We had originally hoped and planned to have my parents visit us in the Bahamas, but my mom’s current cancer treatment regime prevents her from traveling. Instead, we decided to come to Seattle to help celebrate her birthday. It’s sort of a bizarro spring break, trading the warm, sunny, and dry Bahamian climate for Seattle’s cold, dark, and wet March weather, but we’re excited to see family and friends, and have a long list of Seattle outings in the offing.
It’s continuing to be a hootenanny down here, or whatever the Bahamian equivalent is. After Warderick Wells we headed for Staniel Cay, the biggest settlement we’d seen in the Exumas thus far, although its population probably topped out at a hundred. It’s a popular spot for cruisers, though, thanks to a few unique sights.
Today I went swimming in Thunderball Grotto. It was the set of the James Bond movie “Thunderball.” It was AMAZING! You have to swim underwater to get in. When you do, you can see all these fish, and if you take stale bread with you, you can hold a piece of bread in front of you underwater. Then, the fish will all swim up to you and eat out of your hand. LITERALLY. Or you can just drop a chunk of bread in the water and watch the fish fight over it. I think, however, that you should see the photos and videos.
We’ve been working our way south through a very special part of the Exumas, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. It’s 22 miles long, covering 15 cays and many smaller ones, and extends 4 nautical miles to either side of them. This national park enforces a “No Take” rule — no fishing, conching, lobstering, hunting, or foraging, and no leaving trash either (including the usual practice here of dumping organic garbage overboard). The intent is to provide a safe haven for native species, and as a result it’s one of the best places in the Bahamas to swim, snorkle or scuba. One of their mottoes is “Take only photographs, leave only bubbles.”
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park