Sunday 10 Mar, BVI day 6, Anegada: Scooter tour around Anegada.
Alarm early so we can be at the scooter store as it opens at 9:30am. We can only rent till 5pm so want to make the most of the hours. Over breakfast we discuss what a great nights sleep it was in our new anchorage. And we debate what day of the week it is. We really have no idea! IPhone tells us it’s Sunday. Oooh, half way through the weekend and we didn’t even know it 🙂 Yes, that’s how relaxed we can get.
Ashore by 9:30 we first take time to abuse a local WiFi to check the weather before we leave Cloudy Bay alone for the day. All good. The usual 16-17knots all day. After yesterday’s trouble anchoring, plus being so shallow, Glen is a bit twitchy about leaving Cloudy on anchor here.
By 10am we are on the scooter having been told to stick to the hard top roads only. Yeah, right :). We first head east towards The Settlement, where most of the island’s 350 inhabitants live. On the way we stop at a raised platform as an observation deck over Flamingo Pond – a big marshy lake in the middle of the west half of Anegada. There, on the platform is one of those telescopes that you don’t normally touch because the lens is so scratched or you have to put money in. But not this one. It seems to be new and when we glance through it, it is already lined up directly on a huge flock of beautiful pink flamingos, all standing there on one leg. Without the telescope they just look like a thin pink line on the horizon. Wow, we will have to get the drone here to take a closer look … without disturbing them of course. We read that the original pink birds were hunted by the locals, to total extinction by 1960. Then some very nice do-gooders reintroduced 20 pairs from Bermuda in 1990. Since then the flock has grown to hundreds.
Through The Settlement we see the opposite end of environmental friendliness. Each ramshackle house has huge amounts of rubbish and wrecked cars. Sad to compare but we can’t help thinking that most of the Caribbean households and surrounding land looks very much like you expect to see in gypsy villages in Europe. Zero notion of the environment or tidiness. Not all dwellings, but certainly the majority. That said, the Dutch run islands were pristinely clean, proving that with the right leadership the people will clean up their act.
OK, enough of black-marking this beautiful island. To the north east of The Settlement we arrive to Loblolly Bay and the small restaurant Flash of Beauty. Here, and all along this north coast, there is an outlying reef with the Atlantic roaring deep blue beyond; then turquoise inner water up to the white-white sand beach; backed by sand dunes with lots of small tracks here and there, allowing you beach access every few hundred meters along the shoreline. The scene is picture perfect paradise island colours: blue sky, deep blue ocean, white breakers over the reef, turquoise water in front of you, white sand and bright greenery in the dunes. Just stunningly contrasting colours. And virtually no one around. Breath taking.
Next beach bar west is Big Bamboo, on Loblolly Bay. This beach bar is extremely clean, well looked after and all painted bright colours. We take the usual photos on the beach then we retire into 2 hammock seats under shady trees with a couple of cold drinks. After being on the scooter in the heat of midday it’s wonderfully cool in the shade and the seats are so comfy we could almost take a nap.
But after 45 minutes we push on. The paved road goes back to The Settlement but a dirt road, that we’ve been told not to go on, continues along the north coast heading west. That’s where we want to go, so dirt road it is. Other than some soft patches of sand and some area of corregations (just how do those form on dirt roads??) it’s pretty easy to take the scooter on. Plus we see several dirt bikes and a couple of other scooters on the same road, so we are not the only naughty ones. As for other traffic, well there simply isn’t any. Just the occasional car every now and then on the main road. This really is a peaceful island.
After several detours off the main dirt road down tiny tracks to the beach to admire the view, we arrive to Anegada Beach Club where we were kiting yesterday. Several kites out today too. We will revisit tomorrow, again for me to kitesurf.
So we bypass the beach club and head further west to Cow Wreck beach bar and restaurant. Another very simply done colourful beach bar. Quite popular this one and the food is reasonable so we stop for drinks and lunch in the shade overlooking that same delightful beach scene. There are lots of American’s at the bar. American tourists do seem to like spending their holidays chatting around bars. It’s actually nice, giving a pleasant atmosphere to a place and of course they are always friendly, even if they are a little too loud!
From here we venture down our most challenging dirt track yet. I spotted 3 kites in the distance and believe they are in the surf over the reef. Sure enough, after a rather wobbly ride in deep sandy tracks we arrive to the very western tip of the island where the 3 kiters, obviously experts, are weaving in and out of the surf with their colourful kites equally weaving all over the sky. And also here on the island tip is the most marvelous house right on this beach which continues from one side of the island, around the tip to the other side. In fact this island must have a continuous pristine white beach around 2/3s of its entire coastline. The other 1/3 (SE corner) being shallow mangroves.
Just before 5pm we arrive back and hand in the scooter. The guy doesn’t even check it. They seem so friendly and trusting on this island. We are back on board Cloudy Bay by 5:30pm. The wind has swung north slightly, so Cloudy has now swung over a sea-grass bed. I am concerned and immediately turn on the depth only to see that it reads only 2.4m. We should be aground at 2.5! So in I jump with mask, snorkel and fins. As the boat swings onto the grass bed, the keel is being nicely “brushed” clean (but not quite aground). Then when it swings off there is a clear 70cm under the keel. Not a good situation. Bit too close for comfort in fact. We can’t bring up the anchor because to do that we would have to transverse the sea-grass bed which is currently about 2.2m deep. So instead, out comes our small kedge anchor, which I run out with the dinghy and place by hand in a hole in the grass bank where it will dig in. Pulling on it from the bow pulls the boat slightly off the grass bank and stops the boat swinging on the main anchor (we effectively have 2 anchors off the bow at 60degrees to each other). Without the swinging, the depth reading is now a steady 3.3m. Fingers crossed this set up continues to work through the night.
Evening is again relaxed. We wanted to get WiFi from the shore so we could load the Recuva program to try recovering our deleted videos. But even with our booster, the signal is too weak. As for Internet from Oana’s SIM card, that doesn’t work either. We can only get E, which hardly loads emails. So any internet requiring activities will have to wait.