Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Here little piggy!

With only the northern end of the Exumas covered, we headed south for our next stop in Staniel Cay.  We dropped the anchor on the west side of Big Majors and dinghied over to Staniel Cay Yacht Club (somewhat of a misnomer as it’s more just a dock and a bar) to get online and wish my Mom a very happy birthday!  I went to dump the trash while Baxter tied the dinghy to the dock.  When I came back, he motioned for me to come out to the dinghy…Uh-oh – never a good thing.  When I looked in the water at the eight sharks currently swimming under the dock, my jaw dropped.  Completely a normal happenstance in Staniel Cay but I needed a moment to adjust. 

A few minutes after we sat down at a table, we met a couple who are friends of John Neal and Amanda Swan-Neal who we sailed with this summer in the South Pacific.  We also caught up with our friends Hutch and Linda on Sandcastle (who we met at our marina in New Bern).  We had a couple beers and our other friends on Sojourner walked in.  It was great to catch up with everyone and hear about the different islands they’d been to and their favorite spots (maybe we’ll catch those on our way back.)  It wasn’t only Baxter and Molly meeting up with friends, Kala got to play with a big chocolate lab named Kayla and they chased each other round and round, went swimming and played on the beach until they both had enough and were completely worn out.  When we got back to Stella Blue, Van from Gratitude (who we met in Marathon) stopped by in the dinghy to say hello and also gave Baxter a great gift of a spear from which he can make a Hawaiian sling.

The next day was for playing.  First, we went to Pig Beach where the wild pigs will swim out to your dinghy and ask for food.  When we arrived, pig #1 was walking on the beach.  We were slightly disappointed because we wanted to see them swim.  So, my brilliant husband says “Here piggy piggy piggy” and out he came, swimming about 100 yards right up to our bow.  And then out from the woods comes pig #2, #3, and #4 all just swimming around!  If we didn’t have pictures, you probably wouldn’t believe us. 

Next on the list, stopping at a local grocery store.  I had read they didn’t have much since they stock up on the boat that comes from Nassau on Wednesday and it was Monday, but we gave it a shot.  They had the major necessities like Ramen noodles, Pringles, and an ice cream cone we could eat before we got back to the dinghy.  In all seriousness, my grocery shopping would just have to wait a few days until we get to the big “city” in Georgetown. 

Back to the fun….Staniel Cay is also home to Thunderball Grotto (where the James Bond movie of the same name was filmed.)  We gathered our snorkeling gear and moored the dinghy and over the side we went.  We also took a bag of corn to feed the fish as everyone suggested it was a good idea.  Those fish know you are bringing them food and they are not shy about asking for it – talk about a school of fish.  It was like attack of the hungry nemo’s.  The reefs in the grotto were beautiful and the light coming through the underwater caves was a unique and incredible experience. 

With the wildlife encounters and provisioning (or lack thereof), we said goodbye to Staniel Cay and made plans to keep heading south the next day.  

Diving the anchor to make sure it's set - while Kala gives direction.
All set - just like we like it.

Three of eight sharks at the dinghy dock.  Yes, that is our dinghy.

Entrance to Thunderball grotto.

Feeding the fish.
Snorkeling off the dinghy is the best.

Underwater view of entrance to Thunderball grotto.

Thunderball grotto - the lights are other cave entrances.

My attempt at island cuisine - ham with plantains, apples, ginger, and garlic.

The locals at Pig Beach.

Touring Staniel Cay in the dinghy.

Staniel Cay grocery/hardware/gift store.

Kala is a sucker for sunrises.

Sunset on Big Majors.

Such a great life.

1 comment:

  1. Those are some BIG sharks! Did you guys wait a little while for them to pass before you jumped in? Beautiful pics!
    Plz tell Baxter that I watched the entire Mitt Romney video you have posted here. Wow. I didn't know anything about that. Sounds similar to FL Gov. Rick Scott, who was elected (as you know).