Monday, June 10

It's a small world in Staniel Cay

Staniel Cay is a delightful and charming Cay.  Everybody we talked to said that it was a definite stop.  There are so many islands that make up the Exuma chain and we, of course, only had so much time on our hands; we really had to pick and choose the islands we wanted to visit.  

While the girls were doing schoolwork on the boat, Craig and I walked through town to check out the two grocery stores, pink and blue.  I am not joking nor am I making this up.  That is what they are called by the locals and the guidebook alike.  The buildings are painted in the corresponding colors so you don't get them mixed up.  They were very small and the pink store had much more to offer especially since the mail boat had arrived the night before with fresh supplies.  But no bananas.  We couldn't find one banana on Staniel Cay.  Everyone we passed in the road either asked us or we asked them if they had found any bananas!

Next, we traipsed around to the general store, which had movie rentals, fishing supplies, boat parts and groceries (but no bananas).  We were picking up some bell peppers when a gentleman asked me if I had seen any okra.  I said no.  As we started talking about okra and the fact that I have never had it before (I know, I know, I live in Texas for crying out loud), he called his wife over to tell her the awful truth.  We soon discovered they were from our town and once he told me his last name, I asked him if he was the Culwell of Culwell & Sons (the clothing store in town).  Yes!  How exciting to learn that because we are friends with members of his family - The Booe Family!!  What a small world.  Marilyn and Cully were so gracious in finding us a place to park the boat when we arrive in Florida (if we need it) and invited us aboard their motor yacht for cocktails that evening!  We had such a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute!  

Reese joins us on our way to Staniel Cay.  

Driving by the marina on our way to find a good spot to anchor with as little current as possible.  

One of the challenges in the Exuma Island chain is that the current whips in and out of the cuts, creating shifting sand bars thus creating a unique anchoring situation.  On some islands you don't have a choice but to anchor in the current channel because that's the deepest water.  It makes swimming off the boat very limiting because the current is usually really strong and carries you away.  It is much too strong for the kids and hard to say no when there are a maximum of 2 times a day when it's slack (when the tide switches causing little to no current before it picks up speed again).  We also have to keep this in mind when we snorkel too so that we don't get carried away out to sea!  So we like to seek out a 'bay' whenever we can.

The local dive shop

Need I say more?

Outside the yacht club in which we walked out one morning after looking at the $14 pancakes on the menu!

The protected dinghy harbor

Bonefish swimming in the current.  Bonefish are used as bait in these parts and there was a sign clearly stating 'no fishing from the bridge'.

A baby ray swims by

Wild Pigs!  Swimming out to greet us in our dinghy.  We heard stories about the pigs that live on Big Majors Spot (a nearby cay).

Isn't he sooo cute chasing the apple Porter threw in the water?!

Here piggy piggy piggy

Another boat full of ladies from a nearby mega yacht came to join the party

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