|Check with your innkeeper or restaurant to
see if they provide free transportation. If not, call Anegada Taxi (495-0228 VHF 16).
Or rent a jeep or mini-van from D.W. Jeep Rentals (495-8018, 9677), who will also pick you up, and let you drop the jeep off, at the airport or anywhere else. ABC Car Rentals is at 495-9466.
Also, the Anegada Reef Hotel (495-8002 VHF 16) has a shuttle bus service to the northern beaches and rents cars.
|Credit Cards. Note that many Anegada businesses do not accept credit cards.|
|The Anegada habitat is perfect for a wide
variety of shore birds, especially the elegant Roseate Flamingos, which
have been restored to the island's massive salt ponds on the western half
of the island. See The
Return of the Flamingos. See an update here on Flamingo hatching.
Feeding on microscopic aquatic creatures such as brine shrimp that contain carotene gives the flamingos their distinctive rosy tint.
Once thousands inhabited the islands. However, the young could be easily rounded up and herded to boats for food.
Ponds. Anegada has an impressive array of salt ponds with their
Here are found wading birds like the great blue heron, little blue heron, stilts and terns.
To begin, make a big circle around the salt ponds on the western half of the island.This is a beautiful drive.
Turn in or pull out the "harbour" area by the Anegada Reef Hotel for food or drinks.
This is an honor bar, so serve yourself and pay accordingly.
Look for the covey of sandpipers do their little hurried walks, sometimes around the seating floor.
They like to hang out on the transom of the hotel's power boat. Take a
mini tour of the docks.
Also check out the Purple Turtle , formerly Sue's Gift Shop, which has an interesting collection of items.
From Setting Point, head west on the south shore road paralleling the"Anegada Harbour."
Stop at the Neptune's Treasure compound for Pam's Kitchen and her excellent baked goods and preserves.
Or have a drink at the outside bar (note the shark's jaws hanging from the rafters).
There are several restaurants here, inclduing the Whistling Pines restaurant.
Continue on to Pomato Point where the beaches begin.
Stop in at the small museum at the Pomato Point Restaurant.
|Pomato Point Restaurant.|
|Known for good local food, especially its conch and
swordfish, Pomato Point
Restaurant (495-8038, VHF 16) has a small island museum featuring Arawak
Indian and shipwreck artifacts. ABC car rentals (495-9466) is here also.
Lobster Trap. Formerly the Anegada Beach Club, the Lobster Trap is alternatively open with Pomato Point restaurant.
|Museum. Most of the collection of this small one room museum comes from Horseshoe Reef's shipwreck treasury. In the collection is an old map showing the location of over 200 wrecks as well as cannon and musket balls, ships' timbers and copper rivets, many apothecary jars, bottles, and ink pots, a silver teapot and coins from many nations, including a beautiful Mexican silver piece.|
|Villas and Lodging.|
|See Accommodations on Anegada for information on the Lavenda Breeze and other villas as well as a hotel, a guesthouse and campgrounds.|
|Shops on Anegada include Pat's Pottery, Pam's
Kitchen, Sue's Gift Shop, Pal's General Store, Faulkner's Country Store, Dotsy's
Bakery and V n J's Souvenir & Gift Shop.
Shops are scattered, except the three in The Settlement. So it's best to stop in and window shop as you go along.
|Sea kayak rentals are available at Neptune's Treasure and Sue's Sea Tours at the Anegada Reef Hotel. Venues include ocean reef lagoons to Cow Wreck Bay and on the inland reef from The Settlement.|
|Cow Wreck Beach.|
|Further around on the ocean side is Cow
Wreak Beach Bar & Grill (email 495-8047), open
for lunch and dinner. Cow Wreck Beach is famous for the cow bones (especially skulls)
washed ashore from wrecks of ships carrying them to be ground up into bone meal used as
A great setting right on the beach with a cozy shaded bar and sitting area! A free shuttle is provided for patrons.
A small restroom offers a changing space and an shower outside for patrons who may want to do some snorkeling before eating. Notice the local art on the restroom floor.
Have a drink at the under a palm thatched "umbrella." George's Anegada Information Site recommends the "conch fritters, the lobster salad sandwich for lunch, and Belle's lobster is also great at dinnertime."
The conch is true local conch--Wendall gets it from the next point.
A family business, lovely daughter Lauren recommends the Wreck Punch, a special blend of cane rum and fruit juices (photo-BVI Pirate).
Reef Lagoons. The famous beaches of Anegada are on the North, or ocean
side. Guarded by a straight line of reefs just offshore, the beaches make sweeping curves
on the shore to form protected "lagoons."
Land peninsulas, named as points, jut out to separate scenic bays and bights. This gorgeous setting invites sunbathing, beachcombing, secluded picnics, snorkeling or sea kayaking.
