Staniel Cay

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sun 23 Jun 2013 22:46
24:10.6N 76:26.7W
Bond afficionados will recognise Staniel Cay as the location of the grotto from the classic film, Thunderball.  We anchored close to the grotto island and snorkelled over to take a look.  It was smaller than we expected, but the colours are pretty and it is surrounded by live coral and plentiful fish.  You have to visit at slack tide because the grotto island is mid channel and the current is ferocious during full flood or ebb.  We were lucky to arrive at close to slack tide and even so there was quite a current and chop when passing through the cut.  Right now there is quite a large bore in the channel and people are surfing on it with their dinghies.  The tide was flooding against us when we swam back to Anastasia and it was a real effort to make it back.  Another half hour and we would have had to sit it out on the island for a few hours waiting for the ebb.
Staniel Cay Yacht Club is worth a visit for lunch.  The food is good and reasonably priced.  Andrea had been craving a burger for days, so she was happy.
The other attraction in this area is the legendary swimming pigs.  We took the tender over to see the pigs with a couple of pieces of bread for them.  Needless to say they were happy to see us, so much so that one of them tried to join us in the dinghy.  Fortunately it could only get its front feet into the boat and jumped off when we reversed.
“White horse cliff” at the entrance to Staniel Cay cut.  Can you see them?
Anchored right by grotto island
The colourful interior of the grotto
Andrea swimming inside
Ray hanging around outside the grotto
The brochure promises cute baby pigs
But cute baby pigs grow up into ugly boars
And get hungry (the wet patches are where he tried to climb onto Andrea’s lap)