Swing Set

Jun 13, 201307:27 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Swimming with the Pigs

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We didn't waste any time arranging to have our new credit cards sent to Staniel Cay Yacht Club via Watermakers Air from St. Brendans Isle, our mail forwarding service. The staff at Staniel Cay was very helpful, even though we aren't staying at the marina, but are on the hook just off of Big Majors Spot, an island just across from Staniel Cay.

We also showed up with two small trash bags, and as we were pulling up on the very nice dinghy landing at Staniel Cay Yacht Club, we ran into one of the crew on a sailboat that we keep bumping into. Nick has been traveling with his girlfriend and two other girls on their sailboat from Michigan. They've been waving at each stop, and we briefly talked to one of the girls back in Wardrick Wells, but this was the first time we actually had a conversation. He gave us some tips about the lay of the land, one of them about the place to put our trash bags for no charge. I told him that I'd probably pay anyway, and he said, "Probably better...makes for good karma." That's something I totally agree with.

The next morning, we went back to Staniel Cay to check out the town, what there is of it. There are three small grocery stores, one of them that has a small selection of marine supplies. A gallon of marine diesel was $35. Good thing we don't need any right now.

We found the BTC office and went in to talk to a nice woman there who said for us to come back the next day after 1 p.m. and she would gladly load up another month's worth of data transfer on the iPad. We're glad we popped in to ask. We would've shown up at the time the store opens at 9 a.m. , but she wasn't going to be there.

The three grocery stores had no bread, and we were told by each of them that no bread could be had, but I asked about the sign on the road nearby that advertised "bread." We were told that those folks were only taking orders for the next day, having none left for today. I've learned to never trust what I hear, but to find out for myself.

We knocked on a wooden door on a seemingly private home that had a small sign on it, barely legible, about having bread there. We were told by someone inside that we should "come on in," but the door had no handle or knob. I grabbed a hold of the edge of the door and pulled it open, and the smell just about knocked us over. I should say aroma, because the door opened on a very small kitchen where one girl was kneading dough at a small table, another woman was pulling big fresh loaves of white bread from a small homestyle oven and another young man was standing by waiting for orders.

"I was told that we could order some bread for tomorrow," I said.

"You can have fresh bread right now, if you want it," said the woman who was piling the hot loaves on a nearby counter.

"Even better."

The girl kneading the dough was now rolling it out but never said a word as the young man took our $12 for two loaves of the freshest, best-tasting bread you'll ever find and placed them in a plastic bag after wrapping them in paper towels.

"When you get these back to your boat, you put them out to cool," we were warned by the older woman.

With a promise to follow orders, we walked back to the dinghy after stopping to make dinner reservations for that evening at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. We hurried back to Swing Set to make sandwiches for lunch. Delicious.

The skies were overcast, so after lunch, some book reading and an eventual nap was in order. Then, we gathered a few items and headed out in the dinghy for more exploring.

We circled Big Major and arrived at "the Grotto," a small cay just off from Staniel Cay where there's a popular snorkeling spot, because one can snorkel underwater to a cave. The cave has holes in the roof, so there's lots of light, and there's plenty of fish and coral to see. A scene from the movie "Thunderball" was filmed there about 50 years ago. I was impressed. Rosie didn't bring her mask and fins with her, but we're going back as soon as we can, perhaps on a nicer day.

Some folks from a large yacht anchored near us had arrived in a very nice dinghy and were leaving as we were. The dinghy wasn't running right, and they were apparently from Spain, or South America, but I let them know that we could tow them back if they couldn't get their dinghy running. They were appreciative, and we watched as the driver fiddled with the jet-driven dinghy. After watching them a minute, I told them I thought they had something stuck in the pump. Sure enough, the driver put the dinghy in reverse and expelled some fratis or other from the jet pump, and away they went after giving us a thumbs up and plenty of smiles.

Everyone has heard of "swimming with the fishes," but at Big Majors Spot, you can swim with the pigs. Even though another dinghy with some folks were already on the beach, two of these monsters made a bee-line toward our dinghy. They'll try to climb in if you let them, but our dinghy only has a capacity of a few hundred pounds. These porkers probably weigh 500 pounds each.

The two couples in the other dinghy were feeding the pigs and otherwise having a close encounter with them. One guy asked me if I wanted to feed one, and I said that other than at the end of a fork, this was as close as I'd ever been to a pig, and I didn't see a need to feed one. They'll eat fingers too.

The two couples were from a megayacht anchored just off the beach like everyone else. One of the girls could've been a model. She looked like Kate Hudson, only with more curves. I would've loved to take a picture for our blog readers back home who appreciate such things, but I think taking pictures of pretty girls that you don't know is creepy. The picture of the blond pig above will have to do.

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