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The Swimming Pigs of the Exumas

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These swimming pigs are causing a sensation, and it is easy to see why!  PIGS are not supposed to be swimming in the ocean…are they?  Have YOU ever seen such a thing?  Or heard about it?  A couple of months ago I saw a video on youtube with the swimming pigs of the Exumas, and I was so amazed (and laughing so hard) I decided I had to go and see it for myself!  It was meant to be, because a few weeks later I had the opportunity to travel to the Great Exumas (outer islands of the Bahamas).  I checked to see where these swimming pigs were, and when I found out they were in the Exumas, I booked my ticket!

Pig 4

On arrival, I asked how I could get to the pigs. I booked with Exuma Water Sports, not just to see the pigs, but to see huge Iguanas (and feed them!), swim with nurse sharks, and snorkel Thunderball Grotto (where 007 movies Thunderball and Never say Never Again were filmed).  There are over 300 cays (pronounced keys), small islands, throughout the Exumas.  The only way to really check it out is to do it by boat.  In come Exuma Water Sports, owned by Ray and Phillipa Lightbourn. The Lightbourn family has been in the Bahamas since 1735, and it doesn’t appear that they plan to go anywhere else!  Be glad, because their tours are top notch. I went the first day for a full day tour on board the 007 by myself as my cousin, who planned to go with me, was ill. What an incredible day!  Great people – it was lovely to chat with Ray and his son, Justin, and the highlights were amazing. The swimming pigs are just….hilarious. Seeing them swimming starts the laughter, it is so incongruous!

Pig 3

As I understand it, one of the cays had a pig farm on it, and the pig farmer was not only tired of farming, but tired of complaints about the odor of his pig farm.  I cannot remember if he just turned them loose, or if he relocated them (I think the latter because they seem to have their own island), but when boats would stop to look at them, they began to swim out to the boats for food!  And so, the swimming pigs of Exuma were born.

Exuma Water Sports sees those pigs on their full day tour, but they are too far for half day tours.  So what did they do?  They brought their own pigs to a small cay and taught them to swim and come for food!  They are now a year and a half old, and cute as they can be.  I was lucky enough to see both sets of piggies. I loved the full tour so much, I took my cousin back for the half day tour!

Pig 2

I am rather accident prone, and Exuma Water Sports helped me stay on my feet instead of tripping around the boat. They figured out the first day that falling on flat surfaces seems to be quite natural for me… though I did fall off the boat ladder once, too.  Just call me Grace.

Swimming pigs need to be on your list, folks!  Want to see them in action?  Check them out on YouTube!  And tell Exuma Water Sports Tam sent you!

DCIM100GOPRO

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue Expandable Tray!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue Expandable Tray as a prize!!!

The Bigblue expandable tray (176mm-287mm) has fittings and screws to attach action and compact cameras. The base and handles are made from high grade aluminium with the handles having a neoprene grip. The package also includes clamps and adaptors for 1” ball and YS light fittings.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that the Handicapped Scuba Association South Africa has announced plans to host their 6th Annual fundraising event “HSASA 50hr Dive–A-Thon 2021” this year. But on what dates will the event take place?

Is it:

  • A) 15th – 17th October
  • B) 22nd – 24th October
  • C) 29th – 31st October

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue Extendable Tray March 2021

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 14/04/2021. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jim Elliott and Tinamarie Hernandez of Diveheart (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jim Elliott, Founder and President of Diveheart, and Tinamarie Hernandez who is the organization’s Executive Director.

Diveheart is a US-based, nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization which aims to provide and support educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person.

In their own words:

We’ve discovered the forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we’re all equal.

Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.

 

Find out more about Diveheart and their valuable work at www.diveheart.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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