Anguilla and cays

Espen Aalstad
Fri 28 Mar 2008 16:08
Anguilla  18:12N 63:06.W
We have had high expectations on Anguilla and especially its small coral islands for our visitors.  The island though is under heavy development so not as remote as we thought; we can understand why with the many beaches.  At least (expensive!) cruising permits have been put in place to protect and limit traffic in the marine parks.
Road Bay is virtually just one big anchorage and some restaurants.
In Lotus Bay we see how the last week's swell has thrown half a meter of big stones onto the beach and small boats are crushed.
The heavy wind continues, but we try Prickly Pear Cays. It becomes quite memorable not as the sailors paradise it is supposed to, but as battle of the dinghies.
We can only enter the reef/beach by dinghy and Regina (and camera) is safe on a mooring.
A long dinghy ride and inside we find a lovely beach....and crowded day tourist catamarans. It becomes quite a circus when first wind, then rain and new swell arrive.
We have left many beaches with surging waves, but see that this will become difficult. For the day charters, it is other way out than into a dinghy which may flood or flip! We feel for the hesitant crowd on the beach. The rum punch helps some... if only we had our camera.
Eventually we are alone, but like the locals urged us also leave. Too bad, as the afternoon sun warms, and the boys have made a sand castle for all the hermit crabs.
Still, we are glad when back on Regina again - where it is also obvious the swell has picked up.

Sandy Cay is another difficult to access coral sand bank. Windy, but Regina's chef still brings fresh baked bread for beach picinic.
The poor boat behind us was dropped by the latest hurricane.