Monday, June 15, 2015

Babies in 'The Baths' and Ahoy from Anegada!

Plopping our little ones into the water from the dinghy, one after one like little ducklings, must have looked a bit strange. The beach was a good soccer field's length away, and 'swimming in' with three children who cannot actually swim, to some, might have looked foolish. Not to mention the fact that the water was a bit choppy and the current stronger than expected...But we are nothing if not a bit 'adventurous' in our parenting, and so swim-in we did, turning many a head along the way. "Wow, you guys are gutsy parents!" was the refrain we heard over and over from fellow visitors. And while it did take a little extra effort and work to get there, it was so worth it.

"The Baths", as this area is known, encompass the rocky shoreline at the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda, and are a collection of massive granite boulders as large as sedans (some as big as semi trucks), with white sand beaches and secret tidal pools within. They are a "must" stop on any BVI itinerary. With children in tow, even more so. Scott and I have visited this famous geological phenomenon reminiscent of Goonies three times before, but never has it been so fun as with our girls. The dramatic and spectacular landscape notwithstanding; the giant boulders, caves and shallow pools create an incredible natural playground for children. It was so fun to set our little ones free to climb, splash and explore in this amazing place. We could have stayed all day long.

Because the anchorage is a bit exposed causing it to be choppy at best, it is only a day stop with a ninety minute time limit on the mooring balls. As such, after a couple hours of exploration we were back on our way to North Sound, where we - along with our buddies on Necesse - would stage for Anegada.

Dun, dun, dun.

"Stage" is the word used by cruisers to describe the period of preparation before a passage. To call any sail between these islands a "passage" is laughable, but being that Anegada is more remote than the other islands around here and out of the protection and lee of their shores, the sail to Anegada can incite a bit of anxiety. Despite it's relatively close proximity (it's only a three to four hour sail from North Sound), it still carries the lure and feeling of a new and distant landfall, and the sail can be rough for those of us who've grown soft on ocean waves and swell due to the protected waters of the BVI's.

Furthermore, Anegada has a distinctly different feel than the rest of the islands around here. For one, it's less crowded. For whatever reason, many of the charter boats are either a) not allowed to sail here or b) must get special permission to do so. As a result, Anegada has a more "sleepy" feel than the other islands. It's also unique from the other British Virgin Islands in that it is flat, flat, flat. So linear is the topography, in fact, that despite being only twelve miles from the nearest landmass, you cannot see it until you are practically on top of it, about three miles away. If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought we'd sailed ourselves right back to the Bahamas as this island would feel much more at home in the Exumas than here in the bustling, and undulating, BVI's.

Either way, we are very happy to be here. The girls heard a rumor of resident pink flamingos so our first order of business is finding those. We are told to look for the "pink reef", that it can't be missed...

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Fun at the Saba Rock Tarpon feeding show!
This is how our kiddos roll, island style.


The beach at the Anegada Beach Club where we spent an afternoon of volleyball, hammock lounging and fun.

1 comment:

Dina Farmer said...

Oh my gosh sounds like a fun stop!! I'm not so sure I could swim out there, I'm a poor swimmer! But getting out there would be amazing to take my little guy he loves the water. He is a fish!

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