05/15/2011, The Lobster Trap Restaurant
It was a very long day and Dudley is an amazing man! He's right there by my side every step of the way, showing me up too!
We ended our day with some really great lobster...why this is the best we've ever tasted I'll never know...just is!
Our three new friends...Sarah and Justin also guests on the island and Velma...a wonderful local woman who treated us like family!
05/15/2011, Salt Pond...Anegada
We ended our 2 hour hike with a very anticipated treat! Waaaaaay over there...a small sampling of about a dozen Flamingos! They really do get what they need from this special place and we are the beneficiaries!
Dudley and Bec
05/15/2011, The Drowned Island...
This flat island sits on an immense coral barrier and is an aquatic universe of extraordinary measure which has been the focus of the island's fisherman for all of it's history. Their ancestors have been known as pirates and later notorious wreckers whose victims litter the long coral bank which stretch miles south of the mainland and because it's awash, has been a deathtrap to ships at sea.
It was our hike thru the mangrove fringed lagoons today that had Dudley cringing at every turn with his knees objecting too! We were still in search of the flamingos we were promised to observe...but it was these vistas of low lying flora that struck us with awe this early morning we chose to explore by foot.
05/14/2011, Altair to Anegada's Shore in :60 or less...
We stopped to say hello to our neighbors who were full of info...first...wherever you make landfall, go around that big reef between our boats and shore! This is going to be very interesting.
That was Beth and Gary on Eagle's Wings...pilot cum sailor, we think. Then we landed at "Lobster Trap" heeding their wisdom of this special place and tied up to their dock...meeting Velma and Maxine who immediately welcomed us with huge smiles and warm charm. We continued on down the beach to Whispering Pines where we met met Charles...looked their menus too...fish and lobster, gotta love this place already! We carried on to Anegada Reef Hotel where we met Frances, who came here to work and fell in love with an Antegadian woman and stayed. Seafood and "lobster" on their menu...yep, this Anegada lobster is supposed to be very special so we'll just have to find out for ourselves we think. Finally we asked about the salt pond and are there still flamingos here?
We were told to "go back down the beach until we get to Neptune's Treasure...cut thru their property, cross the road to the path that leads to the salt pond! Just maybe you'll see some flamingos and maybe you see a donkey or two!
We only stopped briefly, but it was long enough to meet Grandpa Soares, Captain Fishy...daughter Charisa, Claudette and grandson Joe! This has been a very social time here at Anegada, but this salt pond speaks to us with the same reverence that our very own Everglades does.
We saw evidence of donkey...no sign of the flamingo...yet, which apparently flourished and fell in love with Anegada too! Soon come we hope!
05/14/2011, Anegada or Bust!!!
We wanted to on Thursday. We staged on Friday...and now it's Saturday, with the weather cooperating...FINALLY. We are over it...the weeks of squalls...the troughs and the waves have all been very trying...REALLY! Anegada here we come!
We've had plenty of time to sike ourselves silly with quotes like this: ..."your approach to such dangerous shores should only be made in daylight and good visibility. You should also be sure to study your charts carefully before you set out and then navigate carefully so you know without mistake exactly where you will arrive." Landfall is another story!
We sailed, which is great news aboard Altair...and when we arrived, excited to get in the water and become one with the undersea wonderworld...got the scare of all scares! We've been so brainwashed to take care upon entering the reefs here that I'm skittish. We timed it to be high noon when we arrive...my captain is on deck with his shade tree hat, his poloroid lenses and his eyes that he's trained over the years to read the water. Now the way points that were chosen with care and triple checked...have us on the right side of the first red channel mark heading smack into the reefs. I can see we are dead center of the markers, Dudley sees and I cannot see the water...the weather is starting to revert to the squally mass we've been accustomed to lately and the second set of red and green channel buoys don't make sense!
As usual, my captain prevails...slow down...gently approach the next red with caution and we eventually saw our way to our anchorage without harm.
We are happy to say that weather held out in our favor just long enough to help us see our way into the channel making a large detour to the west to get around the coral reef off Pomato Point. Between that and Raffling Pt. there's a long sandy beach that we have every intention of exploring. It's almost deserted and is one of the loveliest and wildest you can get to by boat in the Caribbean. Jacques Patuelli's guide says the best anchorage is north of Pomato Point where a nick in the shoals lets you get a bit closer to the beach...NOT...we're going to take a mooring in 6.5' of water...thank you very much!
05/13/2011, Still in Virgin Gorda...
Great, there is this trough that won't leave, still hanging over us dumping rain...that translates...we are fully topped off with water and we are shriveled! Now there are two waves colliding with the trough that's stalled over us and a cold front making it's way into the mix too! Most of this is happening west of us along with the trough...we hope.
We looked at three weather models late last night and it appeared that we were going to leave for Anegada this morning! At 4a, a squall came thru that woke us both up and the monsoon continued until around 12 noon! So much for weather sites! We need to arrive by noon in good light according to all guides in the know and my captain.
We took that opportunity to explore the Bitter End, the last of the wishes for exploring here in the North Sound and it was a photographer's dream. The flora was sparkling from the rain, the place was new to us, so it's fresh and exciting and all an all the day turned into a 'tourist' experience and we got off the boat and dried out in the sunshine...hip hip hurray!
It's Friday the 13th after all, so we were supposed to stay here another day to play it safe, because we absolutely cannot see the reefs with this scenario. We also have a red sky which means a sailors delight tomorrow, right? We hope to share the good news from Anegada! We are so excited...wish us luck!