Just had a wonderful few days in the British Virgin Islands. The masses of charter boats here means you need to be timely for getting a National Park buoy over pristine and popular snorkelling and diving sites.On the first morning here we noticed the flotilla of charter boats heading over to the northern island of Anegada and decided we would need to get across there on the weekend when the crew usually change over. So we filled in our time visiting Marina Cay, The Indians – a group of four rocks that look like people with an Indian headdress on, the wreck of the Rhone and Pirates Bight.
Pirates Bight had good snorkelling right beside Qi and a pirate party boat in the corner. There was a lot raucous activity coming from the pirate ship as people leaped into the water from the decks. They seemed to be fully dressed which I think is taking the ‘no nude swimming’ law a bit far. We snorkelled around the corner where pirates’ caves had revealed treasure in the past. Unfortunately, we didn’t come away any richer from exploring the caves and figure that perhaps the 200 or so explorers before us, that day, may have had a hand in that. Several speed boats arrived during the evening for a night of fun on the pirate ship but we are lucky with Qi’s insulation and didn’t hear much. It seemed a little bit too loud and crazy for our social scene at the moment. We only last about ½ hour in such a crowd. We’d rather have a chat and meet interesting people. We’re becoming a little more peace loving with our lifestyle.
The Indians proved to the jewel in the crown. There was a diverse variety of corals and fish – both large and small. We snorkelled around with Thomas doing a lot of deep free diving. He’s getting really good at staying under for quite awhile. The reef was wonderful and really one of the best sites in the Caribbean. There was a drop off on the sunless side of the Indians and we would have liked to have stayed longer to get to dive on the other side but the 90 minute limit on the buoys was nearly up and we’d been in the water long enough and needed a break. We will have to come back to do a dive there next year I think.
We were lucky with the wreck of the RMS Rhone as well and had no trouble getting a buoy. As we were about to dive the Danish crew arrived by dinghy to dive the wreck also. We didn’t see them once we were under the water though. Thomas and I saw the biggest lobster ever at the beginning of the dive. The wreck itself is unimpressive but the coral that has grown there over the last 150 years is spectacular. Parts of the wreck are still slightly distinguishable. I think all the monks that were on board died during the breaking up of the boat during a hurricane. The number of wrecks and the pirates that went missing during hurricane season is a really good reason why we need to head south before June. We don’t want to join that company.
We spent another night in Marina Cay so we could get an early start to Anegada. We woke to plenty of wind as predicted and headed over early in the morning. We had a fast close reach with both sails well reefed. We arrived to the cay to find quite a choppy anchorage. We had hoped to do some lagoon snorkelling as this is one of the biggest reefs in the area but the wonderful wind that took us over prevented us from having good conditions for snorkelling. We sufficed with a long walk, (10km there and back) to the west tip along beautiful white beaches. Along the way we met Walker, a local kite surfer. He pointed out Sir Richard Branson just off shore kite surfing across to his island called Necker about 12 nautical miles away. At 63 years old, he’s quite game. The wind was about 25knots and there was quite a fetch on the water. He would have been exhausted by the time he got there. We made it back to Neptune’s Treasure for Happy Hour and met some locals and some visitors who absolutely adore the island. Good people and good atmosphere. Dining on shore was all about the giant lobsters being BBQed on the beach so we had yummy tofu burgers with satay sauce back on Qi.
We’re back at Saba Rock and might try and find a feed there. We’ll at least have a look at the Tarpon getting fed and have a look at their museum of treasures retrieved from shipwrecks.