There are a lot of tourist draws in the Bahamas - snorkeling, walks on the beach, swimming and pigs. Yes, pigs. The famous swimming pigs at Big Major's Spot in the Exumas. It's one of those things that you're supposed to tick off of the list. And since we were anchored right off of Pig Beach, it seemed like we should do what everyone else does and feed the swimming pigs.
To be honest, I didn't expect too much, especially after we had seen their lesser-known cousins, the non-swimming pigs at No Name Cay in the Abacos, a couple of years ago. Those pigs were kind of disappointing. So disappointing that my post from our visit to No Name Cay focuses more on wearing a toaster on my head than the pigs. Yes, you read that right. I wore a toaster on my head. Strange, but true.
Good thing I didn't expect much because visiting the swimming pigs was just okay. They are cute though. You have to give them that. And they do like carrots. I like carrots too. So we have that in common.
It wasn't all pigs while we were at Big Major's Spot. There was also ice cream, rum, socializing and snorkeling.
The snorkeling at the famous Thunderball Grotto (remember that James Bond movie?) was kind of a letdown (way too many people there), a bit like the pigs, but the ice cream, rum and socializing didn't disappoint.
So if you find yourself in the area and want some ice cream, rum and socializing, here's how you go about it.
Get in your dinghy, head over to the neighboring island of Staniel Cay and dock at the Isles Grocery Store. Check out the price of hot dog buns. Put the hot dog buns back down. Buy a Klondike Bar instead.
Smile nicely at the owner and ask if you can leave your dinghy at the dock while you explore the rest of the town. She knows and you know that what you're really planning on doing is checking out the competition to see if anyone has a better price on hot dog buns. She reluctantly says yes.
Remind yourself for the millionth time not to walk in front of Scott because he keeps taking pictures of you wearing that ridiculously bright dry bag.
I bet it'd be fun to drive one of these.
Check out prices at the blue store and the pink store. Yes, the two other stores in town are called the blue store and the pink store. It might have something to do with what color they're painted. Just a guess. We bought cheese at the pink store and eggs and milk at the blue store. And yes, we went back to the Isles Grocery Store and bought hot dog buns there.
I don't know why we don't have pictures of the blue and pink stores. But we do have pictures of people's laundry. It's colorful, just like the houses.
Next stop, the combination laundromat and wholesale liquor store. Makes sense to stock up on booze while you're doing your wash. This is where the rum comes in. A very overpriced bottle of rum. I guess by wholesale prices, they really mean over-inflated prices that rich tourists and desperate sailors will pay.
Now you know how to get ice cream and rum at Staniel Cay. If you want to find socializing, you'll have to dinghy back to Big Major's Spot and head over to Pirate Beach. It's easy to spot with all of the decorations that cruisers have left. Folks get together here for sundowners. I think it will be easy to figure out what we drank that night - yep, rum.
Cruising Log | Friday, 9 June 2017 – Sunday, 11 June 2017
Anchor up at 8:00 AM at Bell Island. Motored into wind, waves and tide. Very choppy. Then turned towards Sandy Cay and put the headsail out. Checked out west side of Big Majors, but really choppy, so went to east side. Anchor down at 12:20 PM. Very crowded anchorage. Hung out there for a while. Another Indiantown boat, S/V Teho, came by in their dinghy to say hi. When the wind switched, moved over to west side of Big Majors and anchored near Pig Beach at 5:00 PM. Nautical miles = 20. Engine = 5 hours 15 mins. Spending = Nil.
Dinghied over to Staniel Cay. Split a Klondike bar at Isles Grocery Store. Yum! Walked into town and checked out the other two grocery stores, the combination laundromat/liquor store and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Went to Thunderball Grotto. Way too crowded and a bit of a letdown. Headed back to Staniel Cay and got provisions. Had sundowners in the cockpit and watched all of the punters at Pig Beach. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = $51.45 (groceries and rum).
Went and fed the piggies in the morning. The little ones were especially cute. Did some cleaning and a temporary fix to the bimini with giant safety pins. Went for sundowners at Pirate's Beach with other cruisers in the anchorage. Fun evening. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine hours = Nil. Spending = Nil.
Have you ever fed pigs (swimming or non-swimming)? Do you like carrots? Ever bought liquor at a laundromat?
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