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  • Posts by Joanne Robertson

    Pigs of Paradise – By. T. R. Todd

    Searching for the perfect souvenir, pre-trip read or book for the beach? ‘Pigs of Paradise: The Story of the World-Famous Swimming Pigs’, an award-winning book from Skyhorse Publishing, is an absolute must !

    Pigs of Par

    The bestselling hardcover on The Bahamas’ beloved swimming pigs has been selected by an international body as one of the best books of the year.

    Following its release in October 2018, “Pigs of Paradise” has found itself in bookstores and retail shops all across the United States, Canada and The Bahamas. It has been covered by media outlets the likes of CNN and USA Today. And a full-length feature film, based on the book, has begun an international tour at film festivals and private parties.

    But for author T. R. Todd, winning a bronze medal from the Independent Book Publishing Awards is the greatest feeling yet.

    “When you write books, you do it because you love it. You do it because you are passionate about telling stories. You just hope that others find value in it as well,” said Todd, who has been published twice before “Pigs of Paradise”, and will release his second novel later this year.

    “To receive such an award means the world to me. The story of these swimming pigs continues to capture the world’s attention. The Bahamas is like a second home to me, so I am just so happy that people are enjoying this story and learning more about the most beautiful place on Earth.”

    Every year, the Independent Book Publishing Awards receives thousands of submissions from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. Launched as the first unaffiliated awards program, open exclusively to independent, university and self-published titles, the awards are presented each spring at a gala ceremony during the Book Expo America convention in New York City.

    For its part, “Pigs of Paradise” was awarded the bronze medal in the Animals category.

    Winners of the coveted awards are featured in articles and press releases that are distributed to more than 2,000 media outlets. Most importantly, the book is given an award seal to display on the front cover.

    “This award is really the culmination of so much hard work from so many different people,” added Todd, who is also a former Business Editor of The Nassau Guardian.

    “So many friends and colleagues have been part of this swimming pig adventure along the way. I share this award with Diane Phillips, who wrote the foreword and has always been a wonderful friend. Peter Nicholson, the largest owner at Grand Isle Resort in Exuma, who shared my vision for the swimming pigs as an international marketing campaign. And of course the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, which has been an outstanding partner in bringing this phenomenon to the world. There are many others – and they know who they are.”

    In 162 pages, Todd offers an amusing yet eloquent account on the origins of the swimming pigs, while also sprinkling in details on Exuma’s unique history. He details how, in late 2013, Todd and Nicholson decided to create the first documentary film on pigs, which had previously been unknown to the wider world. Todd and Nicholson enlisted Bahamian director Charlie Smith to film “When Pigs Swim”, and more recently the full-length film “Pigs of Paradise”.

    The result was extraordinary: the swimming pigs of Exuma exploded onto the scene, appearing in television shows, newspapers, magazines and millions of social media posts. Today, these animals are among the most recognizable on the planet, with attractions now spread across several islands in The Bahamas and bringing in millions in tourism revenue.

    In addition to providing this history, Todd thoughtfully broadens the topic to consider the pig’s relationship with mankind in society, religion, literature and popular culture. In the end, the book explores what this attraction can teach us about developing empathy towards marginalized and heavily farmed animals in the 21st century, such as the pig.

    The message has struck a chord. Todd said that he has fielded interviews from magazines as far afield as Hong Kong.

    The next step for Todd and Smith is the film and book signing circuit.

    Earlier this month, the swimming pigs were front and center when a film on the global phenomenon screened in Fort Lauderdale at the Savor Cinema to a sold-out crowd.

    Fort Lauderdale’s finest packed the theatre for the exclusive U.S. Premiere, featuring Pigtini-themed cocktails, rum tastings, decadent appetizers and pink cupcake towers. Guests also engaged in an intimate Q&A with the both Todd and Smith after the screening.

    Both luxurious and light-hearted, the evening’s tone was set early on when Petunia the Pig walked the red carpet with local businessman and philanthropist Steve Savor.

    “Such a fabulous event,” said Beatriz Miniaci, who was one of around 200 people at the premiere.

    “I learned so much about Exuma from the movie. It was very well done.”

    Gregory von Hausch, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival (FLIFF), called the screening a “huge success”. The film is also expected to screen at the actual festival this coming November.

    More than 12 local and Bahamian sponsors supported the event, including Grand Isle Resort, Peace & Plenty, Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Makers Air. The event was also hosted and supported by the Bahamas Consul General of Miami and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

    “I think the world needs more swimming pigs,” Todd said.

