Pussers Marina Cay
The Jewel in the Crown
by Jan Critchley
One of the Pusser's Outposts, described as the
Jewel in the Crown, is romantic Marina Cay – a small island with a big history. This eight-acre island is home to an eight-bedroom hotel, restaurant and bar that caters mainly to a sailing crowd and is the perfect setting for either lunch or dinner. Protected by a reef, it is a popular anchorage and there is good snorkeling and diving in the area. In season, resident pirate Eric Stone performs his show during happy hour where the audience gets more excited as the shots flow and the nautical songs and stories of pirating mayhem are the order of the night!
If you visit the island, you will notice in the restaurant many black and white pictures portraying a couple, Robb White and his wife Rodie who, from 1937 were the first inhabitants of the tiny island. They spent three years on the islet, hewing a cistern out of the rough, rocky land and building a small, house. White was recalled to military duty when World War II broke out where he flew as a pilot. At the same time he and Rodie lost Marina Cay as they were refused a license to hold the land. Rodie returned home to the US and after the war, they parted. Neither Robb nor Rodie ever returned to Marina Cay. As he wrote when he saw Rodie after returning from the Pacific,
…. she smelled like Marina Cay and sounded like Marina Cay and made me think, but only for a little while about the Marina Cay that had been and never could be again.
Today, the house Robb and Rodie built serves as a peaceful reading lounge and retreat at the top of the beautiful isle.
Their story is one that romance novels are made of, and in fact, their adventures are chronicled in the author's memoirs Privateer's Bay, Our Virgin Island and Two on the Isle. The most popular of the books, Our Virgin Island was made into a movie in 1958, called Virgin Island, starring Sydney Poitier and John Cassavetes. Later, Robb authored many more books and films including the well-known World War II drama, Torpedo Alley.