At The Baths on Virgin Gorda 18:25.94N, 64:26.74W
Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sun 3 May 2009 19:51
30th April. We left Trellis Bay slightly later than planned, but then when you only get to bed a few hours before you are meant to be getting up it's no great surprise that lethargy sets in, until, in our case reality got the better of our lethargy. We dropped the mooring at 0830 about 2 hours later than originally planned. We would be very lucky to get one of the very few available buoys at the Baths.
We arrived after an hours hard motorsailing and surprise surprise, all the mooring buoys were occupied. We noticed a few other yachts had anchored so we did the same - safety in numbers! We laid the anchor and dived to check it was ok - especially as our anchoring skills seem to have been slightly blunted up at Bitter End Yacht Club. Well, the anchor was just sitting on hard sand and rock, and only the absence of a good breeze kept us from dragging it back. A quick dive and a re-positioning behind a large rock would have been fine for the few hours we were to be there but then noticed an old mooring line floating up from the bottom but with no surface pick-up buoy, which seemed fine to attach to with our own lines - so we had our mooring after all.
The Baths are one of natures wonders. Giant granite boulders and I mean GIANT - big as houses, tossed out of a volcano along with all the molten lava. The lava has since been eroded, leaving the granite boulders perched precariously on top of each other on the shore and in the sea. You can walk between them, under them and over them. They are at the waters edge so the sea washes between them creating crystal clear pools which is presumably why they were called the Baths. A trail has been created which takes you, and a thousand other people like you at the same time through the most interesting parts
We took the dinghy ashore and joined the hordes of day trippers snorkelling around the bay and walking the beach. As dinghies are not allowed on the beach - they are left tied to a mooring 50 yards offshore from which you swim or snorkel ashore. The water was as crowded as the beach itself and it was difficult not to bump into other swimmers -never a very comfortable experience for either party. We took the trail through the giant rocks, up wooden ladders, stooping through low openings. It was a real adults playground. We found it a worthwhile experience and would recommend a visit to the Baths to anybody visiting Virgin Gorda - but you certainly will not be alone!
Back onboard we dropped the mooring we had discovered and headed for a peaceful anchorage somewhere, which we eventually found in Great Harbour on Peter Island.