On Saturday, we were very happy to pull into Staniel around 10 AM after a short sail from Warderick, passing by Steven Spielberg’s megayacht “Seven Seas” along the way. The wind was whipping out of the west again, so we were a little concerned that the anchorage our friend Sid told us about wouldn’t be very good – it was completely exposed and shallow, and we had real concerns that we could end up with the hulls bouncing on the bottom. However, once we came in through the channel, the winds died a bit and it didn’t seem too bad, so while we didn’t get as close in to Serenity Rock as we’d hoped, we were still in a good spot a short dinghy ride from the Staniel Cay Yacht Club’s dinghy dock.
And the yacht club’s bar was our first stop – we needed burgers and cold beers, stat! It’s a funky little bar with both cruisers and guests from the Yacht Club’s bungalows, and we had a blast catching up with “old” friends like Adamant’s crew, as well as making some new friends like Brian and Maureen from Dealer’s Choice.
The next few days, we did some snorkeling at Thunderball Grotto, which was used in the the Bond film “Thunderball”. It’s a really great spot but there were probably more people than fish in there – you can only really get in at slack low tide so everyone tends to go at the same time.
We ventured on a bit of a walk about yesterday to get some phone issues sorted at Batelco and to find the grocery stores – we only found one but we now know where the other two are at, and we managed to find the important stuff – you know, Diet Coke and bread. Yes, it was only 10:30, but hey, why not stop in at the Yacht Club for some “Dutch Coffees” (beer)? We weren’t the only ones either – Brian and Maureen were there and we stayed for lunch with them. They invited us out the next day for a trip to Compass Cay in their (much faster than ours) dinghy after we stopped to see the piggies at Big Major Spot. A nap back at the boat, and then we headed back to town to check out a more “locals” bar called Big Dog, where Ralph and Stacie from “Lasata” found us, and after a few beers there and again back at the yacht club, we poured ourselves back in the dinghy for some much needed sleepytime.
So we managed to drag ourselves out of bed this morning and headed over to the “pig beach” at Big Major Spot. Why are there pigs on this beach? You can ask the locals but you’ll not really get a good answer…but we speculate that it’s because it’s a pretty big tourist draw;-) There were a few BIG momma pigs and a bunch of the cutest little baby pigs you’ll ever see! You bring food scraps for them, and they’ll even swim out to meet you. I was going nuts with the CUTENESS! I just couldn’t stop giggling and smiling at their adorableness. Brian stayed off to the side and laughed at me.
After we’d had our fill of piggies (and Brian got his share of bacon jokes in), we headed over to Dealer’s Choice for our trip over to Compass Cay. We were so blown away by Maureen and Brian’s wonderful hospitality, and felt terrible that we’d committed a major cruisers’ faux pas in not bringing our own beer along. But they were kind enough to share with us, and we set off in their dink for Compass. The ride over there was absolutely stunning, and they gave us the skinny on the various cays we passed by. Compass has a small marina and they call it the “aquarium” as there are some resident nurse sharks and bonefish that hang out by the docks. We tied up to the back of their friend’s boat (thus avoiding the $10/person “landing fee”), and Maureen took us on a walking tour to the beach that faces out on the Exuma Sound. It was absolutely stunning, one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen so far. After some really awesome burgers, it was time to head back to Staniel, with a brief stop for a walk on a sand bar along the way, and a few last beers on board their boat, and then it was definitely nap time for us back home on Summer.
We are so in love with Staniel – yes, we like being on a deserted beach, but we really love being somewhere laid back and low key with bars where we can meet new people and have a great time. This is the kind of place that someday, if we could somehow figure out a way, we’d love to live on land here. Great people, great scenery, and lots to do! We’ll be here for at least another week and will probably only move on as we’ll be out of clean clothes, and the next stop has what they say is the best laundry in the Exumas. More from Staniel to come!