“Perhaps the sun was so bright and enticing, the sensation of flying so liberating, that Icarus could not help himself from climbing higher and higher. As for me, I just wanted to see how high I could fly.”

“In all the pigs’ sensitivity, in all their intelligence, curiosity, personality and generic similarities, in their intimate presence in our culture and religion, I wonder if the true magic of the swimming pigs of Exuma is because of some more profound connection. In them, we see us.”

“He stood there for a moment with eyes closed, knowing, fearing yet loving, that this moment would have to sustain him for the rest of the day. Finally he opened his eyes, the water trickling down his skull, streaming down his scared forehead and onto his face.”

“What an accident of history. What an amusing twist of fate that it took swimming pigs to make the world sit up and take notice. And it is remarkable that Exuma, one of the most beautiful places in the world, would soon be defined by the face of a pig.”

“It was a melee of flesh, men packed on top of men, with the only light trickling in from small, barred windows. No guards were in sight. Instead, as far as the eye could see, a sweaty stew of hardened criminals looked me up and down in my soiled white suit.”

‘Pigs of Paradise’ swims the pond to London

The swimming pigs swam “ across the pond” last month for the latest stop on their world tour, this time arriving in London, England, to promote their award-winning book and full-length film.

Pigs of Paradise’, released by Skyhorse Publishing in October 2018, has had an idyllic year. The double international award-winning book on the tourism phenomenon has sold out of its first printing, with a second edition slated for 2020. Stanfords, specialty travel book store in downtown London, received the last boxes of the celebrated book for its book signing in early September.

A new, full-length film, commissioned by executive producer Peter Nicholson, was shown to the crowd later that evening. Charlie Smith, the director of the film, also made the trip from his home base in Miami.

“The famous swimming pigs of The Bahamas continue to fascinate visitors from the world over,” said Anthony Stuart, Director Europe, India & The Middle East of The Bahamas Tourist Office – Europe.

 “It was a privilege to welcome author T.R. Todd and filmmaker Charlie Smith to London and to share with the UK media and swimming pig fans the stories behind our wonderful swimming pigs through Todd’s book ‘Pigs of Paradise’ and the film of the same name. Discovering the background to these enchanting pigs is sure to draw even more visitors to The Exumas, one of the 14 islands which was not impacted by Hurricane Dorian, to see the swimming pigs for themselves and in so doing aid with the recovery of the affected islands.”

 A key message of the night for everyone involved was the promotion of The Bahamas in general, educating the attendees that the country is very much open for business despite the tragedy on two islands – Abaco and Grand Bahama.

 In addition to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, other strategic partners came together to deliver this message.

Swimming Pigs Gin, a new company founded by a Bahamian living in London, participated by offering complimentary gin and tonics to the crowd, which included members of the media, travel agents and those simply interested in The Bahamas. Grand Isle Resort in Exuma, untouched by Hurricane Dorian, was also represented at the event, along with other Exuma properties Peace & Plentyand  Staniel Cay Yacht Club.

But it was Kew Little Pigs that stole the show. This micro pig breeder, the largest of its kind in Europe, brought in two little piggies from its farm just outside London, setting up an impromptu petting zoo in front of Stanfords. Micro pigs have become increasingly popular as pets in recent times, and Londoners stopped in their tracks to meet the animals and learn more about the animals, and The Bahamas.

“There is no doubt that these swimming pigs are a real source of fascination for people,” said Vivien Godfrey, the third generation owner of Stanfords, which dates its history back to 1853. Those wishing to make a donation to the Bahamas Red Cross, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, canvisit Stanfords’ website and follow the link.

“It was our pleasure to host ‘Pigs of Paradise’ and all the partners for this truly unique book signing and film screening. We wish The Bahamas well post-Dorian and would certainly encourage people to consider this destination for their next holiday.”

This stop for ‘Pigs of Paradise’ is the latest on the book and film’s world tour, with previous engagements in Fort Lauderdale, the Cannes International Film Festival in France, and local events in Nassau and Exuma. The new, full-length film, narrated by Scott Kelly, recently achieved international distribution, and it is expected to arrive on television networks and streaming services sometime in 2020.