The area around Big Majors doesn’t only have the cool Pig Beach, but they have Thunderball Grotto to see as well. Grottos are often small caves near water that are usually flooded or liable to flood at high tide. Thunderball Grotto is a short trip around the corner to Staniel Cay. This grotto was made famous by the James Bond movie “Thunderball” that was shot there in 1965. It was used again by the Bond crew in 1983. Now it is a very popular tourist destination in the Exumas. Boats bring guests to the grotto for snorkeling all day long. One of the great things about cruising around the world in your sailboat is that you can go to these magical places anytime. We anchored in our tender right outside the entrance and waited for a break in the tourist boats. Lisa and I had the whole grotto to ourselves for about 45 minutes. It was a beautiful array of colorful coral, fish, and sunlight streaming through holes in the ceiling to the clear water below. It was some of the best snorkeling we would have in the Bahamas and we had it all to ourselves for awhile.
Staniel Cay is a larger town, by Bahama standards anyway. We took the opportunity to check out some of the local grocery stores while we were in the area. The island gets a supply boat a couple times a week and we showed up on arrival day. The good part was all the food was fresh off the boat. The bad thing was everyone on the island knew the ship was coming in so the stores were packed. The stores themselves are fairly famous for sailors around this area. They are colloquially referred to as the “Pink” and “Blue” stores. They are painted in pink and blue respectively. If you’re in Staniel Cay you have to stop by to grab something on your stop there. It’s a beautiful little town with lots to see as you walk around between all of the shops.
After our sightseeing and grabbing some supplies from Staniel Cay we were ready to keep going South to go see a famous piano player.