Sunday, 29 November 2015

Swimming with pigs in the Bahamas

THE BAHAMAS is the ‘Official Home’ of swimming pigs, according to the local tourist board – although, it’s not immediately apparent how many rivals the #destination has for the prestigious title. 

Visitors embrace the unique porcine swimming opportunity, greeting the pigs on the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, affectionately called ‘Pig Beach’.

Chris O’Toole takes a dip with local tour operator, Coastline Adventures …

‘I’ll admit it wasn’t top of my priority list. Indeed, before touching down in The Bahamas’ capital of Nassau I wasn’t even aware swimming with pigs was possible, let alone desirable.

But having been told by both Joy Jibrilu, director general at the #Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, and Bahamas minister of tourism Obediah Wilchcombe, that it was the done thing, I thought I’d better give it a go.

Tour operator Coastline Adventures provided the opportunity, offering half- or full-day tours from the island of Exuma.

Boarding with captain Bob Smith, he answers the question on everybody’s lips by explaining that some years ago a pig farmer saw the need to put a few pigs on Big Majors Cay for breeding purposes.

Other local legends suggest the pigs were dropped off by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them or that there was a shipwreck nearby and the pigs swam to safety.

However it was that they came to be, they are now the highlight of local tourism.

Approaching on board a luxurious yacht they came into view, splashing about in the crystal clear waters. Though feral, they are exceptionally friendly, with more running from under the shade of the almond trees to greet visitors they hope will bring them treats. The pigs frolic freely on the sandy beaches, and after basking in the sun for hours, they swim in the surf. They are also fed by the crews of passing yachts and vessels.

Approximately 20 pigs and piglets survive on Big Major Cay, partly because the island has three freshwater springs, and partly due to the generosity of visiting islanders and tourists.

Dipping into the water, it’s certainly a surreal experience, with the larger pigs swimming past at great speed. Some even attempt to board the boat.

But once the initial commotion dies down, the experience becomes calming and even therapeutic. The pigs splash past in pursuit of bread offered by tourists, while the visitors try to grab selfies in the surf.

Back on the boat, it’s time for complementary rum and fruit Punch! ’

Go Holiday news :

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.