07 Feb 2007 –  Staniel Cay & Big Majors Spot

Hey Teague, is that a pig?
No, it's a lot of pigs!
Do you think he can swim?
Yes he can!
He can swim right up to the dinghy...
Mummy, he's trying to get into the dinghy!
Did you bring food for me?
I think we should go...
Bye Piggy Piggy!
Maybe we should go to another beach...
Not yet swimming like a fish... but maybe a piggy
Fun with the look bucket
Finn, what do you see in that look bucket?
I see a Teague-fish
Back to the dinghy...

If pigs could swim… they can!  We’re anchored between Staniel Cay and Big Majors Spot.  We’ve heard about a herd (what do you call a group of pigs?) of feral pigs that live on Big Majors.  Apparently someone abandoned the island and the pigs too.  Now they’re wild… well, as wild as any pigs that live on handouts from passing boats can be.

We dinghy over to “Pig Beach” but we don’t even get the chance to land before the one pig who is known for climbing into dinghies jumps in the water and swims right to us.  I have to keep the paddle handy since every so often a cloven hoof pops out of the water aimed for the dinghy.  When other cruisers mentioned that one of the pigs tries to climb in dinghies, I figured they meant dinghies that were pulled up on the beach not in the water!  I feel a little like President Carter being attacked by a swimming rabbit.  The whole scene is pretty amusing but it does feel like we’re on the fringe of something that could turn very ugly.  We head off to another beach.  Later in the day we hear from another cruiser about a lady who had teeth marks on her arm from the swimming pig that was trying to take the food from her hand and missed.  Swimming pigs are best enjoyed from afar…

Staniel Cay is the first stop since Nassau with any real stores or services.  There are three stores.  All three look more like houses or garages.  Two are known only by the colors of the houses they’re attached to – the Pink Store and the Blue Store.  We go into the Isles General Store on empty stomachs at the end of our first day and buy the place out (considering the limited inventory, this is easy to do).  Our visit was timely since the mail boat arrived with fresh produce the day before.  Things are expensive but not wildly so.  For days Megan had been getting progressively more irritable as she worried about our diminishing food supply.  She is now a new woman!  The power of a little fresh produce!

The store also fills propane tanks (we probably have less than two days worth left on the boat).  It’s the end of the day and the shopkeeper says that if I bring the tank back in the morning I can pick it in the afternoon.  The next morning I arrive with tank in hand.  A different shopkeeper says “We’re all out of propane.  No more till next week’s mailboat.”  This is a problem!  Megan now has a full pantry but if we’re out of propane we’ll have to cook over a bonfire on shore.  That might be a little more primitive than we are up for… Doing laundry in buckets is one thing but preparing meals over campfires is pushing it.  Apparently the shopkeeper notices the suicidal look that flashes across my face and says, “Well, that’s a small tank.  I might have enough to fill that one small tank.”  Later in the day I return to the store and fortunately find a full tank.  Phew…

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