You might ask what do all three of these have in common, well it is they are all hear at Staniel Cay in the Exumas and we have been swimming with/near all of them.  Now I am not sure which is more dangerous to swim with, the nurse shark who really is very gentle of the pigs who really are looking for free food and you just might get in their way of it.  The Thunder ball Grotto, a cave, is a hollowed-out island where James Bond movies "Thunderball" and "Never Say Never Again" as well as "Splash" were filmed was not all that scary.

We have been slowly making our way south through the many Exumas islands, which consists of over 360 cays (islands).  You can not walk on all of them, the approach is too tough, you can not find way to climb on to them, or they are private.  Several rich folks have been able to buy the entire island so they are some what off limits for us cruisers.  That's ok because there are more than enough public islands for us to anchor by and play on.  The Exumas also have a National Park on several of the islands so fishing and taking conchs are off limits.  We had our first conch salad and fritters the other day, a bit flavorless but you could not beat the adventure of hunting, cleaning, and then the other
Dean outside Thunderball cave - much more impressive inside
boat prepared them.  Ok so the hunting just involves snorkeling around looking for ones that have a curled lip, that means they are big enough to keep.

Dean tried making white bread the other day.  No matter how many loaves you buy in the US you are bound to run out some time.  Making bread really is not that hard but if the yeast gets too warm in this nice sunshine, they really don't rise up all that well.

While in the Exuma park we snorkeled on some nice caves, one with stalagmites and stalactites.  We were able to snorkel in one, and climb out onto "dry" land inside which was cool. 

We also went and put our boat name marker on BooBoo Hill which is known by cruisers.  If you pass by, you make a marker out of driftwood and leave it on the hill.

On the same hill, were some blow holes, which sent up quite a gust of air, Kris and Derek were able to cool off quite a bit by standing by the holes.

As to the pigs, none of us swam with them.  They are quite large and aggressive if they think there is food for them - which they always think.  They must be upwards of 600 lbs, and have large cloven hooves, which could do some real damage if they decided you had food.  They swim fast as well - can you tell that I am suggesting that swimming with pigs is a bad idea - which we discovered once we saw them and experienced them swimming to the dink and begging for food. 

Thunderball cave is really cool.  We took some food and fed the fish some stale cheese crackers.  Derek held the cracker in his had and it was like a feeding frenzy of about 100 yellow and black damselfish.  We couldn't get the fish to leave us alone after that, they followed us all through the cave.  We really need to get a waterproof camera!

 

 

 

Update 1/14/12 pigs, caves and nurse sharks????
Putting the boat name at BooBoo Hill
The Blow Holes are refreshing
Pilot Whale Skeleton
Well, it rose partway - but tasted good!
Those pigs are aggressive