Sea Kayaking. Experience these ocean lagoons up close and personal! Sea kayak the north beach coast inside the reef (the current is from east to west) on a suitable day. Sue's Sea Tours puts in at Windlass Bight and takes out at Cow Wreck Bay Beach Bar for a cold drink (Pinot Grigio).
Sand Hugging Succulents. Exquisitely formed, these low spreading succulents save moisture with their thin fleshy leaves as well as tiny blossoms and fruits.
|Flora and Fauna.|
|Anegada is home for the highly endangered Anegada rock
iguana. Growing to six feet long, this harmless and very rare iguana can be found
at Bones Bight, which has a new nature trail. This iguana uses the
crater-like coral rock with its holes to make a home.
Endangered by feral cats who prey on the iguana young, a program of neutering the cats has begun.
Also here are Anegada's famous wild orchids.
The loblolly tree often has a large base of white horizontal trunk roots as it "looks" for break in the rock to the soil.
The wild sage with its light blue flower in bloom most of the year makes a delightful aromatic for the car when crushed.
Wild cattle in this area sometimes graze minature "pastures," or grassy mounds.
Turtles. A traditional food, sea turtles were communally shared
in a festival-like atmosphere in the past. One way turtles were caught was by leaping on
them from skiffs.
The conservation ethic is almost universally practiced today as to the endangered sea turtles. And Anegada, with its magnificent beach ecology, exports turtle hatchlings into the sea for the benefit of the world.
Ocean-side Anegada has the most important BVI nesting beaches for green sea turtle (see swimming turtle). Anegada's west end beaches and related sea grass communities from Pomato Point to Cow Wreck Bay are important as well to the hawksbill turtle. Keep a lookout for turtles along the beaches on the eastern edge of Pomato Point, on West End Point, in Bones Bight, and in Loblolly Bay.
Traditional practices, when restored in a ritual form in return for these preservation efforts, demonstrate and help preserve the roots of this unique culture and its natural wonders alike.
|The first sign is the mud puddles--not
brown, but chalky white. It's a coral island, and the underlying "rock" is
coral. Hard as rock, though, as the bumpy roads will attest. Especially toward the east
The vegetation differs also. At first glance a "scrubland," note the many
interesting plants well adapted to drought, such as century plants.
Both the frangipani and limbo gumbo store moisture in its twigs or trunk and branches.
Also, look for termite mounds in the trees.
Found in trees in Anegada's eastern, rocky biome with other plants characteristic of this area such as cactus and the loblolly tree.
In the western, sandy areas are found flora such as wild orchids and whistling pines, originally imported.
Also, despite its low profile, Anegada has natural springs.
By its famous line of white surf, Loblolly
Bay visibly demarcates a coral island meeting the vast Atlantic,
its reef making an oceanside lagoon before the "surf" gently
laps the beach.
Framed by canopies of fine seagrape trees, the shore slowly sweeps along its sandy crescent, covered with a variety of low succulent plantlife, especially patches of the beautiful bay lavender.
Superb and unique snorkeling is accessible right off this beautiful white sand beach, inside of the brilliant white foaming breakers on the reef's outer edge. Schools of mojarra, shimmering needlefishes, and mantis shrimp in holes are found on the sunlite sandy bottoms.
Go out to the left of the Big Bamboo to the dark reef area in the middle of the lagoon to find three small caves and a wreck.
Skimming over the shallows, the reef structure below is visible with magnificent stands of huge branching elkhorn coral and big brain and other boulder coral. Angel fish, yellow tail snappers, and blue tang feeding en masse are found with horse-eye jacks and groupers inhabiting the mazes below. Stoplight parrotfish audibly crunch coral and extrude sand. Mackerel, tarpon and nurse sharks roam the reef.
The darker indigo blue indicates the deeper holes of this ocean reef environment. Scuba dives are possible right off the beach into the maze of tunnels, drops and caves. The water generally comes in over the top of the reef, but some caution is advised when a severe north swell is up, since some rip-like currents are possible (remember, swim parallel to the shore until you're out of a rip current, rather than directly against it).
Loblolly Bay is also the location of the Big Bamboo restaurant with a large, colorful open air dining pavilion and bar in the "crop" of the seagrapes on the beach.
Above is Nancy from Nancy and Walker's Scrapbook about their trip to Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
Deservedly famous for its excellent lobster served with rice, potato and vegetables. Here also is conch and a wide variety of local fresh fish, such as snapper, kingfish, triggerfish, and grouper.
|Flash of Beauty. Nearby Flash of Beauty beach features great snorkeling as well and has a beach bar by the same name. Generally open for lunch only.|
|Deep Sea Fishing.|
|Anegada is at the windward
edge of an undersea plateau that supports the islands. The North
Drop area, just north of Anegada and Horseshoe Reef, goes from 30 fathoms
to over 200 (1200 feet).
Huge schools like squid and flying fish congregate into dense "clouds" in and above the numerous canyons in this area to feed on the upwelling currents and, in turn, become baitfish for the ocean roaming predators, such as yellowfin and blackfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin or dorado and the most popular gamefish in the world--the blue marlin.
