Crew Log - Anguilla

17th - 20th March & 20th - 23rd April 2002


Anguilla is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of St. Martin.   Only about three hours sailing from Simpson Bay lagoon to Road Bay, Anguilla, it is the perfect antidote to all the shopping opportunities in St. Martin.


On our first visit to Anguilla, we arrived on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon.    A taxing ten yard stroll through beautiful, golden, powdery sand to the immigration office and we were officially checked in.   


The beach was alive with excited families of locals, expectantly pacing up and down.   We learned that Sailboat racing is the national sport of Anguilla.   Naturally normal international racing rules do not apply here, more a case of trying not to end up in the water.     The madding throng on the beach were adults excitedly awaiting the return of the fleet of local racing boats; beautifully built, each with a crew of 10 - 12 locals, used for ballast!!   Meanwhile the children were busy holding races of their own with miniature versions of the yachts, where just as much care had been put into the construction and excitement levels, if possible, were even higher!   It was a magical introduction to this beautiful island.

National sport of Anguilla


Miniature version of national sport


After all this excitement, we needed to relax in the evening at Johnno's bar on the beach.    Cool beer, tables on the beach lit by flame torches, the sea lapping at our toes, it was hell!

Next day we decided to head for an anchorage about 2 miles further up the coast, Crocus Bay.    Yet another beautiful bay, with only golden sand and a beach bar, where a tame parrot seemed to be in charge!

Here our new RIB came into its own, as just around the corner was a marine nature reserve, Little Bay, which was only accessible by boat.    Mostly we only had to share the bay with the pelicans, tropic birds and thousands, upon thousands of fish.    Even Christine was persuaded to brave the water in snorkel and mask and disappeared for hours lost in the world of the local marine life of all imaginable shapes and colours.   A truly spectacular snorkeling spot.  

We loved Anguilla so much and our one remaining hope for the visit by our friends Steve and Kathy from the UK, was that we would be able to take them there too.   Despite all the trials and tribulations in St. Martin, we managed to fit in a 4-day trip to Anguilla with them.    We sailed there with the captain firmly lashed down below in a position where his orders were just out of earshot!   Unfortunately one plaintive request we couldn't ignore was his request for Steve and Christine to flake out the anchor chain on deck and scrub off all the marine life forms which had taken up residence thereupon during our month in the marina in St. Martin.   On going below, the reason for this request became obvious, the smell of decomposing fish emanating from the anchor locker below was not adding to his enjoyment of being lashed down below during passage!

Rush hour Road Bay, Anguilla.

Post Sailboat Race Excitement Barbecue with Kathy and Steve.


We arrived in Road Bay just in time to check in with immigration and customs before they closed at 4 pm.   Unfortunately we later discovered that in their haste to get home, they omitted to issue us with any clearance papers or cruising permit, the importance of which only became apparent later when Anju was boarded by the Royal Anguillan Police, for a search and to have our papers checked.    This took place while Phil was alone aboard.  Luckily they believed his story that we hadn't been issued with any papers by the officials and we didn't return to find him incarcerated.  After the Officers radioed Immigration to check, the Immigration Officials ended up in trouble, not those aboard Anju!

The weather wasn't wonderful during our stay and we anchored in Road Bay for a couple of nights, again catching the exciting spectacle of the sailboat racing on the Sunday afternoon.    Kathy and Christine braved rush-hour Road Bay (see above) to venture out for some provisions before we relocated to Crocus Bay for a couple of nights.

On our next visit to Little Bay, the sun finally came out, showing the fishes' colours in all their glory.    We shared the bay with local fisherman and despite Steve helping them to haul in their nets onto the beach, there were still a few thousand fish left to snorkel with!

On our previous visit we'd witnessed a different local fishing method, a net slung between two small boats with half a dozen people swimming behind the net and creating as much splashing as possible, presumably to scare the fish into the nets.   It was truly fascinating to watch.

Unfortunately our time in Anguilla had to come to an end for our friends to fly back to the UK, although we did manage to arrange one last trial for them, when on hauling up the anchor in Crocus Bay, the engine died.   We quickly re-anchored and Phil bled the engine with Steve's help.   Lesson learnt:   Don't try to run the engine from an empty diesel tank when you have two other full tanks!  


Idyllic Little Bay  

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