Thursday, February 23, 2017

Big Majors Spot: Pigs and Pirates

Monday, February 20, 2017

After spending an extra day staying put at Cambridge Cay due to rain, we dropped the mooring and headed for Big Majors Spot.

I've yet to figure out the naming conventions here.  Most of the time, the small islands are called Cay (pronounced Key, not Kay).  But sometimes, they're "Wells" instead (Warderick Wells, Spanish Wells).  But these two islands are Big Majors Spot and Little Majors Spot!  No apparent reason.

Anyway, Big Majors Spot's claim to fame are the feral pigs that live there.  They've gotten so used to people feeding them, that they come out looking for handouts.  They even swim out to the dinghys and try to climb in if there's food aboard!

Unfortunately, we got to the beach about 3 in the afternoon, and the pigs had all had their fill and were off sleeping.  Except for one large sow.  She was eating from a large pan that one of the locals had provided. Joanie caught a glimpse of a piglet headed into the bush for his nap.

The various guide books all say that the pigs particularly like carrots.  Well, everybody reads the same guides, and there were dozens of carrots scattered about, uneaten.  I guess its too much of a good thing!

The sow was busily chowing down on her slop, when Joanie offered her a chunk of squash.  Aha! Something new!  The pig quickly gobbled it down and nosed for more.
What's that?  Smells Divine!
I want it!
Gimmee More!
 We found out that a day or two prior, someone had fed the pigs spoiled food and they came down with food poisoning.  Seven of them died! This is a pretty major hit on a population of only around 30 pigs, so the locals were carefully supervising what was being fed to them.  There's now talk of restricting dinghy access to the beach, and limiting the number of visitors.

We had planned to return in the morning, when the pigs are hungry and all show up, but those plans got foiled (more on that later).

After leaving Pig Beach, we cruised around the island and found a small beach with tables, umbrellas, and a lot of colorful markers bearing boat names.  It's called Pirate Beach, and the facilities are all donated by cruisers.  Its a place for people to gather to share sundowners and snacks, and watch the sun set.  We called Bruce & Gayleen on Pearl and asked them to join us there before sunset.  Several other cruisers showed up as well.  One had a conch shell horn to announce the sunset in the transplanted Hawaiian tradition.
Pirate Beach
Somebody Wants to Claim the Whole Island!
Even the picnic tables get decorated
Cruisers & Sundowners
Awaiting the Main Event

Tuesday morning, we met with Pearl to discuss weather. We had planned to stick around here one more day, and then move a short distance to Staniel Cay for fuel, water, and food provisioning.  But the weather report showed a cold front coming on Wed/Thurs, with strong West winds up to 30 kts, and the possibility of rain squalls with winds up to 40 gusting to 50!  This area is TOTALLY unprotected from the west, and there are few protected anchorages nearby, and they were already filling up! 

So, we had two choices.  Either backtrack to Cambridge Cay and take a mooring, or make a 23 mile run south, skipping several stops we wanted to make, in order to reach the totally protected, but little known, marina at Cave Cay. We decided to follow Pearl south to Cave Cay.  We'll have to figure out what we'll do afterwards.

Life is still good.

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