We have skipped over a few stops and cays in an effort to get somewhere else and probably missed seeing some of the “must-see” places that other tourists and cruisers talk about. We have also been at the “must-see” places and not done the typical tourist things to do.
There is great snorkeling around the reefs of Allan’s Cay, and we did stay there, but only to avoid bad weather. The anchorage was so rolly and windy that we did not venture far from Viatori. We did some visiting with the boat Velvet, by inviting them for pizza one night and the boys had a visit there with a snack of fresh popcorn one afternoon. We did see the rock iguanas that are native to the cay, but that is about all we did.
Another night we stayed near Norman’s Cay and we did visit MacDuff’s restaurant/bar for a drink and met some French Canadians, but we bypassed the sunken air plane on the other side of the cay. The air plane was used for smuggling cocaine off of Norman’s Cay during the late 70’s, but in 1978, the pilot made a mistake coming in for a landing and ended up in the water. There is also great hiking trails and diving, both of which we did not do.
In Warderick Wells, there is a “famous” little walk up Boo Boo Hill that you can take and there are also blowholes that you can check out. It is has been said that a boatload of missionaries that wrecked off of Warderick Wells are buried on Boo Boo Hill. Boaters that pass through there make signs for their boat names and leave their driftwood plaques on the top of the hill. Needless to say, we didn’t climb the hill or make a sign for our boat. We actually did mean to go to the top, but we didn’t get much further than the beach or the Park Headquarters where we were chatting with other cruisers.
When we got to Big Majors Spot, we dinghed over to the pig beach that has friendly pigs on it. Our first drive by, we didn’t even stop. There were two large pigs in the water already and they kept swimming towards us when we got close. We had heard horror stories of the pigs trying to climb into your dinghy and capsizing it. Our second trip we actually made it to shore and again, two very large adult pigs came sniffing up to our dinghy. They started squealing when they realized we didn’t have any food with us and that startled us enough to start up Pup-Pup and get the heck out of there. We would have loved to see the piglets, but they were all lying in the shade further up on the beach.
We did actually, finally, snorkel Thunderball Cave at Staniel Cay, kind of. There was a mooring ball there that you could tie your dinghy up to, which was handy. We went at low tide, but there was still a lot of surge and it was very difficult to fight the current and swim in. Richard and Matthew were in the water first. My Matthew, who barely got his hair wet during a 45 minute swimming lesson! He had a life jacket on and his snorkel and mask and he and Richard went into the cave. James absolutely refused to get out of the dinghy and was left to himself and I put Ethan into an inflatable ring with his life vest on, but he squawked and cried over that. Our friends from Spunky were there and thankfully they were able to help us. Bob got near the cave with a handful of food and guided the fish right where we were with the other dinghies and Theresa helped with Ethan. We left all of the kids with Bob and Theresa and Richard and I attempted to get into the cave. Richard made it a second time, but I couldn’t, even with a borrowed pair of flippers, again, thank you, Spunky! It was still a great afternoon and everyone said they had a good time. We left Big Majors the next day so it was a good thing we made the trip to Thunderball.
Some days, no one wants to get off the boat. The boys are often too content to stay on Viatori and play Lego or watch a movie and sometimes it is easier to stay put and not pack up water, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and life jackets to go and do something, anything, even just a dinghy ride through the anchorage. Sometimes it is easier not to fight with the boys to stop playing and to try something new and different. It is also cheaper to stay on the boat instead of going into town for the cruisers buffet that Lorraine’s Cafe puts on every Monday night at Black Point. But if we hadn’t gotten off the boat, we never would have experienced the things we did, met the people we have met or seen some really cool stuff along the way.