Hers: Wednesday

Amber was the first person awake that morning. The previous evening, she urged her friends to get rested because they were going to participate in a special swimming excursion. She put little pink notes in the shape of pigs under each door. The notes instructed the women to bring straw hats, extra sunscreen, and gauze sarongs or beach cover-ups to wear when they weren’t in the ocean. Ellowyne, Lizette, and Pru dressed quickly, packed their tote bags, and hurried to meet Amber for breakfast. They were all curious; what surprise awaited them that day?

All of the women boarded the small plane that was to take them to the day’s adventure. In less than an hour, they arrived at their destination and squealed with delight. Amber’s parents had arranged for them to visit Big Mayor Cay in the Exumas and swim with pigs! In fact, they had paid for their daughter and her friends to get a private tour with an exclusive guide and spend time interacting with the pigs. 

Prudence asked their guide how the pigs first came to Pig Beach, another name for Big Mayor Cay. He explained that, while there were other origin stories, the one told most often was that two farmers brought pigs to the island, anticipating possible food shortages caused by the Y2K computer crash, which didn’t happen. The original swine remained on Pig Beach and multiplied. 

Because they arrived in the morning, the women found the pigs awake and ready to play. The pigs eagerly gobbled the vegetables Amber, Lizette, Prudence, and Ellowyne brought for them. When the treats were eaten, the pigs eagerly jumped into the ocean, and the four friends put on the snorkels the guide gave them and gleefully joined the swimming swine. He then took pictures and a few videos, which he sent to their phones 

The excursion lasted over three quarters of an hour, but it seemed to take but a moment of time. The women reluctantly left their new porcine pals, most of whom were already asleep on the beach. They got T-shirts for themselves and family members. Ellowyne bought a t-shirt for Rufus and noticed that Amber picked up a similar style, probably for Penn.

The ladies were then whisked off to Bitter Guana Cay, where they could see and get close to northern Bahamian rock iguanas. At first, they were put off because the lizards were hideous. Even after the iguanas approached them and begged for treats, Amber, Lizette, and Ellowyne still thought they were ugly. Prudence, however, asked the guide for the story of how the iguanas came to the island. He said that it wasn’t certain but they might have crossed a land bridge that occurred millions of years ago. The iguanas found at Bitter Guana Cay were genetically unique and the species was endangered, losing 50% of its population within the last sixty years. Prudence had a deep appreciation of the iguanas and, while they still considered the reptiles to be unsightly, her three friends gained respect for the creatures.

Then it was time for lunch. The women were horrified that there were several dishes made with pork. Instead, they opted for souse, a well-known Bahamian stew made with vegetables, spices, and a protein like meat or chicken. Although souse was often eaten as breakfast, it sounded like the perfect lunch for the ladies, especially since they were able to get chicken rather than pork.  

After lunch, they laid out on the beautiful pink beach. The sun was so bright that they all found spots in the shade. They relaxed for half an hour until the guide told them it was time to visit Compass Cay, an island where they could swim with nurse sharks. He reminded them that the sharks were usually harmless to people but they could bite if bothered or disturbed. 

Amber was the first to venture into the ocean. Prudence and Lizette followed, but Ellowyne was reticent. The guide assured her that it was safe as long as she didn’t reach out to touch them. He also told her that the locals often referred to the sharks as “giant catfish” because they were bottom feeders. Eventually she entered the beckoning turquoise water. She didn’t have to wait long until the sharks noticed her, and she was delighted when two small sharks passed her, one on each side. Amber, Lizette, and Pru were nearby, so Ellowyne and her fishy entourage joined them. The women stayed in the water, swimming and splashing around, for nearly an hour. Reluctantly, they left the ocean and readied themselves for the final planned adventure of the day. 

The last experience for the day was snorkeling in the Thunderball Grotto, which was featured in the 1965 James Bond movie, Thunderball, as well as Never Say Never Again, which was another Bond film, and Splash. The concept of swimming through holes in the cave boggled the women’s minds. Yet, once they were in the water, the holes no longer seemed formidable and they swam with ease above the colorful coral reefs and with the iridescent fish. The women could have snorkeled for hours, but alas, their exciting day had come to a close. 

When they arrived at the hotel, the women headed to their respective rooms to get ready for their evening meal. When they got to their table, they discovered that the guide had already emailed the photos he took. He even used a special underwater camera, so they could see and share pictures of their entire adventure. Ellowyne sent to Rufus a quick text and a photo of herself swimming with pigs. Within a few minutes, he replied with a comment about spending much of the day in the water and a photo of himself looking only mildly terrified when he and Penn were in the front seat of a boat plummeting down the Whitewater Falls ride at California’s Great America. She wondered how Penn talked him into going to an amusement park. But what she didn’t know…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s