After leaving Norman's Cay, we chose to go to Staniel Cay to re-provision so that we had fresh produce when going to Warderick Wells. Since we wouldn't have an option to fish there, we were desperate to get some fresh meat and vegetables. We anchored out off of Big Major's Cay. Of all of the anchorages, this was the easiest approach as it was literally a matter of pulling up to the island. This stop was a nice retreat and it was our first dose of civilization in 10 days. Staniel Cay is one of the bigger communities in the Exumas, and it was great to be able to go to stores and see other lifeforms besides Frank and Ashley. Upon arrival, we went straight to see the pigs. We had heard about these infamous swimming pigs that farmers let loose on the beach. It's a nice deal for the farmers because the pigs get fed by cruisers, and in turn, they don't have to pay for feed. They were a rambunctious bunch and were unafraid to approach. At one point, one of the pigs tried to climb aboard our dinghy and we had to back away so that its hooves wouldn't puncture our inflatable.
We ended up staying here for close to a week, just relaxing and getting our stores back up. We even visited the Staniel Cay yacht club and enjoyed the site of 20 or so nurse sharks getting fed right outside the club. The guy feeding them would bang this stick on the dock, signifying to the sharks that food was on its way. It was so cool seeing them gather and swarm the dock. Frank and Ashley jumped in with them, but I couldn't because I didn't have my swimsuit on…:( though it did allow me to take photos of this fanciful sight. The club itself was a nice excursion because it provided us the opportunity to socialize and feel less like characters out of The Lord of the Flies. We bumped into our friends from St Augustine that had left about 2 years ago to go cruising and were actually on their way back to Oasis Boatyard. Imagine my surprise when I hear, "Hey Yu!" coming from across the bar. They were anchored out beside us and had noticed Moitessier, but didn't believe that it was us until Paula saw me climbing into our dinghy. Small world…
We spent the rest of our days going out snorkeling and spearfishing on this really awesome reef. We were even able to get Uni, which is my absolute favorite food! Uni is basically the gonads of sea urchin. It is an extremely expensive Japanese delicacy, and at most sushi places, you won't get away with paying less than $8 for 3 bite-fuls of this delightful treat. Frank was able to spear a couple of small snapper during each hunt, and dinner was fresh fish nearly every evening. We even visited Thunderball Grotto, which was an awesome cave dive. You have to go during slack low tide as entering the cave requires ducking under water and popping up inside. The currents here tend to be strong and you must be a strong swimmer if you're not entering during slack tide. This was a really cool dive and I wish we got to spend more time alone as when we were there a huge group of tourists came and disrupted the peace in the cave. Definitely a must see, with tons of fish that are not shy about getting fed. Be careful of the red fire coral though as those were plentiful in the bottom of the cave. The reef around Thunderball Grotto is also extremely gorgeous as well, and worth checking out.
|Ashley learning to dive|
|Reef right outside Thunderball Grotto|