    “Whimsical and fun, they spark the imagination. It reminds us not to take the world so seriously, and that sometimes, extraordinary things happen that we never expected. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

    Source: The Nassau Guardian

    Available for purchase: Amazon

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    Chinese Year of the Pig

    Ten Pig Facts for Year of The Pig

    2019 is the Year of the Pig! To celebrate we’re sharing 10 Facts about some of our favourite animals: PIGS! (duh):

    1. As recognised in the Chinese Zodiac calendar, 2019 is the Year of the Pig. The last Year of the Pig was in 2007.
    2. In addition to their inclusion on the Zodiac calendar, Pigs are the symbol for wealth in Chinese culture.
    3. Pigs are some of the smartest animals around. Their intelligence ranks higher than dogs!
    4. Believe it or not, pigs are very clean animals! They keep their living space clean and free from waste.
    5. Then why do they look dirty? Pigs can’t sweat, so they cover themselves in mud to cool themselves down.
    6. Pigs are omnivores. That means their diets can consist of both plants and meat. (On our tours we feed the Exuma Swimming Pigs carrots and the Spanish Wells Swimming Pigs chicken and turkey.)
    7. Known for their robust figures, full-grown pigs can weigh up to 700lbs! Though piglets can start out at around 2.5lbs.
    8. Pigs like to get (natural) massages – rubbing themselves on trees and hard surfaces for that good scratch! If you want to make friends with a pig, a good back rub can go a long way!
    9. It’s all in the name… A male pig can also be called a boar. A female pig is called a gilt pre-piglets and a sow post-piglets. Of course, baby pigs are called piglets. A group of adult pigs is called a “sounder of swine”.
    10. Pigs can live up to 25 years old. On our pig beaches we have a range of ages from piglets up to grandmas and grandpas!
    11. BONUS! Pigs really do swim! They front-paddle, much like dogs do.

    From our funny family to yours, Happy Year of the Pig!

     

    Harbour Safaris Swimming Pigs

    Pigs on our Exuma Excursion “sitting” for a carrot.

    Look! A Swimming Sounder of Swine! (Say that 5 times fast).

    sleeping piglets

    Napping piglets.

     

     

     

    References:

    https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/pig/#pig-fence.jpg

    https://researchmaniacs.com/CollectiveNouns/Animals/What-is-a-group-of-Pigs-called.html

    https://chinesenewyear.net/zodiac/pig/

    https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/pig/#pig-fence.jpg

    https://chinesenewyear.net/zodiac/pig/

    http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Pigs.htm

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    Miss Bahamas Universe joins Harbour Safaris on an Adventure!

    On October 27th, 2018, Christmas came early for guests traveling on the Harbour Safaris Exuma Swimming Pigs tour when one of their fellow patrons was none other than Miss Bahamas Universe, Danielle Grant. Passengers and crew embarked on a day full of adventure, first visiting the Iguanas at Allen’s Cay, continuing onto the Swimming Pigs at Big Major’s, stopping for a delicious lunch at Xuma Restaurant on Highbourne Cay and then spending some time on the stunning beach on the cay.

    Following the day excursion, Miss Universe Bahamas said she had a “fantastic time with Harbour Safaris!” Ms. Grant beat out 11 other contestants to be crowned Miss Bahamas Universe 2018 back in August. She represented The Bahamas at the Miss Universe on December 16th, 2018 in Thailand. During the competition, Danielle had the opportunity to discuss the beauty and diversity of The Bahamas as she represented the country on a global scale. With her elegant style, she proved that not only does The Bahamas have beautiful beaches, but also a gorgeous contestant!

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    Escape Room opens in Nassau

    Our company President, Lee, and his wife Chrystonia recently opened another small business – an escape room!  Aptly named Blackbeard’s Escape, it is conveniently located downtown at the Pirates of Nassau Museum.

    The game is set in the days of yore, when piracy took over the waters of the Bahamas. 

    The year is 1718, and Captain Woodes Rogers of the British Army has declared war on piracy.  Blackbeard has taken refuge in his hideout, and has summoned you to help him escape!  You’ll have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles, decode riddles, and find the clues before the British soldiers arrive and take you off to the gallows!

    The entire game, from introduction to debriefing, takes no more than an hour and half (less if you get out early!).  This makes it a must-do if you’re only in town for the day on a cruise!  It’s also great for locals! While there you can also explore the Pirates of Nassau Museum and have lunch (or a well-deserved cold beer) at Smugglers.  

    We took a few friends, two of which were from Germany, and tried it for ourselves.  As a first-timer, it was an amazing experience and we look forward to them opening up another room!  Let us know if you manage to escape the grasp of the British!

