Well, we did it! I guess we can go home now. We made it to the famous Pig Beach, and it was just as great as all the pictures and videos I have seen (other than the fleas).
There were pigs of all sizes, massive mamas and cute little ones that were likely less than a pound! We brought a carrot (yes, only one as I am greedy and want all the veggies for myself) and hand fed the little ones while tossing food far away to make the big ones swim for it.
We were able to sneak in early morning, so we had the piggys all to ourselves. Throughout the day several speed boats bring tourists in to feed and play with them. I can’t imagine how much they eat a day (insert terrible joke about pigging out pigs!). Pictures speak for themselves, so I will keep the writing very short.
Our first stop in the Exumas was Allen Cay, an infamous stop for the iguana beach.
The little creatures have taken over 2 different islands, and are a unique type of iguana named the Exuma Iguana. They are an endangered species and protected by the country, which does not allow “hurting, holding or harassing” them. They are extremely used to humans, and hurry to welcome any boat that they are trained to know will bring them food – but do not be fooled, they are not docile creatures.
What surprised me the most was that they were absolutely not scared at all of humans. In the morning we went to the beach to feed them some bread, and the iguanas would swarm you, and get super close wanting more! I had to run away to the water to escape the fate of our fellow cruisers, who were bitten. In fact, later that day we were sitting on the beach cleaning up some fish, and the little guys kept coming up to steal our food! I would shoo, clap loudly, yell and stomp but they were very persistent.
They definitely steal the beach to make it un-usable to humans. I would not want to sit there for longer than 5 minutes, but luckily in the bahamas there are no shortage of sandy stretches so there is plenty to share.
We had a great view of them from our anchorage, and also were able to watch the tour boats come through. We felt a little extra pleased to have these guys to ourselves on the beach and not have to share with the power boats.
We have been in Governor’s Harbor for a week. With the exception of summer in Brazil, we have not been in one place this long since starting this trip. We had also never intended to stay this long in one place, but between the dreadful weather we have had and the amount of things to do here, time just flew by. And we knew we needed to stay at least until there was one good day of weather to check out French Leave beach.
And oh was it SO worth it!
This beach atually faces the atlantic side, which if you have seen the post about the Glass Bridge might seem a little frightening. But it is well protected by some coral offshore, and makes it a tranquil, beautiful beach. Along the shore there used to be a resort, the Club Med, but a hurricane several years ago brought too much destruction and they abandoned the hotel.
The sand on this beach is actually a very light shade of pink, and you can see closely that it is a mix of regular sand and very pink grains. The water was everything you would want from the Bahamas, warm, shallow and with small waves. In my honest opinion, there is very little that could ever possibly be improved in this beauty – it’s just that close to perfect. And we had this little piece of paradise nearly to ourselves.
Because we did not have umbrellas, we had to sneak out by mid afternoon as the sun was really strong. We were able to hitch a ride back to town with a very nice couple. Everyone on this island is so friendly and helpful, both locals and tourists alike and are making us feel right at home.
We finally made it to the Bahamas! After exactly one month in Miami, on December 20th just around 5am, we left Coconut Grove to jump to the Bahamas. The winds were predicted to be in the mid teens, blowing from the South/South West, ideal for the passage. The first several hours provided great sailing, but by late morning the winds had died down to below 10. While we could have continued on sail, we were being pushed north by the gulf and would have missed our target of Bimini. So, we decided to turn on the engine and motor sail the majority of the way. This allowed us to come into Alice Town, Bimini before sunset with plenty of time to navigate any shallows and clear customs. To our dismay, we still didn’t catch any fish.
We only stayed one night in Alice Town, then headed towards the Berry Island, through the Grand Bahama Bank. Winds were low, and because we used the engine so much in the passage, Stephen refused to turn it on for three days. This meant a lot of drifting, a lot of sitting, and a lot of a whole lotta nothing. But, the water was clear, the weather was warm and the boat was stocked. Can’t complain.
Just as we were arriving, we caught our first fish! We determined it was a spanish mackerel, and a very delicious one.
We arrived in Great Harbor Cay on Saturday, the time I had gone without setting foot on land. We were expecting a bit of a town setting, but unfortunately there wasn’t too much going on, so we stayed most of the time on the boat.
We spent christmas eve and christmas day swimming around, trying to fish, and catching lobster. We had a lobster feast on christmas day!
Our next stop was Soldier Cay (on the way, we got the first Tuna!!!), a beautiful beach nearly to ourselves. From here, we are planning to leave tomorrow for the Spanish Wells, pending weather.