The worst pig often gets the best pear.—Italian Proverb
|Major Cay pigs, May 2013. Exumas, the Bahamas. Deflecting them from our dinghy by tossing them eats.
The first time I went to Major Cay, I took one of my all-time favorite shots—the swimming pigs, eyeing pancakes tossed to them from our dinghy.
|One of the many Major Cay tour boats bringing tourists to the swimming pigs.
This is Pudding, one of the the more assertive porcine swimmers.
Truth be told, every time I come to Major Cay, the prospect of these enormous highly food-motivated hooved, sharp-teethed animals going after the grub we’ve got in our inflatable dinghy or on our person freaks me out. I may as well festoon myself with salmon bites and waggle myself a few feet from a grizzly bear in prime fishing season.
|Sign at Major Cay, home of the fames swimming pigs. Consider yourself duly warned.
Let’s just say I know better.
|These cute little guys que up for their bottle feeding.
I even smirked a bit when I saw a youngster get chased by a pig when we were last at Major Cay in 2014—shooting my photos of the episode from a safe distance.
This time I got complacent, foolishly figuring because there were lots of food sources and other folks closer than I was—like tour boats—that I wouldn’t become a target. I’d brought food and decided to snap some photos from my not-very-Zoom-lens water camera. In the process, I not only got closer than I should, the food I carried and previously kept hidden from view caught the attention of one of the pigs.
|The pig at Major Cay, Eleuthera, the Bahamas emerges from the water
and goes on the move. This is the sow that charged me.
The pig charged.
I turned tail and ran, but not fast enough. The pig nipped me in the *ss—hard! I don’t even remember falling on my *ss, but my sandy backside provided the proof. I just remember that I flung the bag of food to get the pig away. It pounced the bag, and tore it open devouring its contents instantly.
“Pavlovian response,” Wayne said. “It knew that would work, and it did. But I do feel like my manly territory was usurped by that pig.”
Ahhh . . . empathy (not).
I’m lucky that I was still wearing my neoprene wetsuit from our Thunderbolt Grotto snorkel. The pig’s teeth didn’t tear the suit or my skin. The bite still left some serious teeth imprints, which since filled in with a bruise. My keister still smarts, especially on bumpy dinghy rides, which are the norm
|Where the pig left its mark on me. The bite is a little bigger than the size of my fist.
It’s been several days and the bruise looks worse but doesn’t hurt as much.
Afterward, while I watched the gal who worked at Major Cay bottle feeding piglets vitamins I nearly saw some of the more mature pigs nearly trample baby pigs as they tried to horn in. I am reasonably sure some get trampled to death. Wayne later told me he saw lots of YouTube videos of visitors getting chased. Our friend Neville of Dreamtime, who got phenomenally great photos of the pigs earlier this year, told us about a tour boat passenger feeding the pigs whose breast got too close to the food source. The consequences were ugly.
|This gal who works at Major Cay to help care for the pigs there knew her stuff.
Major Cay is still worth a visit. Replace “when pigs fly” with “when pigs swim” is still a novel sight to be seen for us city slickers. I still believe baby pigs are freaking cute.
|This piglet was quite gentle, but I was still on the lookout for the sows and watched my backside!
Just . . . beware about how close is too close a look.
Who’s faster—me or the pig? My high school competitive track racing days are too far behind me—most definitely the pig is faster.
|The pigs don’t swim out as far as this couple on the SUP at Major Cay, Exuma, Bahamas.
This is a recent retrospective from when we were at Major Cay, Exumas, Bahamas, 24 10.964N 76 27.637W. We are currently in Long Island, working our way to the Raggeds. Since Major Cay, we’ve anchored in the Salt Pond/Thompson Bay area of Long Island. Catch-up posts coming.