    Visit their website to book or call 242-813-3222 for more information!

    www.BlackbeardsEscape.com

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    Harbour Safaris Boat Tour

    Harbour Safaris Turns 3!

    That’s right! We’ve been swimming with piggies, exploring with iguanas and soaking up the sun on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches for 3 years now!

    To celebrate this year’s milestone, we wanted to recognise our amazing crew and highlight a few of the beautiful places we get to visit on our tours! We held a photo competition in which we had the public vote photos submitted by each Harbour Safaris crew member. The photos were posted to our official Instagram and Facebook pages and the votes tallied between both.

    To see the submissions, and of course the #FanFavourite, scroll down.

    As the icing on our anniversary cake, we have been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2018 – our second year in a row!

    It’s been a fantastic ride so far and we’re excited for what the future brings!

    We hope to see YOU on board soon!

     

    THE WINNER! 

    Napping Piggy with Empress 

    Congrats to Captain Grouper on his submission win!! 

    Swimming pigs

    Remaining submissions, in no particular order:

    Bahamian Rock Iguana – Captain Daron

    Bahamian Rock Iguana

    Nassau Sunset – Shavargo

    Nassau sunset

    Smiling Pig – Jaleche
    SWIMMING PIG

     

     

     

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    cerditos_chanchitos_cerdos_nadadores_en_pigbeach_pig_beach_isla_bahamas_exuma_nadar_harbor_safaris_6

    Viajar de a 2 explores with Harbour Safaris!

    This fun couple joined us back in May on two of our Harbour Safaris tours!

    To read excepts from their blog, see below:

    Rose Island Beach & Snorkel Tour

    Terminamos en Rose Island para disfrutar de un mar excepcionalmente celeste, snacks y cervezas locales. En pocas palabras: Relajo total, yo sé que tú te lo mereces.

    Exuma Swimming Pigs Excursion

    Existen varias teorías que explican por qué estos cerditos llegaron al medio de la nada, en una isla alejada de la civilización. A un paraíso exótico.  La más aceptada es que una embarcación los transportaba para luego comérselos. Los marinos los dejaron en la isla y volverían por ellos, pero naufragaron.  Sean cual sean sus raíces, ahí viven felices, libres y muy bien alimentados.

    A lo que vinimos: Pig Beach. Fuimos los primeros en llegar (estratégicamente nuestro tour programó llegar antes que otros operadores para que el grupo tenga más tiempo a solas con los chanchitos). Desembarcamos en una playa pequeña con unos 15 cerditos aproximadamente. Algunos en la arena, otros en el mar. Eso sí, ninguno quieto, todos de un lado para el otro. Unos locos.

     

    “Pig Beach”pig_beach_cómo_llegar_tips_bahamas_exuma_island_playa_cerdos_nadadores_chanchos

     

    Rose Island
    Isla-Rose-Island-Bahamas-nassau-_2

     

    To see the full articles, click on the below links:

    Cómo Llegar a Pig Beach: La Playa con Cerdos Nadadores en Bahamas  

    Qué Hacer en Bahamas en 4 Días – Itinerario, Costos y Tips

    Thinking of joining one of our Swimming Pigs tours or our Rose Island Beach and Snorkel Tour? Make sure you check-out our website for information and email us if you have any questions: info@harboursafaris.com

    We look forward to having YOU on board!

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    Harbour Safaris and BNT

    Harbour Safaris joins The Bahamas National Trust Rewardship Program

    Harbour Safaris is the newest Corporate Partner to join The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Rewardship Program. BNT Members will now enjoy an exclusive discount when joining Harbour Safaris’ exciting tours.

    The Bahamas National Trust is a nonprofit, national park management of the Bahamas which is responsible for the protection of over 2 million acres of land and sea. Membership is a fundraising mechanism for the BNT, and the rewardship program invites corporate partners to extend discount services to card carrying members.

    The Member Rewardship Program provides benefits to BNT members at different establishments throughout The Bahamas. Joining the program was a natural fit, as Harbour Safaris already has a longstanding relationship with the National Trust. Harbour Safaris has provided the BNT with custom charters to Waderwick Wells, the headquarters of the Exuma Land and Sea Park, raffle prizes for their fundraisers, and just last year the crew participated in an informational wildlife class with the BNT. The course was offered as a sign of gratitude from the BNT for abiding to the Trust’s plea that tour operators and visitors do not feed the endangered iguanas in Exuma.

