After the harrowing sea adventure of getting to Staniel Cay, Exuma, my second day included a relaxing cave exploration of Thunderball Grotto and swimming with the pigs. Yes, that’s right, they have swimming pigs and they are famous. They even have over 300,000 followers on Instagram!
Not being a strong swimmer, I was a bit nervous about the cave exploration because we were told that we might have to go underwater to get inside the cave if the tide was high. I knew I had some time to mentally prepare for this because we were going to see the little piggies first. But much to my dismay, the crew pulled up to the cave first. Oh crap! I am not ready. The strong swimmers went in first to see how strong the current was and when one of them said it was indeed strong, my mind changed in an instant. I didn’t want to do this anymore. There were only two non-swimmers in the crew and the other one, I won’t mention her name but she knows who she is, decided that I should take one for the team and go in since she would be returning one day soon (I think she lied lol). The next thing I knew, I was down the stairs of the boat and in the water looking up as my new enemy smiled safely from above. Once it registered, I starting to panic and the fear of death ran through every inch of my body. I was wearing a lifejacket so I would have been fine but as soon as I put on my snorkel mask, my nerves shot through the roof. Despite my friend saying was he would take care of me by escorting me safely into the cave, I punked out and instead stayed in the water by the boat, holding on to a rope so the current wouldn’t take me out to sea. There was a lot I missed in that cave, but I will just have to become a strong swimmer and go back one day.
Up next were the little piggies. Well, they weren’t all little. Actually, some were quite large. There were greedy big ones who hogged (pun intended) up the feed when they were fed. We also brought carrots to feed them and I’m so glad that we did because they came right into the water. Some were aggressive. Well, maybe their sheer size made them seem aggressive. Not sure why, but I was shocked at the amount of food they would eat. Boat after boat showed up and they did what pigs do, they ate. This was an odd visit because when would one ever think that they would be in the water or on a beach with pigs, let alone pigs that swim.
Now, keep in mind I am a wastewater engineer and know that the solution to pollution is dilution, but when I saw a piggy poop in the water, I immediately waddled my way right to the boat and took pictures from there. Did I mention immediately? I work around poop daily so I don’t need to literally swim with it. 🤢
- Thunderball Grotto was the site for the 1965 James Bond film, Thunderball.
- Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, is home to the famous swimming pigs. They aren’t native to the island, but they are steadily growing and now total about 20 pigs and piglets.
- The pig’s popularity inspired the award-winning short film ‘When Pigs Swim’