Menacing nurse sharks are thick in Staniel Cay. Not quite the ominous beasts from the James Bond film Thunderball, but it amuses me to no end that there are in fact sharks that populate the Thunderball Grotto.
It may be one of the Bahamas biggest tourist attractions, but Thunderball Grotto is well worth a visit. I’ve been to James Bond shooting locations around the world. Thailand, Udaipur India, and I’m sure there were a few others. Not that I’m making a point of visiting, it just works out that way. This is the coolest one I’ve been to.
You swim into the grotto through one of several openings in the porous rock island. I chose an opening that you actually dove down and swam underwater through a passage until the cave opened in front of you. With a high arched ceiling and dim blue lighting flickering off the cave walls the hollow center of the island is a natural cathedral more beautiful than anything manmade.
True to the film, there is an opening in the top of the cave. Sadly the grotto makes only a fleeting appearance in the film in which James Bond is helicoptered out of the cave. In real life visitors can climb to the top of the island and those braver than I am can jump into the grotto from the top of the island, probably a 30-foot drop.
More my speed, there are hundreds of fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors that flock, or school perhaps, to the cave for tourist treats. Naturally we brought the fish some bread and I was immediately clothed in a cloud of opportunistic fish begging for handouts.
We watched Thunderball that night and feasted on lobster tacos. We still had frozen tails left from our incredible deal with the fishermen in Chub Cay (I didn’t realize just how amazing a deal it was until I saw 3 tails being sold for $25-40 in Nassau on the side of the road). Tacos are delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Not to mention perfect for a boat.
We always try to have cabbage on board, I make it a point to stock up on flour tortillas, and most of the trimmings (rice, beans, etc) are pretty standard ingredients on a boat. The sauce is what really makes this dish though. I have played with the recipe for ages and this is definitely my favorite.
I would love to hear what you think!
Lighthouse Lobster Tacos
Makes 8-10 tacos
Soft flour taco tortillas
½ head cabbage very finely chopped
Meat from 4+ lobster tails, shredded
½ c yachting yogurt
2 T kewpie mayonnaise
1 t salt
Juice from 2 limes
½ t taco seasoning
Boil lobster tails
Cut up cabbage and put in small mixing bowl
Mix yogurt, mayonnaise, salt lime juice, and taco seasoning – sauce should be thin
Put lobster in line along widest part of tortilla
Sprinkle cabbage over half of the tortilla
Drizzle sauce over cabbage
Serve with rice, beans, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, or whatever your heart desires and galley offers.