Mark Soares, out of Neptune's Treasure, is the largest local supplier of deep sea fish to BVI tables.
Fishing on the North Drop and South Drop (in the Anegada Passage on the Caribbean sea side of Virgin Gorda and other islands), Mark goes on 4-10 day trips. A 30 mile line is laid 60 feet below the surface, taking 4 hours to put out and 8 hours to retrieve, beginning at daybreak after it is left overnight.
Captured are yellowfin tuna (40-160 lbs.), swordfish (typically 60-100 lbs., but a few at 150-250 lbs.) and spearfish (50-60 lbs.).
|Often called the Village, The
Settlement is the main habitation of Anegada, including about 120
dwellings, a post office and police building, a bar, two restaurants, the Ocean Range Hotel, a bakery, two groceries
and a general store.
Dotsy's Bakery & Dinette. Down the side road from the town square, Dotsy's (495-9667), lunch and dinner made to order, has fresh baked bread, cakes and tarts, little lunches and sandwiches.
The remains of stone wall enclosures, known as The Walls, are widespread in The Settlement. These enclosed fields were planted with banana, corn, sweet potatoes, and other crops in previous generations when agriculture was important.
Goats and cattle, trained not to climb over the low 4' walls, still return to pens in The Settlement at night, along the radiating animal paths bordered by stone walls.
|On the "Inland" Reef.|
|Totally different from the ocean side is
the vast "inland" side of Horseshoe Reef. Especially in the vicinity of The
Settlement, the Reef has ancient islands made of conch shells, mangrove islands, including
an island of the magnificent
frigatebird (who nest in the mangroves), mudflats, sandy bottoms and reefs.
These often shallow areas provide a gigantic nursery that helps stock the abundant marine life of downstream BVI reefs.
|Sea Kayaking. Put in at the Settlement's
fishing dock. Drift on the inland reef among islands toward the Anegada Reef Hotel (the
last part is a workout).
See bonefish, small sting rays and baby nurse sharks. Get out at the hotel's dinghy dock for a cold Rum Smoothie. See Sue's Sea Tours
Also check the views to Red Pond on the inland side for possible flamingo sightings in the distance.
|Fishing in Paradise.|
|Interestingly, Anegada has some of the
finest of both shallow water and deep sea fishing in the world. Its extensive
"flats" make it an ideal spot for game fish such as bonefish, tarpon, snooke,
jacks and barracuda, pursued via classic wooden boats as well as newer sea kayaks. Rentals
are available from Neptune's Treasure as well as the Anegada Reef Hotel, which also
arranges deep sea and bonefishing
trips ($200 half/$300 full day).
Traditional local fishermen, typically use small skiffs to catch snapper and triggerfish in fish traps and sell them to island restaurants.
Anegada lobster, caught in pots, are famous throughout the islands. Fishermen dive for conch off the beaches north of the salt ponds and elsewhere. Whelk are also harvested.
Horseshoe Reef is a marine conservation area with no fishing or conch collecting permitted without approval.
|Bonefishing. A surprisingly elusive, slender and silvery fighting fish, bonefish feed on the bottom and can weigh up to ten pounds. "Most fishermen will get out of the boat and wade in water eight inches to two feet deep, looking for the tail of the fish as it feeds off organisms on the muddy sea bottom in shallow water. The tail is exposed above water level, and it is quite a sight to see a group of bonefish feeding with their tails flapping above water," says guide Garfield Faulkner in Bonefishing in the BVI.|
|Anegada's reefs are a shipwreck
treasury, with over 300 wrecks off its shore (see list of about 150 wrecks between 1654
HMS Astrea. A 32-gun, 689-ton British Frigate wrecked in 1808, the HMS Astrea saw action in the American War of Independence and later made its claim to fame by capturing the larger French frigate GLORIE in 1795 in a classic sea battle, as pictured above. Having escorted a mail packet past the danger of Caribbean privateers, the Astrea, thinking Anegada was Puerto Rico, came upon the deadly reef, as a later court martial found, due to an "extraordinary weather current." All but four of the crew were saved. Honored on a BVI stamp, the HMS Astrea was later rediscovered and some items salvaged, but not the heavy cannon, the rugged reef conditions still treacherous. See "The History and Wreck of the H.M.S. ASTREA."
A traditional entrance to the Caribbean from the Atlantic, the hundred-mile-wide Anegada
Passage continues as a major sea traffic route. Modern ships are guided
by the Sombrero Light, some 50 miles due east of Anegada.
Horseshoe Reef is a marine conservation area with no anchoring permitted. See Pomato Point Museum for shipwreck artifacts.
|An Enchanting Place.|
|For those who want to get close to the elemental aspects of life, Anegada, the sunken island, has been described as a most enchanting place with miles and miles of sandy beaches and total immersion into primeval seclusion.|
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