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.|
|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!|