    Harbour Safaris is the only tour operator to not feed the iguanas. Using the knowledge gained from the BNT informational session, Head Captain Daron Whyms explains “often other operators or visitors will feed the iguanas grapes, which we learned actually brings up their sugar to a level too high for the species”. Tourists appreciate the respect for the environment that Harbour Safaris exhibits, along with their small group size and local knowledge of the Exuma Cays.

    Building on this strong relationship, Harbour Safaris was thrilled to join the Bahamas National Trust Corporate Rewardship Program. Operations Manager, Joanne Robertson said: “We really appreciate and admire all of the hard work the BNT does and we are happy to support them in their continued efforts. It’s an honour to be associated with such a positive organisation.”

    Harbour Safaris has a guest satisfaction rating of over 95% and recently won a 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. For more information on The Bahamas National Trust, please see their website: https://bnt.bs/

     

    Harbour Safaris Boat Tour

    Harbour Safaris Operations Manager Joanne Robertson & Bahamas National Trust Membership Officer Raquel Rolle in front of the the Harbour Safaris vessels Huntress (black) and Empress (red) at Bay Street Marina.

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    Rose Island Beach & Snorkel

    Take a Break – Head to Rose Island!

    Are you visiting Nassau on a cruise or staying in a hotel for a few days? First time visitor or vacation veteran? Local Nassuvian without a boat?

    Whoever you are, we’ve just launched a new boat tour that is perfect no matter the length of your visit!

    Escape the busy streets of Nassau and enjoy the serene beauty of Rose Island. Just a short boat-ride away you’ll find pristine beaches, with little distraction (thanks to the fact that the island is largely uninhabited).

    En route to our beach stop, take some time at our first activity and dive in to the Bahamian sea and snorkel the nearby reefs. We avoid large group spots and instead take you to somewhere more secluded and private, better suited for our intimate tour sizes (our excursions consist of no more than 10 passengers).

    Afterwards, enjoy a picnic on the beach and treat yourself to some relaxation. Soak in the sun and sip a local beer* (after all, staying hydrated is important in paradise).

    What are you waiting for? Hop on board our luxury power catamaran, and travel in comfort and style! Temptress comes equipped with shaded seating, sun-beds and the convenience of a bathroom on board. There’s even ports to charge your cellphones (we know how taking pictures of paradise can drain the battery).

    For information on our Rose Island trip, visit our page: https://www.harboursafaris.com/rose-island-day-escape/

    Rose Island Boat Trip Bahamas

    Temptress - World Cat 320DC

    P. S. If your goal in Nassau is romance, make sure you inquire about our Romantic Evening Cruise! Sip champagne or wine and admire the beautiful Bahamian sunset. Contact info@harboursafaris.com for details!

    Nassau Sunset Cruise

    *Legal age to consume alcoholic-beverages is 18+ in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Please note, you may be asked for government identification to confirm your age.

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    hurricanes irma and maria

    #HarbourSafaris is #OpenForBusiness

    There’s no doubt about it – 2017 has been a busy and anxiety-inducing Hurricane Season.

    For us in and around the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma and Maria wreaked particular havoc.

    Having said that, we in New Providence, and most of the Northern Bahamas Islands have been incredibly lucky throughout this very active hurricane season. In fact, all of the islands within Harbour Safaris operations were largely unaffected and have returned to business as normal, with little interruption.

    Hurricane season officially closes November 2nd, but don’t think you need to wait until then to visit us. We are currently taking bookings and running trips for our Exuma Swimming Pigs Excursions and, our recently launched, Spanish Wells Beach Pigs Excursions.

    Thank you all for your support and concern! We look forward to having you on board one day!

    ~The Harbour Safaris Team

     

    P.S. If you are looking for a way to donate to the hurricane relief of affected Caribbean countries, we are avid supporters of the work Rotary does. As a well known, world-wide charitable organisation, Rotary probably doesn’t need our vouch of confidence, but for what it’s worth, it’s who we trust our donations with:

    https://www.gofundme.com/rotary7020hurricanerelief

    https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-helps-disaster-victims

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    Top Rated TripAdvisor Tours Nassau

    Harbour Safaris wins TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017

    Harbour Safaris today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its seventh year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year.

    I’m extremely proud of the team we’ve built in less than two years. We have grown from a one-boat operation to having 3 boats, 6 full-time staff, and a retail location. We are currently expanding our offerings and developing new tours. Our customer service is second to none, which is reflected in our rise to one of the top-rated boat excursions in Nassau” said Lee McCoy, President of Harbour Safaris.

    TripAdvisor is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Certificate of Excellence, which celebrates hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” added Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition allows us to publicly honor businesses that are actively engaging with customers and using feedback to help travelers identify and confidently book the perfect trip.”

    The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

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