Exuma Trifecta – Swimming With Stingrays, Sharks & Pigs!

swimming pig 2

As we drove through pelting rain and gusting winds, catching glimpses of whitecaps on the bay, it was uncertain whether our adventurous day of boating between the islands of Exuma would actually happen.  But as we were greeted by Pat, our fearless Captain from Four C’s Adventures, he assured us that sunny skies would certainly break through the gloom.  Fasten your seat-belts (not), and hold on really tight, we’re off on a bucking bronco ride over the waves, shrieking with laughter all the way.
Four C's Boat Tour

The ever changing shades of aquamarine are stunning as we skip over the waves.  Before long Captain Pat swings us around as he spots huge sting rays sweeping across the flats.  Next stop – an amazing coral grotto big enough for us to enter boat and all.  Our morning is spent zipping between one beautiful island to another, ogling at movie star’s private cays and trying to out-race the occasional squall.

Sting RayExuma Grotto

Next stop… Staniel Cay Yatch Club where a row of brightly colored stilt homes welcome us into the harbor.  And conveniently, it’s lunch time!  Capt’n Pat makes up an impromptu cocktail of orange juice, pineapple juice and rum and we vote to name it ‘Walking On Water’.

Captain Pat at Staniel Cay

Well fed and armed with a bag of food scraps, we’re off to find those famous swimming pigs.  OMG, here they come…. squealing all the way.
The story behind the swimming pigs is that wild pigs were becoming a menace on populated islands, so they were rounded up and put on a deserted island all their own.  Since that island has a lovely beach, boaters would anchor offshore for a swim and leave their food scraps for the pigs.  Before you know it, the pigs began swimming out to welcome boats and beg for food – and the rest is history.  This gives new meaning to salt pork…. step one, soak in salt water…..

Swimming Pigs1swimming pig 2

swimming pigs 3swimming pigs 4
We’re invincible now – Let’s Go Find Those SHARKS!
Zipping over the waves toward Compass Cay, everyone takes sideways glances at each other wondering if we really have the guts…..  Compass Cay is a beautiful spot with a welcoming dock and the prerequisite bar stocked with Kalik.  The sharks know we’ve arrived, dum-dum-dum-dum-dum,  here they come!!!
Compass Cay Sharks 1Compass Cay Sharks

Compass Cay Sharks 4Sharks at Compass Cay

For the record, these are nurse sharks and they aren’t supposed to bite (just ask Mike who thinks he got a hickey on his leg from one shark!)… we were instructed to stay still, keep our hands out of the water and curl our toes into the sand.  Phew.  After so much excitement, a stop at another cay to feed iguana seemed tame.  And we’re off again to spend some down-time on a huge sand bar in the middle of the sea – simply gorgeous!
Sand Bar 1Sand Bar 2

What a day!   Even though we didn’t get the chance to snorkel on the reef, dive for conch, and visit the Thunderball grotto because of rough seas, we had an incredible experience.

A BIG thanks go to Captain Pat of Four C’s Adventures (ExumaWaterTours.com) – this is definitely one of the best island excursions I’ve ever taken.

And let me say the Exuma and the Bahamas Tourism Board does a spectacular job to make sure your Out Island experience is unforgettable.  If you haven’t visited the Out Islands yet, you’re missing one of the best spots on the planet – and for most of you reading this article, these dazzling islands are a mere 1 hour flight from Florida and 3 hours from the Northeast.

Pet at Compass Cove

You’ll meet the friendliest people in the Out Islands  – like our incomparable Exuma guide, Pet.  Thank you Pet for an unforgettable trip – We’ll definitely be back!

p.s.  If you missed Day 1 of our adventure – click here

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