Half Moon Cay is a lush 9.2-acre island in the Western Caribbean. It is part of the Bay Islands, which lie about 30 miles off the north coast of Honduras. Honduras is the second largest of the Central American Republics and has a democratically elected government. Though Honduras is primarily Spanish speaking, the Bay Islands were British until 1861, and English is still spoken in all the islands.
There are three main islands in the Bay Islands. Starting form the west they are Utila, Roatan, and Guanaja. Guanaja has historically also been called Bonacca. Half Moon Cay (also a historical name) is one of thirteen small islands called Cays - pronounced "keys" - which lie a mile off the southeast coast of Guanaja. Guanaja is nine miles long and about five miles wide. There are high peaks all over the island with the highest being 1361 feet. There are no roads on Guanaja and all travel is done by boat.
Guanaja has long been a destination for knowledgeable travelers. It lies on the second longest barrier reef in the world, and there are over 50 world-class dive sites dotted along its shores. Numerous saltwater flats are found in the area, and fishermen come from all over the world to catch bonefish and permit. The 100-fathom curve is just two miles offshore where marlin, wahoo, tuna, dorado and other pelagic game fish can be caught. All of these attractions are just minutes from Half Moon Cay, and wonderful snorkeling surrounds the Cay itself.
Guanaja is relatively undiscovered and undeveloped. Telephones and municipal electricity have only become available to the general population during the last ten years. Tourism remains confined to a relatively small number of visitors each year. Despite that, there are about six flights a day into the paved local airport, and these connect with the international flights of American Airlines, Continental, TACA, and LACSA.
The vast majority of the population makes its living, directly or indirectly, from shrimping, lobstering, and fishing. The population of 7,000 is spread between three main areas - Bonacca Town, Savannah Bight, and Mangrove Bight. There are stores, churches, schools, restaurants and bars in each of the settlements. Bonacca Town has the "largest" stores (envision 1940's style general stores), which carry a surprising array of US goods. These goods come in on ships, which take seafood products up to Tampa and Miami and return with necessities and luxuries for the island.
Half Moon Cay is one of the most beautiful Cays (small islands) in the Caribbean. As part of the Bay Islands of Honduras, it is 9.2 acres of white sand beaches, towering coconut palms and crystal clear water. It is a complete complex of three furnished homes, dock, boats, storage facilities, and utilities.
Half Moon Cay provides privacy and seclusion, yet is, and has been, the site for many wonderful social events. The nearest neighbor (there is only one) lives one half mile away on another Cay. The homes are hidden from view of the infrequent boat that passes by.
Despite this wonderful seclusion, a paved airport on the island of Guanaja is only three miles away. To the East our nearest neighbor is Guadeloupe - 1500 Caribbean miles away. Still, Honduras is about a 2 hour flight from Houston, New Orleans, and Miami.
The homes and other structures on the property were carefully conceived, designed and built to excellent United States standards. The finest materials were chosen, and famous Honduran mahogany was used extensively.
With an average rainfall of 100 inches a year, unlike other areas in the Caribbean water is rarely a problem. The tropical rains also contribute to the natural lushness of the area. There is even a large waterfall on Guanaja. The average high temperature in August is 87 degrees and in February it is 81 degrees... Never very hot or very cold.
The people in the community are very friendly, and most speak English as their first language. Many, maybe most, have family in the United States.
Guanaja is quite hilly, with one peak rising to almost 1400 feet. This provides a lovely backdrop for Half Moon Cay, which has the highest elevation of any of the Cays.
Besides being naturally gorgeous, the area is replete with sporting opportunities. SCUBA diving, snorkeling, beach lounging, hiking, deep sea fishing, and reef and flats fishing are some of the activities that bring visitors to Guanaja.
The main families of Guanaja are descended from Scottish and English settlers who moved to the islands from the Bahamas and the Caymans in the early 1800's. African Caribs also began moving to the island in the 1800's along with a few people of Spanish/Indian origin. Today the population is a delightful mix of individuals who speak a distinctive English/Caribbean patois. In addition to the native islanders, there are over 100 other individuals from the US, Germany, Italy, Canada and other countries who now make Guanaja their permanent home.
The climate in the Bay Islands is ideal. Prevailing ocean breezes keep the temperature comfortable the year around. The temperature is generally in the low 80's, only occasionally getting in to the high 80's during August and September. Usually two or three cold fronts make their way down from the US each year. These last three to four days and sometimes drop temperatures into the high 60's. The average rainfall is 100 inches a year. This is much more precipitation than some other parts of the Caribbean receive, and insures that the islands stay lush and green.