Staniel Cay–The Conclusion

by Megan on September 25, 2014

For our final full day on the island we decided to link up with Cliff again and spend the afternoon on the water.  This wound up working out because the weather was perfect and I wanted another shot at snorkeling the Land and Sea Park since that stop got rained out earlier in the week.

Since we were heading home the following morning, we grabbed all of our leftover bread and stopped by to pay a visit to my nemesis – Mrs. Spotted Pig.


Once again she came charging out to the boat being all pushy and demanding.  This time we were a little more prepared and made sure to throw food to the piglets.  She tried scaring them away again, but, homegirl wasn’t able to move fast enough (for obvious reasons) if we threw the scraps over her head.


This is not the face of a happy pig.

The evening before (at the bar after a  few hundred margaritas) I was telling Danny that it would really suck to have a pig bite me in the butt. He agreed that it would be painful and embarrassing…but, it would make for a really good vacation story, so if I wanted to try getting out of the boat I had his full support.  I never did get on the beach with the piglets.

After the pigs, we made another trip to Compass Cay.  I had not stopped talking about swimming with the sharks all week, so, I was pretty psyched for the return trip.


I spent some time snorkeling around and trying to convince Danny that he should totally get in.  There were some people hanging around the marina that we had met a few nights earlier at the yacht club that got in on the peer pressure, and he finally did take the plunge.


He swam around for probably 5 minutes but was not nearly as enamored by the whole experience as me.  I am not sure that he agreed with my “coolest thing ever” assessment, but, at least he tried it!

From the Compass Cay we zoomed up to the Land and Sea Park. On the way up Cliff took us by Johnny Depp’s private island which was very impressive.  I took a picture of the beachfront from the boat but feel kind of weird posting it online.

Cliff had really talked up the underwater scene at the park earlier in the week and said that it was the best snorkeling in the area. As soon as I jumped in the water the fish just swarmed around me.


No fishing is allowed inside the park so there is just tons of sea life.  A lot of visitors bring food for the fish, so they are totally used to people and not shy at all.

The thing about snorkeling is that I really enjoy doing it as long as I can see the bottom of the ocean floor.  The water in the Exumas was so amazing that I could be in water as deep as 25 feet and still clearly see the bottom.  (Note: This is not just a random number that made up, I was so fascinated by the visibility/depth that I asked Cliff about it constantly before I jumped in the water). 


I have no idea why I wasn’t wearing my fins in this picture.

We made one last stop on the way out of the Land and Sea Park in an area that was called Rocky Dundas.  This was the area that we were in earlier in the week during the monsoon. 


Oh, you know, just your average day visiting swimming pigs, hanging out with sharks and SNORKELING INSIDE A CAVE.

On the way back to Staniel Cay we stopped at Thunderball Grotto.  All week I really talked up this spot to Danny and he had decided that this was the one that he wanted to try. As I mentioned in a previous post, Thunderball is only safe to do at certain parts of the day.  I figured since it was basically the same time as we had been there two days earlier, it would be fine.

Not so much.  Danny will have to wait until our next visit to Staniel Cay to see Thunderball Grotto.  I do give him points for giving in a go, but, the current got us almost as soon as we jumped out of the boat.  I made Danny hang on to the side of the rocky entrance while I swam to grab a rope that Cliff threw to us from the boat to tow us back in.


(I really do not want to scare anyone reading this into not snorkeling Thunderball because it is incredible and was very easy when I did it a few days prior.  But, seriously, make sure you catch the tide just right – the guidebooks/internet/etc. aren’t lying about how bad the current can get in this spot.)

After a fun day out on the water we spent one last evening at the yacht club drinking, eating and generally being merry.  Now that we are home my liver is thanking me for letting it dry out  – but, man, I miss my evening margaritas!


Around 9:30 the next morning we piled our luggage into our golf cart and drove the 100 feet to the “airport” where we boarded our plane back to Ft. Lauderdale and reality.


We have had the opportunity to travel to some really spectacular locations over the past few years.  For that, I am incredibly thankful.  Staniel Cay is a place that I had wanted to visit for years and it feels strange to (finally) have it crossed off my bucket list.  I am very much looking forward to returning again.  Hopefully sooner rather than later!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa October 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Gah. This is awesome. We are from CO and going to SC over Christmas week with kids. Boys 11,13 and good adventurers. Besides the typical cool stuff you did (pigs, sharks, iguanas), do you have any ideas/suggestions that you think kids would dig? Renting a house and boat, and have experience boating. Pretty sure we’ve read at least 1000 reviews so have realistic ideas. Like you, I decided to go here to see swimming pigs. Thanks!

Megan October 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

If you are renting a house, make sure to have it provisioned at least partially before you arrive. It was so nice having some things on hand to grab when we didn’t feel like stopping at the Yacht Club. Make sure your rental includes a golf cart too. I forgot to specifically request the cart but luckily the ladies at Embrace had one for me anyhow. If your kids enjoy the water they will love Staniel Cay. We were there during the “slow season” so I didn’t see any kids, but, they said over the holidays it gets pretty busy so I am sure there will be other families vacationing on the island that can offer suggestions.

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