Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Farmers Cay.... we're back

Trying to exhibit some sense of discipline, we put off our snorkeling and stopped first at Black Point to do some laundry and get some work done online. We’ve done laundry in some less-than-clean places since we started out… so we were pretty happy to come across Rockside Laundry here. It’s by far the cleanest and most efficient we’ve seen yet. They have a dinghy dock right outside their back door so we didn’t have to lug everything a mile from the dinghy. And… we even got free extra drying time when their dryers didn’t dry everything the first time around. Yep… it’s the little things that count.

That's Saralane anchored out there
Work finished and discipline ebbing, we headed north to the southern end of Exuma Land and Sea Park to snorkel in a spot called the Sea Aquarium, which is best done at slack low tide. Thinking of the swimmer we picked up out of the strong current…. we waited out the tide on a pretty nearby beach where curly tailed lizards came right up to us and nipped at our feet to see if we might be edible. We weren’t.

From there we went south again and anchored at Big Majors Spot, just around the corner from Staniel Cay. There’s a grotto just off the tip of Staniel Cay called Thunderball Grotto where lots of movies have shot scenes. (hint…. “Bond, James Bond.”) We got there just past slack low tide and could already feel the tide against us as we swam into the grotto. It was a shallower snorkel than the aquarium and full of bright fish and coral. It wasn’t long before the current was too strong to swim against to get inside the grotto but we stayed and snorkeled around the outside rocks and watched the fish swishing back and forth in the current.

We hopped back in the dinghy and headed for the beach nearest the anchorage for a walk. Steve and Cindy had told us about the swimming pigs at Staniel Cay but we’d completely forgotten about them until we were close enough to the beach to see this… 

Big bold pigs! They weren’t aggressive but their size and the speed with which they approached us made them seem intimidating at first. They’re clearly accustomed to having people around and once they realized we didn’t have any treats for them, they lost interest in us.

We heard a little squeaky noise farther down the beach and stopped and waited until this little one came out for a quick peek at us. Cute!

Our aim was to be back in Farmers Cay for the annual regatta – traditional Bahamian sloops compete in two days of races and locals and visitors come from all over to watch. We arrived in time for the second day of racing; the weather was perfect and there was some spirited sailing and equally spirited drinking. We watched one race from the deck of Saralane and followed a second race in our dinghy. The sloops sailed several legs; downwind right through the fleet of sailboats anchored off the beach, round the mark and back upwind. They’re small, elegant, brightly painted boats and the crews climb up narrow planks of wood that they move from side to side to hold the windward side of the boat down. Here are a few of my favorite shots...

Steve was on the race committee, as he has been for several years, and he was given an award for his years of enthusiastic work on behalf of the regatta. 

Back at Steve and Cindy’s house we opened a bottle of “Fire in de Hole” ('Erotic Rum of the Bahamas' if we're to believe the label) to celebrate and watch the sun go down.  


Eliza said...

I can't believe you bought more Fire in the Hole! I thought we learned our lesson the first time. Yikes, I can feel the burn now!

Hope to skype with you guys soon.
Love, Lize

Leslie said...

Swimming pigs?! All that snorkling in the clear blue water and you post photos of swimming pigs? I expected a fish or two. And polka dotted swimming pigs at that. Kenna herra! (that's Yiddish for OMG!)


Sylvia said...

I love the pigs!

Tom said...

You may have another round of Fire in the Hole on me. Can you make it to Elbow Cay, Abacos? The Haut family will be there Feb 19 - 22nd seeking sunny beaches, glassy waves and warm tropical evenings.

Madeline said...

Hi all - Our access to the internet is pretty sketchy in Great Exuma... so apologies for the lag in blog posts. I'm working on one though!

The pigs were very funny - they acted a little like dogs. As for taking underwater photos.... that would be a little too much like WORK.

Tom - If we were farther north we'd love to meet up with you in the Abacos... but we're still heading south. Have a great time!

Lize - No more Fire in de Hole for us. I promise.