At the Bitter End
I'm at a place in the Caribbean right now called the Bitter End, near Saba Rock. Our sailboat (Lady K) is moored here for the night. Richard Branson (Virgin Records/Air) owns an island nearby which we sailed right by. It was raining just a minute ago, and now it's sunny again. Early this morning we went to this famous spot on Virgin Gorda called The Baths, along with Devil's Beach. There are huge volcanic rock formations at The Baths and to get there we swam ashore, then had to follow this narrow trail through caves and finally to a spot where you can swim around in shallow water among the rocks. It's one of those places you have to see to understand, but quite spectacular. Our captain and cook are a local couple named Ty and Lanisse. They are awesome and know the islands here very well. Ty is short for Tyrone, which Lanisse has tattooed on her lower leg with a heart. They have 7 children, apparently, including a pair of twins. (Gmail is not working on this computer for some reason, so I can't check my email.)
The British Virgin Islands are extremely accessible by boat. This seems to be the way to go. The snorkeling has been quite good, too. Yesterday we went along with Ty as he fished for lobsters. He caught one with a long narrow bamboo stick that had a loop of wire on the tip. He caught the lobster by the tail in the wire lasso and pulled it out of there, then he swam it to our little skiff and later we ate the poor gal (she had eggs) for dinner. It fed five of us no problem, just the one big lobster. Ty handed me an extra lobster stick with the wire loop during the hunt, so I swam around with it like I knew what I was doing (in fins and snorkel mask). I never spotted any lobster antennae sticking out from under the rocks on the bottom, so I never tried to catch one. I did save a little tiny tropical fish that accidentally ended up in the bottom of our skiff. It was swimming around in the bit of water along the bottom of the boat, so I scooped it out and back into the sea. When he realized what I had just done, even Captain Ty said, "That's cool, mon."
Tomorrow we are heading out into open water briefly to go over to an island called Anegada. It is the second largest island in the BVI, after Tortola, but it is mostly undeveloped. The highest point on the island is only 30 feet, and I think it's mostly sandy beach everywhere. It is supposed to be quite desolate and and the snorkeling and fishing are both supposed to be amazing because the coral reef there is teeming with fish--with life. Link