Thursday, January 21, 2016

An Afternoon Away in Cane Garden Bay

We don't get out much these days. And by "out" I mean out of this marina, which I now affectionately refer to as "the village" (after the movie by the same name). With Scott putting in twelve-plus hour days, seven days a week, and me being on my own with the girls most of that time - "unsupported" outings beyond the gates of Nanny Cay are, more often than not, more trouble than they are worth. When Scott got a rare day off, however, we decided on an afternoon to one of our favorite places here on Tortola (and quite possibly the one where we hatched the idea to base ourselves here over rum drinks and a killer sunset), Cane Garden Bay.

The last time we were here I was laying on our paddle board at the shoreline while Isla played in the sand at my feet, when a pretty woman strolling along the beach approached us. I noticed her earlier, walking along the water, intermittently digging her toes through sand as if she was doing some sort of beach-combing. "Have you ever heard of coquinas?" She gently asked Isla. I sat up and we replied we had not. The woman, who I later learned was Liza, then proceeded to dig her foot in the wet, soft sand near the water's edge, and picked up a small clam-like shell. "This is a coquina" she told us. She dropped it back to the sand at which point it quickly burrowed out of sight. Both Isla and I were mesmerized. "Cane Garden Bay is the only beach in the BVI's where I have found them" she said. She then told us of her childhood in Florida where she'd dig for coquinas for hours, collecting them by the bucketful, a hobby that has continued into adulthood. She pointed out her boat and told me she was a fellow cruiser, and we've been friends ever since.

Not only did I gain a new friend that day, but a new beach hobby. Digging for coquinas at Cane Garden Bay is pretty much what we do now at Cane Garden Bay. And, believe me, it's addicting in a therapeutic, calming sort of way. Excavating at the waterline, unearthing one, and scooping it up before either a) a wave gently laps it away or b) it buries itself further into the sand over and over and over again is quite the 'thrill'. Fun for the whole family. So the day that we escaped Nanny Cay and hit up "Cane" (as it is known by locals) was no different. The surf was 'up' because a north swell had been running the few days prior making what is usually a very calm and serene beach more or less un-swimmable for toddlers but decent for coquina hunting. Accompanied by our friends, the Sunkissed Soeters, we hit the beach. The kids lined the surf, digging in the sand and plopping coquinas into buckets while the parents indulged in a little day drinking. More than a couple times the kids were drenched by a rogue breaking wave, but it didn't deter them enough to stop unearthing the clammy treasures.

We chatted with fellow beach goers. Witnessed a beautiful beach wedding. Collected (and set free!) bucket loads of coquinas and ended the day with a casual beach-side dinner with our friends to celebrate a very successful start to our new business. With full bellies we taxied home salty, sandy and happy from a day of fun in the sun. As the high season winds down and Scott and I begin to get a better handle on what sort of staff we need and improve our time management, we hope to have more family outings like this in the future. For now, we'll take 'em when we get 'em.
First order of business, refreshments! 
Stormer and Isla busy digging for coquinas.
Luuck and baby Rio
Mira comes over to check out a coquina. 
Isla couldn't get enough. Here's also a shot of a wave coming in. Usually this bay is flat calm.
The coquina! 
Adding some sand to the bucket to make a "home" for their coquinas. 
Daddy and Mira
Haven loves nothing more than tea parties on the beach!
The kids got front row for the sunset show, always a main event at CGB.
It never disappoints here. 
Two buddies, taking it in. And Isla seemingly getting a little fresh.
These two are "monkey see, monkey do" - one twin squats to pee, the other mimics (neither did, fyi)
Isla playing as the sun begins to set.
The celebration group. Fun day for all!

7 comments:

Tasha | Turf to Surf said...

Love this! Now I want to go dig for coquinas in Cane Garden Bay - let's do that tomorrow night as we go out in search of "Lion" under the full moon :-)

MaryJo Boyle said...

I love that you all got away for some great R&R together; you deserve it!

SF Power Boats said...

This is a wonderful post. I like how you detailed the descriptions, I can really imagine how it is in Cane Garden Bay. I haven't been there yet but it seems like a great place to travel. I'm actually familiar with coquinas and you're absolutely right, digging it up can actually be therapeutical. I don't have any scientific basis but in my experience, I find it very relaxing and fun. I wish you all the best of luck and I'll continue to follow your blog. You have great insights. Keep posting. :)

Rasal Khan said...

great post

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