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Monday, March 29, 2021

Snorkeling Thunderbolt Grotto at Staniel Cay The Bahamas


Staniel Cay is Exuma’s mecca for the novel experience of snorkeling (click the 1-minute YouTube video to join me on my snorkel, or check out this one) in an internationally famed cave grotto and to get a gander and Major Cay’s equally famed swimming pigs—just don't get bit in the *ss by a porker like I did! 
Chris of s/v Scintilla, getting ready to snorkel Thunderball Grotto.

If you fancy propping your elbows on the bar where Sean Connery and the Bond Thunderball crew hung out, then stop on by the Staniel Cay Yacht club. They must’ve liked it as part of Never Say Never was also shot there as were Splash and Into the Blue. For more on Staniel Cay celebrities and Thunderball Grotto check out Planet D's post.
My cruising budget is the two-fer Liquormat on Staniel Cay, rather than the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
We went for a beer, but did our own laundry rather than use the "mat."

Staniel Cay offers the basics and post-COVID could use the business.  There are two tiny grocery stores on the island, a pink and blue one. You’ll find some overlap but different enough stock it’s worth a stop at both. But when our friend Chris got a shock when the small can of Spam she bought and thought was $4 rang up for $9, we were glad our provisions didn’t need restocking.  
We're still well stocked on our cheeses from the States—thank goodness.
These were for sale in one of the Staniel Cay markets. Guess inventory turnover is low these days.

A small airport supports the jet-setter crowd, as does a marina. On our past visits, the fisherman put on a bit of a show feeding their scraps to the friendly nurse sharks and stingrays. This year, we didn't see many sharks or rays. Guessing they've re-learned to fish for themselves.
This rather handsome rooster ruffling its feathers was one of my favorite sights on Staniel Cay.

For us cruisers, neighboring Big Major Cay—a great place for cruiser BBQs, if they’re far enough from the porkers—is 20 nautical miles from Warderick Wells and 57 nautical miles from Georgetown. Stocking Island offers a midpoint stop between Georgetown and Staniel Cay for those who want or need one. Staniel and Big Major Cays are considered don’t-misses in the Exumas. 

Location Location
This is a recent retrospective from March 14, 2021, as I'm playing catch-up after a week or so out of WiFi range (and sometimes it takes a while to make a video). We anchored at Big Major Cay 24 10.96 N 76 27.637W and made the ~2-mile dinghy ride to Thunderball Grotto and nearby Staniel Cay. 

We are currently in Great Exumas protected Elizabeth harbour, getting ready to hunker through a couple weather fronts. More catch-up posts coming up!

2 comments:

  1. Pretty amazing place! Glad you got to visit it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 3rd time! We've snorkeled it each time we've visited the Bahamas.

    We look forward to your joining us in some amazing places.

    ReplyDelete