Great Guana Cay, Staniel Cay and Big Majors Spot

Wednesday afternoon the weather brightened considerably but we thought we’d better stay on board just in case, so we watched another movie.     The evening was still so the mossies came out to feast but we enjoyed the stormy sunset before heading down below to escape the bugs… Stormy sunsetDuring the night we had another thunderstorm that passed five miles away from us and ran out into the Atlantic ocean – but we did get rain and wind effects up to 30 knots – although nothing to worry about after the last few days.   But another broken night’s sleep….. yawn……

Thursday morning and the difference was impressive – looks like the bad weather has finally moved away – the sun was out and boats were on the move. We decided to stay put and let them all move around and we’ll take it more leisurely on Friday.  What a difference a day makes – although the town dock had got smashed up a bit….

The morning after the storm Town dock damage

We went ashore to the laundry – voted the best in the Bahamas and I can definitely see why! – I had a haircut while Richard caught up with the internet. While in there we met some cruisers who had sat out the storm in Staniel Cay – a few miles away – and had registered 70 knots on their windex.  More bragging rights LOL?  Oh yes, and we had a fly past of some old military aircraft – not sure what was going on – but perhaps heading to Nassau for the regatta???

Fly past

Thursday afternoon we went to a little sandy alcove and went bobbing in the crystal clear water – using dink as a floating bar…. Really enjoyed chilling out after the event of the last few days and today’s bit of excitement was a small shark circling us whilst we were bobbing!   Funny thing is we didn’t pay him any attention and he got bored and swam away….

Time for bobbing Bobbing selfie Dink the floating bar

Back on board and we enjoyed a spectacular sunset before having an early night.

Black point sunset

Friday morning we were up early, listened to the weather, and yay – looks like we are in the clear. The storm has got a name – Ana – and is heading to the east coast of the US…. and we have settled weather here for a while now, allegedly. We picked up anchor and motored – in no wind whatsoever – the nine miles to Staniel Cay across the shallows of the Exuma Bank. We managed to anchor behind some large rocks / cayos away from the main channel, behind a sand bank and opposite the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.

View from the bow Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Going ashore we parked dink in the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and admired the clarity of the water – the sting ray (missing a tail) looks like he is on land rather than in four feet of water.   Dink has a shark and ray security patrol to keep an eye on him while we headed off into the settlement.

Sting ray without tail Shark Watching dink

We wandered around and picked up some provisions – horrified by the prices!  Then we went into Staniel Cay Yacht Club for a look around.   Was quite a nice place but not what we were expecting – although the air conditioned restaurant looked really nice, so we booked to return later for dinner having pre-ordered our food.

Beer at Staniel Cay

Back on board quickly and we got into our swimmers and headed off in dink to the natural grotto which is famous for its inclusion in the James Bond Thunderball movie – and is now called the Thunderball Grotto.   We anchored dink and found the entrance into the caves. We are on a falling tide – but not quite slack – so a little bit of a current running through. Inside it is spectacular with holes above you giving rays of sunlight where coral can be found growing beneath.   There are loads of fish waiting to be fed – we didn’t bring anything, so they lost interest pretty quickly.   We thoroughly enjoyed our snorkelling adventure.

Snorkelling 7 Inside Thunderball Grotto Snorkelling 1 Inside Thunderball Grotto 2 Snorkelling 2 Inside Thunderball Grotto 3 Snorkelling 3 Inside Thunderball GRotto 4 Snorkelling 4 Inside Thunderball Grotto 5 Snorkelling 5 Snorkelling 6

Back on board for a quick shower – amazed by a 60 foot English Oyster yacht who struggled to anchor in this softest, easiest spot we’ve ever been in.   How embarrassing darling!!!   After five attempts they got it…..

Back out to town and into the restaurant.   The entrée price included soup, salad, main course (which we’ve chosen) and a desert.   We were seated, we got our wine and water, and then we people watched.   The soup turned up pretty quickly – bean flavoured – not my favourite, but Richard enjoyed it. Then the salad and then we waited….and waited……and waited.   Everyone – bar one other couple had their mains – in fact some of them were on their deserts by now. We asked – and finally we got our dinner. Was very tasty and well cooked – but slightly ruined by everyone paying bills, leaving the restaurant, and them clearing Richard’s plates and the rest of our table while I’m still eating…… Our key lime pie desert followed about as quickly as could be – and we were eating this while the staff were cleaning tables and laying up for the next sitting all around us.   All a bit school dinnerish in terms of service and not quite the fine dining experience we had been expecting!!!!   Never mind – was a lovely treat.

Dinner at Staniel Cay

Saturday morning and we picked up anchor – having done numerous 180s in the night in the strong currents – and moved around the corner a couple of miles to anchor off the beach at Big Majors Spot.   This is commonly known as ‘Piggy Beach’ as there are wild pigs living here, famous for their swimming skills…..   We watched the pigs – and the tourists who turn up regularly to feed them – through the binoculars.   Sooo funny……   Oh yes and we met the crew from Agua Therapy who are friends of Evensong who came by to say hi – small world eh???    We waited until all the boats had left the beach and went over to meet the pigs. They swim out to you as you dink up – and are quite keen to see what food is on offer.   I gave the first pig a cabbage leaf and he spat it out.   Hmmmm…..obviously overfed!!! Doesn’t he know how expensive cabbage is here???!!!??? Then he picked it up and ate it and came back for more. The mango skins and cabbages were the favourite – not so keen on onion and pepper peelings LOL.

Swimming pigs 2 Swimming pigs 3 Swimming pigs 4 Swimming pigs 5 Swimming pigs 6 Swimming pigs 7

Saturday night we spent on board having bobbed for a little while on the transom before the sun went down.   Had been a really good day.

Sunday morning – today – and we’re up early and looking at charts.  We’ve decided to stay here today and get back into the routine – boat jobs in the morning, fun in the afternoon. Today’s fun is going to be beach bobbing again….but not with the pigs….  Tomorrow we are going to be moving on to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.   We’re hoping to visit a number of anchorages along the way to explore….. Not sure if we can get internet for a while after today as many of the islands are uninhabited and are unlikely to have a BTC tower…. So please be patient.

Bye for now