26 May 2007 | Around Anguilla
We cleared into Anguilla first thing in the morning. Customs was easy but we had to wait about an hour for the official to return from something. There's a nice jazz beach bar right next door so it was not a real hardship. It was starting to get pretty hot though. It is almost June and we are now around 18 degrees North. 80 something degrees with 98 percent humidity will take the gusto right out of you.
After clearing in I noticed some kids playing around on the dinghies at the pier. I went over and talked to them just so that they knew folks were around and aware. They weren't on Little Star (our dinghy) or the Red Barron (Fred and Cindy's dinghy) so I just said hi. They proceeded to ask for money. Hmm, not a good sign. One of them was a bit chunky and claimed to be hungry. I told him that he looked fit and healthy, which he didn't like much. Seeing as how my strategy was turning out to be counter productive I gave up and went back to the table.
Hours later when we returned to the dinghy I couldn't seem to get the engine started. Upon inspection I noticed that the choke had been pulled out, the throttle was wide open and the transmission was in gear. At least they didn't steal anything.
We decided to rent a car for the day and explore the island. Fred and Cindy had stayed at a boutique hotel called Ku years before which they wanted to revisit and the Pyrat Rum distillery was high on the list. The Pyrat Rum distillery was very nice. We couldn't get a tour (it was the weekend) but we looked around a bit and hit the tasting room. Pyrat is one of the few Rums I enjoy drinking straight. The folks who own the Patron Tequila brand also own the Pyrat Rum business. Pyrat is marketed, much like Parton, as upscale and is typically rather pricey. At the Anguillian tasting room you can get Pyrat, in various, forms much cheaper than you can elsewhere. I'm not sure that I'm convinced that the older versions are all that much better. I bought a bottle of each in order to do further research.
We spent the middle part of the day driving around Anguilla and checking out various beaches. The Ku resort sits on one of the most popular beaches and has a funky chic sort of vibe. We had a drink there and trust me, one is all you need. Their drink menu is pretty wild. I marveled at how the dive shop on the beach operated with no pier. Their boat is anchored out just past some serious breakers. Fred, having experience in the matter, indicated that loading tourists onto a dive boat through a beach break was entertaining if nothing else.
We finished off the day back at Road Bay and had dinner at the Pump House. It looks like an old fire house but they have a fun bar and great food. It was a real treat after eating in the BVI for weeks. The BVI has gotten better but in general the food in the BVI is sub par and pricey.
We left the car near the dinghy dock, which is a option offered by the rental place, and hopped into the dinks for an evening harbor cruise back to the big boats. We all felt good about seeing Anguilla and were set to move on to Saint Martin.