Going to the Baths, and to the Dogs 18:25.8N, 64:26.2W
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Thu 7 Apr 2016 22:36
Now we understand why people love sailing in the Virgin Islands, and are glad that we made the decision to come here. You can easily visit a number of places in one day, with great trade wind sailing in between, and we have had a great day today.
We wanted to visit the Baths, which is an area of huge granite boulders at the waters edge, making amazing caves and pools. We had read that it could get really busy and it was best to go early or late in the day, so we left St Thomas at 0600 for the half hour trip under engine. We were the first yacht there and waited until the sun had come out, and some other boats had arrived as well to see what they did. The National Park have put in moorings for yachts, but you cannot take your dinghy all the way ashore, you either swim in all the way, or take the dinghy to a special mooring and then swim the final section. We went for the latter option as we were moored a bit far out.
It really was an amazing place - clambering across the boulders and wading through beautifully clear water in the caves, occasionally coming out to the beach. and all absolutely pristine with no litter anywhere. While we were looking round there were very few other people around, but as we were leaving a couple of tripper boats were unloading their passengers all with their lifejackets on to swim into the beach, so our early start was worth it.
We were back at the boat in time for morning coffee, and for the National Park Wardens to come and collect their fee ($12 - which allowed us to visit any other National Park site during today). They told us we could stay on the mooring for 90 minutes - at which time we had already been there over 3 hours, so we didn’t overstay our welcome and were on our way at 10.45.
We returned briefly to St Thomas to go ashore to the supermarket and to get Phil some snorkelling gear, as if you can’t snorkel here you seem to be missing out on half of the experience. Then we headed to the Dogs for lunch.
The Dogs consist of 3 islands, Great Dog, West Dog and George Dog, all of which have National Park moorings so we could use our day’s permit. When we arrived we had the bay to ourselves and enjoyed our lunch in peace, but it was a bit rough for novice snorkelers on the nearby reef.
After lunch we got the sails up and sailed off the mooring, then enjoyed a fantastic beat all the way back up the west coast of Virgin Gorda and back to Gorda Sound. This evening we are anchored again by Prickly Pear Island, not far from where we were a few nights ago.
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