Honestly, Staniel Cay has been our favorite area in the Bahamas. It is so popular with tourists that they offer all the amenities you would like to have, while still being small enough that you feel isolated in paradise when anchored. There is also cell phone coverage here which makes accessing the internet possible while at anchor here.
Right next to Staniel Cay is the Thunderball Grotto, named so as it was the location for the underwater fight scene for the James Bond movie Thunderball.
The grotto is a beautiful cavern inside where the limestone has eroded away to create this huge cavern with an open skylight in the center. The best part about the grotto is actually what can be found beneath the surface.
The grotto is teeming with large fish that will swim right up to you as you swim. At the surface, large stripped fish will come right up to your hands and mask, but if you dive down, larger fish will be skirting along the bottom!
The grotto is best visited at low tide, and at slack water. At low tide, the ceiling is farther away, allowing you to snorkel without hitting your head. At slack water, there is less of a current ripping through which makes the entire experience easier to navigate.
We visited the grotto our first time at low tide and with a slight current. It was really fun and we spent a few hours swimming around this small area. It might seem like you could see it all in a few minutes, but the truth is every time you revisit a spot, something new will be swimming there.
We returned for our second grotto experience at high tide, and the current was a bit stronger. The rocks were closer to our heads and the current was very strong. We swam around for a little while but it wasn't as enjoyable.
If you visit the grotto, be sure to visit it at low tide and when the current is lighter,; you will have a magical time in there!