The anchorages on Central Exumas:
Big Major’s Spot Overview
Big Major’s Spot is a popular area situated to the southeastern end of Major Cay, a long island lightly connected to Fowl Cay. Despite its low-lying banks, it’s a great place to anchor in prevailing winds. Big Major’s Spot is roughly a mile long and is known for its salt pans and the Pig Beach.
Navigation and Anchoring
There are several paths to enter this anchorage. If coming from the southern end of Sampson Cay, opt for the western end of Fowl Cay. You will find a small sandbank to the west of Fowl Cay; keep it starboard and enter the channel west of Black Point. Here you will find the popular Pig Beach.
If entering from the west, round Harvey Cay and head west to reach Big Major’s Cut.
Another way to the Spot is via the narrow cut between Fowl Cay and Major Cay island. This is not recommended for private charters and is usually preferred by skippered vessels in the daytime who want to go to-and-fro between the Spots.
Places of Interest In and Around Big Major’s Spot
There is a huge salt pond in the middle of Big Major’s Spot which was workable up to a few years ago. It’s deserted since and is usually occupied by locals fishing or tourists exploring the pond. There are hills and valleys worth exploring throughout the cay.
The western shore (with the low-lying sandbanks) has several beaches that offer stunning views of the North Atlantic horizon. This is where the Pig Beach lies which contains a drift of wild pigs. Anecdotally, it is known that these pigs were transported from Staniel Cay by residents looking to start a farm by breeding but we have reasons to believe that the plan didn’t go as planned. However, contradicting accounts exist. It’s okay to interact with and feed them, but don’t let your guard down. There have been instances reported from the cay that pigs have snatched entire food resources from tourists or have bitten them.
If you are at Big Major’s Spot, Pig Beach is a must-visit place even if you don’t plan to get into the water. In recent years, it has been promoted in popular culture.
Note – Pigs are decent swimmers so expect them to approach you as you head into the cay.
Thunderball Grotto located off the southern end of Major Cay is also a prime tourist spot. Here you can spot amazing coral and other sea life while enjoying a relaxed snorkeling experience during low tide. You can enter the cave from any side and come out in the middle atop the large covering. This is a cool spot for a swim and taking photos. Just take care of the tide timings and make sure only those who can swim for a longer duration get in. There is no lifeguard as it is not an officiated place.
Trivia – The grotto is apparently named after the 1964 James Bond film Thunderball. However, we couldn’t confirm the claim’s authenticity.
There is no provisioning on the anchorage or the island. The entire cay is deserted most of the time, save for a few tourists enjoying the scenery and playing with the pigs.