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Friday, May 29, 2009

Swimming Pigs

There's no way to sugarcoat's exactly what it looks like.

My friends and I spent a week recently boating through the gorgeous Exuma cays in the Bahamas, stopping for picnics on deserted sandbars, and dropping anchor here and there to snorkel in shallow seas. Along the way, we also tried to hit all the must-see spots: the hollowed out sea-cave at Thunderball Grotto, the protected marine land at the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, and of course all the best beach bars from Stocking Island to Staniel Cay.

Not wanting to miss a thing on our boating adventure, we couldn't resist stopping to see the curious swimming pigs at Big Major Cay that we'd heard so much about. Roaming free on their own secluded isle, the famous oinkers are known to take a dip and piggie-paddle over to your boat as soon as they hear you coming. Conditioned through years of generous feedings from yachties and day-trippers, these piggies hear the soft purr of an approaching motor and to them, it's the gunshot at the start of a race.

We'd heard the stories, but seeing them dive in right before our eyes was an entirely different experience. I'm not much of a farm girl myself, but I'm still pretty sure that swimming is an unusual sport for most livestock. And they were surprisingly excellent swimmers, like little pig-shaped dolphin. We were mystified. Which I think is the only explanation for what happened next...

We dove in too. We swam with the swimming pigs. I'm sure that it's been done before by a handful of intrepid vacationers, but this was the era of swine flu concerns, and we felt daring, fearless, like pioneers bridging the gap between the human and animal worlds. The pigs were unimpressed by the symbolism, but they still ate a couple soggy handfuls of our leftovers, and in a show of gratitude they stuck around afterward for a few unforgettable snapshots.



  1. This is HILARIOUS! I want to swim with the pigs!

  2. It was a blast...I definitely recommend it!

  3. It really was a lot of fun -- now I want to swim with all manner of other farm animals. Swimming with horses! Swimming with cows! Swimming with goats! I'm sure it can be done.


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