We are using Anguilla as a decompression and chill out spot. The weeks prior to reaching anguilla were quite hectic for us. We spent a weekend visiting with some friends from Puerto Rico. Then, we hosted our great friends, Justin and Shera, for a week. Afterwards, we flew back to the states for ten days. Julie and Tracy were then on board for ten days as we did a whirlwind cruise of the British Virgin Island’s. We are now enjoying doing very little of anything but hanging out in one spot. Anguilla helped us with this decision a little bit. It is only a little over $20.00 to clear in and stay in Road Bay, but several hundred dollars a week to take Beatitude elsewhere in the island. So, we’re staying put and seeing the rest of the island by rental car. And, by the way, enjoying it!
There are two other things we’ve been especially enjoying lately. First of all, the trade winds. The steady easterly winds keep Beatitude and her crew quite comfortable and cool. It’s truly wonderful. I’m sure it will be hotter as the summer approaches, but I’m hoping this is a token of what’s to come. The other thing we’ve been happy about is the virtual absence of biting insects — at least on board. I’m sure the steady winds contribute to this fortuitous occurrence. Since eastern Puerto Rico, throughout the Virgin Islands, and now in Anguilla, we’ve been able to keep the windows and doors wide open at night and not have any problem with mosquitos and no-see-ums. We’ve also seen very few flies. It’s a nice change from the states and the Bahamas!
On Sunday, we drove our rental car into The Valley (the capital of Anguilla) and attended church at St. Mary’s Anglican Church. We truly enjoyed the service. It was Palm Sunday, so we joined part of the congregation at a small park two or three blocks from the church before service. There the Anglican church participated in an ecumenical service with the local Catholic and Methodist church before marching through the streets back to St. Mary’s singing hymns to God. When Cindy and I were getting in line to process back to St. Mary’s, one of the ladies from the Anglican church asked if we were looking for the Catholic line. When we said, “No, We’re Anglican,” she explained that the Catholic congregation contains many more white families, so she assumed we were with them. St. Mary’s is 98-99% black. We didn’t think anything of it, but she apologized at the church and hoped we weren’t offended. We, of course, were not. We’re happy to worship whenever and wherever, with whatever color people happen to be there.
After church, we drove over to Mead’s Bay and had dinner at Blanchard’s Beach Bar. A cruising friend told us about the place. The owners retired here and opened a restaurant, writing a book about the process. We sat right at a table directly in the sand on the beach and enjoyed some excellent tacos. The rest of afternoon was spent at Elvis’ Beach Bar working on the blog.
On Monday, we drove over to Crocus Bay and had wonderful pizza at CeBleu, a nice resort perched on the hillside overlooking the bay. The pizza was some of the best we’ve had. Very authentic with simple flavors on a crispy crust. When we returned to Beatitude, we jumped in the beautiful water for a refreshing swim. About that time, we were invaded by hordes of charterers. The Sunsail and Moorings fleet must have all left St. Martin at the same time and made Anguilla the first stop on their charter experience. Within ten minutes, we had six charter boats dropping anchors on every side of our aquatic home, all within fifty to one hundred feet away. The crew of the closest boat were definitely in party mode and were loud well into the night. Fortunately, the next day, they all disappeared as quickly as they had appeared (although there were replacements, just not as many).
Tuesday was a dive morning for me again. We dove on a wreck on the first dive and on No Name Reef on the second. It was a great morning, which was followed by another good lunch at Dolce Vita on the beach here at Sandy Ground (Road Bay). The afternoon was spent chilling on board. The evening transpired watching the moon rise, the sun set, enjoying steak on the grill, and watching a movie in the salon.
Oh, and the other entertainment of the night was trying not to watch the exhibitionists on the boat anchored directly in front of us. We’ve heard that some cruisers (especially Europeans) are pretty nonchalant about public nudity in the anchorage. We’ve not seen much of it… until now. The gentleman on the cat in front of us proceeded to take off his swim trunks right out in open on the stern, walk down the steps, and jump into the water. He then reclimbed the swim ladder and proceeded to lather up his entire body before jumping in again to rinse off. He then lotioned up his entire body before putting back on his swim trunks. His female companion showed a little more modesty by keeping her bikini bottoms on and covering her top with a towel some of the time. Such is the cruising life in the islands!