Guanaja, taken from the CIA satellite stationed directly overhead
When MSNBC published this picture, we were all tickled down here. We knew that the U.S. government had a "bird" hovering above us - we just didn't think they'd ever admit it. But they recently released this low-resolution image, probably because it's such a neat shot. We know that they're capable of seeing things as small as a license plate on a car - they've admitted that. Heck, GoogleEarth now has public-domain pictures that are of such fine resolution that you can see individual houses and cars!
In a way, it's kind of spooky, realizing that the government is watching over us so closely. There are days when I'm laying out naked on our beach (when there are no guests and the caretaker and his kids are gone, of course) and I look up and think, "Getting a good shot of my ass, guys?" (I am a prude - I only lay out face-down, thank you very much.)
What I like about the above picture is that it provides an overview of our island that I have not yet been able. You can clearly see the coral reef that rings the entire island.
It seems to me that Guanaja was once three separate islands. Over time, they filled in to the one more or less contiguous mass we have today.
Notes: #4 Bayman Bay and #10 Posada del Sol are closed - for now.
About half of Guanaja's 12,000 people live in Bonacca Town (#1 "the Cay") and in the small adjacent town of Pelican (not shown).
There were two airports in the low lands. In 1998 Hurricane Mitch parked itself over Guanaja for three days and just about obliterated the place. Virtually every structure in the town of Mangrove Bight (#7) was literally blown away. Those permanently displaced camped wherever they could. A big, flat dirt runway in the are between Savannah Bight (#9) and Mangrove Bight was a pretty good place, and many homesteaded there. The town of Mitch (#17) sprang up there and was named in honor of its origin. A semi-paved road connects the three towns.
There are a number of, ahhh, establishments on the island's north side. I've written about Bo's Island House (#5) before. Just down the beach is End Of The World (#8) which is right by Michael's Rock (#18). Rumors abound about Bayman Bay - maybe it will, maybe it won't. Keep heading west past the airport (#2) and canal (#14) and you'll get to the West Peak Inn (#3). But that end of the island is not hooked into the power grid, so staying there would probably be "rustic" (unless they run their generator 24/7).
Back on the south side, there's Manati (#11) and Graham's Place (#15).
And now, to answer the age-old question: WHERE THE HELL IS GUANAJA?
I've put in a little pointer, just in case a gnat or a flea has landed on your computer screen thereby covering up our island.
Guanaja is a strange place...a small, undiscovered, undeveloped, unspoiled gem in the western Caribbean. It's amazing how close we are to the United States...and at the same time how very far away.