The pigs were bigger than I thought. There were two particularly fat ones who were eager for attention. Our guide told them to sit, and would you believe the pigs sat? Incredible.
The world famous swimming pigs of Exuma attract thousands of tourists to the island each year. The pig experience is part of a commonly taken tour, but there are many different tours. Around 7:30 am, the tour company picked us up from our hotel and drove us to the anchorage. From there, we jetted across the Exuma chain past hundreds of cays, rocks, reefs, and gorgeous emerald waters. We saw the homes and private islands of the rich and famous. But there was only one island and one set of celebrities we were interested in—the pigs.
When our boat approached the island, the pigs started swimming to us. They are so accustomed to visitors that they think nothing of it. Guests bring vegetables, bread, and even beer for the pigs.
They eat and drink it all. Further up from the shore are eight piglets. The infants have hidden away in the underbrush of a few trees. They looked at the dozens of visitors on the cay curiously, cautious not to stray from their mother. After 30 minutes with the pigs, we headed to Compass Cay to meet some friendly nurse sharks. Scores of them gathered around us as we pet their sandpaper-like skin.
"Don't put your hands near their mouths, though," one man said. I looked at him mystified. "Who would do such a thing," I ponder.
We headed to Thunderball Grotto, made famous for its appearance in the James Bond movie Thunderball. It may well be the most interesting place in the world to snorkel. Hundreds of fish live inside the grotto under its aquamarine waters. Our tour group spent the better part of an hour inside the cave.
We moved on to Black Point for some delicious local cuisine and a much-needed breather from the harsh sun. There is no better way to see the Exumas and the swimming pigs than taking a boat tour of the island chain.