Yes, not only can pigs fly, they can also swim!
The boys had been very eager to see the swimming pigs which are found on a couple of Cays in the Bahamas. More famous are the pigs at Staniel Cay in the Exuma’s group of islands, however our next destination was to visit the swimming pigs at the uninhabited island of No Name Cay, just south of Green Turtle Cay.
There are about 20 pigs on the island, rumour has it that they were left there by someone to create a tourist attraction in the area. This has been very successful, as during our visit, and the next morning when we returned to have another play with the pigs, we saw no less than about 20 boats visit, some individual yachts but mostly tourist boats with up to 20 or so on board, all bearing food scraps.
We were very lucky to have timed our first visit with a local who has been voluntarily looking after the pigs for the last 3 years. Craig Russell (also known as “The Pig Whisperer”) visits twice a week bringing fresh food and water as needed.
The pigs were very content when we arrived, having just made short work of a few buckets of food, and were very happy for us to pat and cuddle. Ben’s favourite was Thomas the pig, who loved a good belly scratch.
Before we had arrived, the boys were very keen to keep one of the pigs on the boat, thankfully this idea was not taken up when we finally departed after about an hour on the island.
We then headed up to Green Turtle Cay, which is a beautiful enclosed anchorage on a nearby island. Unfortunately, we had to abort our attempt to enter the anchorage as the water depth was too shallow for us to enter and we grounded just at the entrance. After a couple of shuffles forward and back we floated off and headed around the corner to another pretty bay, where we had an afternoon swim and play on the beach before a beautiful sunset and dinner. This was to be our most northern destination of our trip.
The following day we made a quick visit to the pigs on our way south heading to a famous, very colourful pub (Nippers) for dinner that night for, which was,rather coincidentally, a pig roast. As it turns out, the roast was on the lunch menu, which I was quite happy about as after having spent the last 2 days enjoying the company of these very intelligent beasts I didn’t feel quite right about having them for supper!
Nippers is on the Atlantic side of Grand Guana Cay, and is a very colourful bar with pool and many levels of drinking areas, overlooking the ocean. When we arrived, which was around 5pm there were still many of those who’d arrived for lunch and were still dancing and weaving about after a day of Bahamian Rum Punch! Apparently, it can get wild at times, although those that were left seemed pretty mellow to me. After a large rum punch on the top deck we had a nice dinner at the restaurant and met our first fellow sailors with kids. It was nice for the kids to be able to have a chat with someone their own age as it had been ages since we’d crossed paths anyone younger than 40!