Christmas at Staniel Cay

We sailed south to Staniel Cay just in time for Christmas. The area was pretty busy, so we ended up anchoring between nearby Little Major’s Cay and Big Major’s Cay. We stayed there for about a week.

We’d accumulated quite a bit of trash since leaving Compass Cay Marina, so the first thing we did was dinghy over to Staniel Cay Yacht Club to dispose of it ($10 per bag) and eat at the Yacht Club Restaurant. We were unimpressed with the food. 

We walked around the island in search of groceries. We found the best selection at “The Pink Store”, where we loaded up on expensive groceries that cost twice what they would have in the U.S.

When we returned to the boat, we made rum balls. It was the least we could do after forgoing most other Christmas traditions. Christmas this year was a whole new experience. There was no last-minute shopping, no parties to attend, or presents to exchange. We spent Christmas focusing on what Christmas is really about: the birth of our Savior. Of course, we made time for a little swimming and spearfishing too!

The following day we visited Thunderball Grotto, a huge, underwater cave system where a couple James Bond movies were filmed. There were multiple underwater entrances and thousands of colorful fish. Bats hung above us. We spent hours there. 

We also took a trip to Big Major’s Cay to see “the wild pigs of Pig Beach”. The pigs swam out to our dinghy when we arrived, and the kids had fun chasing and swimming with piglets. However, it was pretty obvious that they are just domestic pigs kept on the island to attract tourists. There were water troughs, pens, and some of them even had ear tags. 

We speared a few fish and caught many conchs which were turned into fresh conch salad and mofongo relleno.

Towards the end of the week some pretty rough weather came through the area, and we had to pick up anchor at night and move to a new location. While moving, our dinghy’s painter got wrapped around one of our propellers and we came too close to colliding with some jagged rocks. The kids were pretty terrified, but we managed to get the line off of the prop and recover our dinghy just in time. Afterwards, we had a long conversation with the kids about reacting to stressful situations and how staying calm and donning a life jacket are much more productive than running around screaming “We’re going to die!”. Ashley and I learned a valuable lesson as well – always hoist the dinghy before maneuvering, especially at night. 

1 thought on “Christmas at Staniel Cay”

  1. I can’t even begin to explain what’s it’s like living this experience through your eyes. It is utterly fascinating and absolutely love how the boys are learning how to handle stressful situations (and Mom and Dad because I’m sure Ashley was screaming “we’re going to die” too 😂). Love you all more than you know and miss you so much. Safe travels 😘❤️❤️

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