the building of the lodge extends to the rest of the lodge equipment from rod racks with freshwater hoses for each room to the boats that are on the water each day.
After extensively researching the best boats for our area and taking into account the need for speed, comfort and safety while travelling across large shallow areas and some open sections of the Andros Bights, the conclusion was made that the Dolphin skiff with elevated poling platforms and powered by 90 hp Yamaha engines would be the preferred option. The nine skiffs (eight on the water and one back-up) are configured for comfort with two cushioned captain's chairs in front of the steering console. There is lots of dry storage and cockpit space. Decks are clear and free of obstacles that could snag a fly line. Five of the boats are equipped with leaning posts and two of those are also equipped with cushioned chairs on the casting deck. Leaning posts and chairs can all be removed when not in use. An on-site workshop with a full time mechanic is devoted to caring for our boats to make sure they are in pristine order for each and every day of the season.
Having boats with 90 horsepower engines gives Mangrove Cay fishermen much quicker access to distant flats, maximizing fishing time each day. These skiffs provide a ride that is quite dry and comfortable through all but the worst of conditions, and have an extremely quiet hull, which allows you to get closer to the fish without spooking them.
Our boats are equipped with the following for our guests' safety and convenience:
NEW for 2004!
Mangrove Cay Club has acquired a 26' powerboat made by Twin Vee Power Cat. It is a dual hulled launch, powered by twin 150 hp Yamaha engines. We chose this boat for its shallow draft and its safety, stability and comfort in rough seas.
Further equipment for Mangrove Cay guests includes:
Note: Equipment is loaned free of charge. However, there will be a $200 per rod fee and $100 per reel fee for damage to any equipment than needs to be returned to the manufacturers for repair.
The Mangrove Cay fly shop also has an excellent selection of tackle and supplies, but it is advised that anglers arrive with a good selection of flies, terminal tackle and items recommended on the equipment list provided in the pre-trip packages received upon booking.
The shop usually has the following in stock:
There is also a fly-tying table with material for guests to use.
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