9 Jan – revisiting Anegada and the Baths


January 10th, 2019


Caribbean – Leeward Islands, North Atlantic 2017 – 2019

Written by

Richard Farrington

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By Richard. Posted on January 10th, 2019 in Caribbean – Leeward Islands, North Atlantic 2017 – 2019.

18:27.15N  64:42.8W

Saturday was Anna and Matt’s last day so we rose early and sailed down to The Baths, on the north side of Virgin Gorda.  We went ashore at Devil’s Beach around 10am, only to find hundreds of cruise ship passengers wallowing in the shallows.  Despite the crowds, we managed to sample the magic of this lovely place, perhaps the most memorable in the BVIs. Whilst Julie and I waited offshore in the rubber boat, the young people scrambled as far as they could around, over and under the rocks northwards towards Valley Trunk Bay where the boat lay waiting in calm, turquoise water and glorious sunshine for lunch before taking Anna and Matt over to Trellis Bay and the aeroplane to Puerto Rico.  We spent the rest of the afternoon in the unofficial departure lounge on the beach and returned onboard just before sunset.


Glamour at the Baths, Virgin Gorda

As we thought about dinner, a beautiful, shiny white Swan 70 yacht (serious boat envy) came into the anchorage and decided to park abeam of us.  Unfortunately for him, we were anchored in 3m of water and his keel draws 4m, so he went hard aground.  We watched him struggle for a few minutes before I went over in the rubber boat to help.  They were Swedish and indignant that the charted depth did not correlate with reality.  As I attached a long line to a mooring buoy astern of them, the yacht wriggled free and they then secured to said buoy for the night.  Peace returned… 

On Sunday we moved over to the anchorage at Marina Cay, snorkelled there and sampled the painkillers and beer at the Pusser’s Rum Bar and the swanky hotel on Scrub Island.  The beers at the latter were not as expensive as you might imagine, but the service was slow by Caribbean standards and there were too many loud American tourists watching a ‘football’ game for me.

The weather has gradually improved since the windy weekend off Peter island, so on Monday we sailed north to Anegada, the most remote of the BVIs and by far the flattest (you can’t see it from a yacht until you are only five miles away).  The anchorage here is very shallow, but since our last visit where we ‘banged out’ and found some deeper water west of Pomato Point, this time I’d done some additional research and we pushed in very slowly until we were due south of Setting Point, where there is about 3.5m of water.  In reasonable weather, this is a good, secure anchorage and we were only a quarter of a mile from the beach.  Whilst Lizzie and Ran went for a decent walk along the wonderful beach, Julie and I did some laundry – no electric light, no hot water, but it’s only $2 a load and the people are so nice! We booked scooters and live lobsters for the next day.


Cow Wreck Beach Bar, Anegada

We really enjoyed our return to Anegada and I think that Lizzie and Ran ‘got it’ too.  We were lucky with the weather on ‘scooter day’: we saw pink flamingos on the saltpans, had Loblolly Beach to ourselves for an hour and had a fine lunch at Cow Wreck Beach.  Interestingly, Sargasso weed has come ashore here in significant quantities, particularly on the north shore, so the pristine beaches are not quite as picture-perfect as they were in March when we were last here.  Overall though, the tourist industry has also recovered well from Irma, so there were no beach loungers available when we reached Cow Wreck (named because a ship foundered on the reef here with a cargo of cattle). Still, it wasn’t crowded and we had a great visit to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.  Emboldened by our agility on scooters in the sand, we pushed on to the Anegada Beach Resort – an eco-resort on the north shore with plenty of upmarket tents on stilts in the dunes.  Not a bad way to get away from everything…


Easy Riders at Anegada

The scooter hire people were also lobster fishermen.  I love talking about lobstering (it takes me back to my wonderful childhood in West Cork) and we walked back to the boat with four fine specimens who have provided us with a lobster salad and a risotto – eight posh meals onboard for the price of one in one of the local restaurants.


A few pounds of lobster…

Today we winched Lizzie up the mast to take some arty photos of the boat anchored in these idyllic waters and then had a fine sail down to Cane Garden Bay on the north side of Tortola to pick up some essential supplies.  Tonight we are anchored off Green Cay, Jost van Dyke, ready for some serious snorkelling in the morning.  The wind has dropped and it should be calm and peaceful for a few days…


     Chillin’ at Anegada.  Expensive ‘selfie stick’!