The sail from Leaf Cay had been a real challenge. Crossing the shallow bar to the anchorage in massive breaking waves scared the bejesus out of the crew. Escape tied to a mooring ball just west of Staniel Cay, Exumas. Snorkeling the underwater cave system was a real highlight.

 

 

Mooring balls near Thunderball Grotto make snorkeling the underwater caves a breeze.

Mooring balls near Thunderball Grotto make snorkeling the underwater caves a breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts from Chapter 19 – Thunderball Grotto

 

Just as Escape reached the crest of a wave that looked like it could carry her to safety, the boat surged forward. It plunged into a shallow trough and the crew braced for the sickening grind that would rip open the bottom. Poseidon must have heard them screaming, because a huge gust of wind heeled Escape over hard and she leaned to the starboard side. The keel was at such a severe angle that the boat cleared the bar and whisked into the calmness of the lee shore.

Ewan had his pick of the floating mooring balls that were firmly attached to the bottom. He chose one nearest the underwater entrance to Thunderball Grotto. Ross made the bow lines fast. Ewan killed the motor. The tension in the air was dense. The crew, still on a terror high, was edgy.

“Who wants to snorkel the caves?”

“Great idea, Boss.”

“You guys go. I’ll chill with the kitties.”

“Suit yourself, Cookie. It’s pretty neat inside.”

 

 

The sun setting over Thunderbolt Grotto.

The sun setting over Thunderball Grotto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenes for the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball were shot in and around the caves of the tiny island named Thunderball Grotto. There were several underwater openings to swim through, which lead to modest chambers. It didn’t look like much on the outside, but the sites inside were legendary.

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