In December we took Dad and Stacy to visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda. It’s by far one of the most spectacular places to visit in the Virgin Islands. If the weather isn’t cooperating, however, it can be difficult to visit by boat. Dad and Stacy were in luck, the weather was just right to pick up a day-mooring and swim in.
Each time I visit The Baths it’s more breathtaking than the last. It could be that I’m always looking for a pretty picture and this place is plum-full of them! As if this weren’t photo-overload enough, check out the first post I did on The Baths for a totally different perspective.
Stacy, Dad and I swam in and stashed our fins in the bushes. The inner-Tarzan in Dad made a swift and limber appearance as he scaled a nearby boulder to find the perfect spot. I stood back and laughed a little knowing full well I was NOT going to follow. That one was just a bit too steep for my short, stubby, little legs.
In we go!
Can you feel the magic? This place is incredible. I’m so glad we timed it just right. Well, we planned for the perfect timing but Island Time ended up working in our favor instead.
Let me backtrack a bit to several hours before.
Knowing full well we’d visit The Baths next, we left Norman Island in the afternoon and anchored off of the West side of Cooper Island. The plan was to pull up our anchor before daybreak for arrival at The Baths at first light. We wanted to make it extra special for Dad and Stacy and we wanted to make sure to get there plenty early enough. Early as in 6:45. We know it can get crazy in there once the cruise ship passengers and charter boat guests start to arrive between 8 and 10am. We wanted to make sure there was no one in front of us, and no one behind us as we explored this majestic place all by ourselves.
Well, lets just say things didn’t work out as smoothly as we’d like. I turned on the engine, then the chart plotter and radar. Peter made his way to the bow to pull in our anchor chain with the windlass. Dad and Stacy were just waking up and thought we were crazy for leaving in the dark, yet they were super excited for what was to come.
All of a sudden Peter stopped the windlass. Shit. The anchor was stuck. “Must be wrapped around a piece of coral,” Peter mumbled into the walkie-talkie.
He had me motor around in a few different directions to see if we could dislodge the chain. What seemed to be an eternity later, Peter decided he had to dive it. IN THE DARK. We were in about 50′ of water and the sun hadn’t even begun to come up yet. A little sharky? Yeah, I’d say so! Dad wasn’t too excited to jump in either. So, we waited another 30 minutes until there was a little daylight. Peter took his new super bright underwater flashlight and his spare-air, then asked Dad to assist. Peter planned to dive down and unwind the chain while Dad stayed on the surface with a mask to communicate with me if I needed to pop the engine forward a jib or do anything else at the helm.
Peter’s an excellent diver but he was not happy about this little hiccup. I wouldn’t want to be the one to do it either. We could have just waited it out until full daylight when it would have been much easier to see, but then we’d be visiting the baths with boatloads of other tourists and waiting in line to get from one area to another.
What a guy! It took some serious underwater skills to unwrap that chain from the huge underwater boulder we had somehow swung around at night, but he did it. We were a bit behind schedule, but we would still get there at about 9-am.
Okay, back to our amazing day at The Baths…
Thanks to Peter and Dad braving it out a few hours before, we managed to sneak into our destination without anyone in front of us and without anyone behind us!! SUCCESS!!
It’s hard to see, but this stairway leads into a little pool of water brought in by the tide…
A view of Mary Christine with the mizzen sail up for stability on a mooring ball just outside The Baths:
I had showed them the secret area that not everyone gets to see, but now they had to come back out…
We made a new friend. This little guy followed us along the trails all the way to Devil’s Bay Beach. He didn’t seem to belong to anyone but acted like he’d been here a thousand times.
I almost caught a photo of this little dog leaping off the rock into the water! Dad was ready to get the photo too, though he didn’t make a second leap.
Cool creatures everywhere.
All in all, we had an amazing morning!
Don’t forget to see all the photos from my first time through: The Baths
What is ONE word you would use to describe this place?