STANIEL CAY ISLAND’S SWIMMING PIGS.
Swimming pigs of Staniel Cay are a huge local attraction.
On day II of our adventure we visited this unique environment, that was caused by humans, but ended up becoming a sanctuary for these animals.
Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, and consists of over 360 islands. We visited about 5 and were blown away by the vast variety of amazing magical places. You can ready about my Day I here. The day was filled with amazing flying in a private plane of my friend Nicholas’, with a drop in a fly-inn community in Florida and some petting of wild sharks on Spanish Cay.
Day II on Staniel Cay started with.. no plan. At this point we had joined together with the rest of the group, that flew in on 2 more planes. We were tying to decide what to do and how to do it and with a little bit of rain-dance and a little bit of praying we were finally in a boat, on our way to the Pig Beach (also known as Pig Island, Major Cay, and officially Big Major Cay is an uninhabited island (or cay) located in Exuma, the Bahamas, and known for being populated by many swimming feral pigs. I remembered that I had read about these creatures somewhere a while ago and had no idea this was going to happen to me now. I always assumed this was somewhere in Asia.
The pigs are said to have been dropped off on Big Major Cay by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them. The sailors, though, never returned; the pigs survived on excess food dumped from passing ships. Another legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore, while another claims that the pigs had escaped from a nearby islet. Others suggest that the pigs were part of a business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas. I tend to believe in the last version.
The pigs are now fed by locals and tourists and the island is unofficially known as Pig Beach by the locals.
While incredibly cute, these beasts will clime into your boat and steal the food, unless you are careful, so if you decide to feed them, pls don’t wave with food and then cream and hold back the goodies when snorting beasts start gladly getting out of the water and into your lap. In those pigs’ world that’s an invitation to a private party. Also, do not turn your back to them, they are wild and will see this as a sign of fear. They also will bite you if you are seem threatening.
However, most of them are too fat to bother. Caviar sandwiches and goose liver patee leftovers from the private yachts that come to visit are more than enough to keep the pigs calorie intake at the maximum all day long, so they spend the rest of their free time swimming from boat to boat, making friends.
The little ones are the best. They let you come close and pet them. They scoff around people trying to pick up whatever leftovers they can, before the big guys get it.
See anything strange with this picture?
Here’s our stranded captain, Nicholas. By the way, I didn’t tell you about Nicholas success story, talk about living a dream! Nicholas developed a pretty genius piece of software called Copy2Contact, that stores all of your incoming emails contact information, down to the address and phone number, and keeps it in am address book, so that you never have to worry about saving info. http://www.copy2contact.com/ Copy2Contact works with: Outlook, Salesforce.com, Gmail/Calendar, BlackBerry, iPhone, and more…
So, when this took off, Nicholas pursued his passion as a DJ and now is a DJ with one of the biggest party promotion companies in NYC – I Feel. You can listen to Nicholas on SoundCloud for free. And if you are in New York, join us for a party on Saturday, April 25th, at Tribeca Grand Studios (Tribeca Grand Hotel Entrance)! I’d be great to see you, so I hope you come!
Also, on the same day we visited the famous underwater cave that was featured in the 1980’s James Bond movie Thunderball (1965) which is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery. The film had a complex production, with four different units and about a quarter of the film consisting of underwater scenes. Thunderball was the first Bond film shot in widescreen Panavision and the first to have over a two-hour running time. Pretty big one on many levels for 1965. The island still heavily promotes the historical event and even throws an annual James Bond themed party, that we managed to stumble upon when we were there. It was … not my cup of tea, if you are wondering, but being completely spoiled by the party scene in NY, I do have very high standards when it comes to sacrificing my beauty sleep. After 5 minutes there, me and my friend decided to bike around the island instead.
As for the cave.
The cave itself is magnificent and is definitely worth the scarey underwater dive- the only way to get into it at high tide. We lucked out, the tide was down, so we didn’t have to go under water to get into the main cave, however we still dove around into different sectors of the cave and even submerged from under the opposite side. Strange thing to consider – if you are leaving the cave from inside out via underwater dive, make sure you don’t have to go back, because light reflects back from the outside inn and what seemed like a white tunnel of light on the way out of the cave, will appear pitch black once you look back from the outside and inn.
Hat- Albertus Svanepoel
Sunglasses – Oliver’s People
A medium size motor boat will cost you about $250 a day and will seat about 12 comfortably.
I highly recommend spending your money on Staniel Cay on various experiences in the nature rather than bars and night life. If you are from a relatively civilized place in the world, bar scene might seem dull to you. If you want to be adventurous and really get to know the locals, get a bike and go exploring the local scene. Make some friends.
As we biked back home from the party, past the hair salon on someone’s stoop with an old boombox blasting local tunes, past the four domino playing males, making oud sounds as they smashed the dice onto the table and past the local cat, waiting patiently by the door, looking into the light, I thought to myself how crazy it is, that from millions of people in the world, we pick those with whom we can share moments like these with. We scout each other out and form small armies where we grow roots. And then we just create adventure after adventure together. One better than the other. Arms wide open to life, embracing the uncertainty, not having an itinerary.
TO BE CONTINUED…