February 16, 2018
From Exuma Park, we decided to go to Staniel Cay. There were two possible routes, in Exuma Sound (to the East) with big waves, and salt spray in our faces, or on the banks (to the West) with tiny waves. We took the latter route in subdued winds making between 2 and 5 knots on a close reach. This was a fairly easy sail with no difficult navigation. We anchored in the early afternoon in 6 feet of water near the SCYC (Staniel Cay Yacht Club). On shore to look around and get our bearings, and get a tourist map from the SCYC where we also had dinner. Back to the boat.
Saturday: Did laundry and visited the three food stores. We snorkeled in Thunderball Grotto, where the James Bond movie was filmed. We got there with the help (and dinghy) of our friends, Wayne and Brenda, from Caribbean Dream. Saturday night was a fundraiser dinner at the government dock, attended by cruisers and locals. Steak dinner with lots of fixings: $15. Yum!
Sunday: spent the whole day on the boat, reading about the Southern Bahamas, Turks and Cacaos, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, and the various techniques for getting from one to the next. We moved the boat about 50 yards to give us more depth for the coming wind.
Monday: listened to Chris Parker tell us the good news that, starting next week, the strong easterly trade winds should let up for a week, likely for a month, letting all us cruisers head East and South again. Yippee!
We watched folks pet, and feed squid by hand, to 20 nurse sharks at the yacht club. In the afternoon, we moved about two miles to Big Majors Spot, where there is better protection from the wind, forecast to gust up to 30 knots for the next few days.
This is also where there is a beach where pigs roam the surf, looking for handouts. We went ashore, and fed them some carrots, old grapes, and our brussel sprout trimmings from last night’s dinner. They are fairly competitive with one another, and one started to climb into the dinghy before we were firmly on hard sand. Fortunately, I had an oar handy to prod her back into the water.
There is a commercially driven name-creep down here. Before the movie, the grotto was called “The Grotto”, and before the pigs, who knows what the name of the bay was, but now they are Thunderball Grotto and Bay of Pigs, printed right there on the charts.