Making Friends

The greeters of Blackpoint, Exumas.

We anchor in Big Major, which is the closest protected anchorage to Staniel Cay. Big Major is known not only for the anchorage but also for the garbage pigs. What a life, these pigs lie around on the beach and wait for cruisers to show up and feed them. Sweet deal. While most of us just feed them our leftovers and organic waste there are those who go one better. Wayne on Irish Fever made them peanut butter sandwiches. Of course this means that these pigs are very well aware of what a ziploc baggie is and that a dinghy = food. So as you dinghy in, the pigs swim out to meet and greet and get the first pickings of the buffet. Yes the pigs will try to climb in your dinghy while you are landing.

This little guy joined us for an hour between Chub Cay and Nassau. He’s a Bananaquit. They’re not shy. There we were, 20 miles from land in any direction and staring at all the blue around us. A flash of yellow streaks past our heads straight down into the cabin. We looked down and there was a birdy. He didn’t appear to be tired, apparently he just wanted to visit. We fed him some pasta (they don’t like pasta) and gave him some water. He hopped all over the boat and us and then gave us a look, cocked his head and flew off. A short but rewarding friendship. I didn’t get a photo of Nemo, our guard fish at Big Major.

Nemo was approximately 2″ long. He lived beside our boarding ladder for the week that we were anchored there. Everytime someone climbed the ladder Nemo swam out and attacked their feet. As we tied up he swam up and circled the ladder. When I jumped in the water he charged at my mask. A fearsome little guy.

Those aliens certainly know how to do a sundowner! We met Zorg at the Miami Boat Show and he followed us back to the boat. Once he saw the size of our winelocker he stayed. He’s an excellent addition to the crew list of Forbidden Planet. And he’s quite the ladies man… Anne is under the alien spell…

And of course there’s the two-legged variety of friends. One of the greatest joys of cruising is the incredible social aspect. 3 boats show up in an anchorage and it’s a guaranteed happy hour. Friendships are made quickly and intensely. Sometimes we hang out with a boat for a few days, sometimes a few hours. We may see the same boats in several anchorages over our trip or not. Occasionally a boat shows up that we met a few years ago. That’s cause for celebration. Happy hour reigns supreme. My most important advice to new cruisers? Never run out of mix and have lots of appetizer recipes.

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