We have had some boat projects that have kept us in St. Maarten for several weeks. I haven’t really minded – I really like St. Maarten, and I would stop here again. But after almost a month at the marina, we were getting itchy sails. So we decided, since it would be another week before the parts came in for our rigging project, that we’d take a little trip to Anguilla.
Anguilla is one of those islands I knew absolutely nothing about before this trip. We started out thinking, “Hey, let’s take the ferry and book a hotel for a few days’ R-and-R.” Um – $3000+ PER NIGHT hotel rates? Whaaaa? You know, when the Four Seasons’ $1000/night rate is one of the more moderate you can find, that this is not an island for a quick casual getaway. No problem – we will just motorsail up. The high hotel prices made the decision to sail Gratitude a no-brainer.
We set out in time to get through the 10:30 a.m. Simpson Bay Bridge. There were quite a lot of other boats who wanted out of the lagoon when we did – the Tuesday we left had the first sailing-friendly weather we’d seen in over a week, so lots of us were on the move. The seas were slightly bumpy, but we made the trip in just a couple of hours and anchored in Road Bay harbor shortly after lunch time.
Y’all – Anguilla is so perfect. It’s a laid-back little island with great restaurants and beaches, and not much else. It’s a place to come and sit on the beach, sip a rum punch, and dig your toes into the soft, soft sand. If you want to cruise around to lots of different harbors, you must purchase a daily cruising permit – but if you’re content (as we were) just to hang out in Road Bay, you can have yourself a fine time.
We did take a day to go diving, as we’d heard the dive sites were not to be missed. We went with Scuba Shack (we liked ‘em!) and visited two wrecks, the Cathy H. and the Oosterdiep. This was the land of the lobsters! All the good dive sites in Anguilla are in marine parks, which means no one is allowed to fish there, which means HUGE and plentiful lobsters in every hidey-hole each wreck offers. I took a lot of photos, which follow.
Other than diving, we mostly hung out on the boat, worked out, did some chores, and watched the never-ending parade of sea turtles that popped up to the surface for air.
After a few days in paradise, we returned to St. Maarten for our sail work. It’s nice to be back in the land of big grocery stores and easy trash disposal, but I would return to Anguilla in a heartbeat. We are both really glad we included it in our trip back north.