Friday, February 17, 2017

February 6, 2017 Staniel Cay/Big Majors/Thunderball Grotto/Pig Beach

This morning we moved the boat to Big Majors.  It is next to Staniel Cay, where Kaitlin will fly out of tomorrow.  This area is more touristy than Black Point.  So it was nice for her to see both islands, plus have our remote anchorage in between. 
enjoying the ride now that she feels better

As soon as we were anchored we headed out to snorkel.  This area if famous for the Thunderball grotto.  It was in the 1965 Jame’s Bond movie, Thunderball.  We anchored the dinghy in front of it.  Dave decided to stay with the dingy while the 2 of us snorkeled.  The tide was low enough for us to enter, but rising.  So we checked it out and didn’t stay inside too long.  Then we spent some time snorkeling the outside of this rock formation.  We found a helmet conch, more rare than the queen conch. 
inside Thunderball grotto
these guys like to follow you around

topside of helmet conch
underside of a helmet conch

Our next stop was Pig Beach on Big Majors.  There are several pigs on the beach that tourists come to feed and take pictures with.  A few large ones come out towards our boat making grunting sounds.  Kaitlin got in with them for the photo op.  She took my waterproof camera up to one to get a selfie with it.  He wasn’t too happy because we weren’t feeding him.  He ended up head butting her when she took the picture.  She laughed pretty hard, but ended up with a little bruise on her cheek bone. 
crazy tourist attraction
this woman will talk to anyone
they've learned to keep their noses above water
Kaitlin being head butted trying to take a selfie

Our boat was anchored nearby, so Dave ditched us.  Kaitlin and I took a bucket of beers to a beach.  We sat in the water and enjoyed a couple cold ones.  My birthday is on Friday, and this is something I wanted to do for my birthday.  So Dave explained to us that Kaitlin was my birthday present.  He knew I wanted a girlfriend to play with. 
what a place to enjoy an adult beverage
This was my pre-birthday party
Fun beach day
loving the weather compared to SD
We headed into Staniel Cay about 4:00.  We wanted to figure out how to get Kaitlin to the airport in the morning.  And we thought we would hit happy hour and dinner at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  Someone told us that the airport was just on the other side of the BTC tower and we could walk there.  We headed that way and realized it was much farther.  Kaitlin ended up walking the entire way, about 15-20 minutes one way from the yacht club.  We had heard there was a way to take the dinghy closer, so we’ll do that in the morning instead.

Back at the yacht club, we found my South Dakota friend, Cheryl Ulmer and Glenn who owns the boat she is crewing for.  They saw our boat in the anchorage and came looking for us.  We knew we were in the same area, but not sure if we were going to connect or not. 

We all sat outside on the deck and watched the sunset with our “sundowners”.  Dave had gone back inside to order another round of drinks.  Kaitlin followed him in to get menus for dinner.  She came up next to him at the bar and said in a loud voice “if you buy me a drink, I’ll go back to your boat with you.”  I guess the guys next to them looked shocked.  Dave said “happens to me all the time.”

We had a great evening enjoying our meals and sharing stories with Cheryl and Glenn.  It was great to see her and nice to meet him. 

fishermen feeding the nurse sharks at Staniel Cay

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