The claim to fame of Staniel Cay, where we stopped next is the Thunderball Grotto, a skylit underwater cave made famous by the filming of underwater scenes in James Bonds' Thunderball and Never Say Never Again and well as the Disney movie Splash. Unfortunately we missed the slack tide, mid-day combination that is best for snorkeling in the cave and we are out of underwater film so we plan to return on our way back up the Abacos to take in this sight.
We anchored just west of Big Major, known for it's family of wild pigs that swim out to meet you as you head towards the shore in your dingy and went over to check out these bold porkers.
10 miles further south we stopped at the Black Point Settlement on Great Guana Cay, one of the largest in Exuma with about 300 residents. We found great protection from the northeast wind in the protected harbour and anchored along with about 25 other boats, including many from Canada.
We headed to shore with several postcards and a couple of packages to mail only to find the post office closed. After checking back several times we finally found it open after lunch only to be told that there weren't enough stamps in stock to mail our packages. Very few packages are sent by mail from here, in fact ours was the second in the past year.
I had been waiting many days to find a post office, let alone one that was open so I finally convinced the woman behind the counter to make up my postage from many smaller stamps. The mail boat won't arrive until Friday and today is Monday. From here the mailboat travels to Nassau so hopefully by Monday my mail will be on it's way to Canada!
There is internet access at Lorraine's Café so tomorrow we will brave the trip in 20+ knot winds to shore with the laptop in our dingy and haul it up the 6' ladder to the dingy dock and into town so that I can update my website. The weather is supposed to calm down by Thursday so we'll wait it out patiently here before we head further south towards George Town on Great Exuma Island.
The scene we witnessed in town last night reminds me of an old Western movie, where the cowboys yell through the bars in the jail window to the jailbird. Someone was picked up for lobster fishing in the Exumas Land and Sea Park, a crime punishable by confiscation of his boat, jail time and/or a fine. His buddies were outside the window, passing beers from the bar a couple of doors away in through the window. There we were, of all times without our camera.
We are looking forward to the arrival of Suzanne and Russ in Nassau on April 6th. That gives us almost a month to enjoy the George Town experience before we meet them there. March is Regatta month in George Town and we have been told that there are between 200-400 boats there.