The distance from Anguilla to Virgin Gorda, the nearest of the British
Virgin Islands and our next stop, was 80 miles and we would need
approximately 15 hours to complete the journey, so we decided to sail overnight
rather than risk arriving after dark. We decided to spend the day at
Prickly Pear Cays which is close to Anguilla and would cut a few miles off our
A short trip over to Prickly Pear Cays took us past Sandy Island, which had
appeared to us to be deserted as we approached Anguilla
but we discovered from the other side that there was a bar/restaurant
hiding amongst the palm trees.
Prickly Pear Cays was equally beautiful, though the anchorage was a little
wild and we could see why boats were not allowed to stay there over night.
The cays are old reefs that have raised from the sea bed and have slowly been
eroded to create low-lying islands of coral, rock and beautiful white
sand. The waves crashed over the reefs as we picked our way round to the
sandy beach. There were two restaurants here, but unfortunately both
closed on Mondays - the day we were there!
We enjoyed a lovely beach walk and a swim, though I was a bit disconcerted
that every time I entered the water a single fish, about 10 cm in length,
insisted on swimming very close to my legs and would not be shooed away!
Joe discovers that the way to a girl's heart can be through coconut and not
Despite it's name, we didn't see any prickly pears and so were unable to
sing ourselves the line from The Jungle Book "if you pick a paw paw or a prickly
pear, and you prick a raw paw then next time beware".