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There are two dive shops on the island: Northshore Divers located at Big Bamboo on Loblolly Bay and We Be Divin, located at the Anegada Reef Hotel. Neither shop was open this visit: not sure if due to the slow summer season or the fact that we were in the beginnings of what turned into Tropical Storm Bonnie.
This was my first visit to Anegada in the summer. I have been there at least ten times before – usually between November and January. Diving in the winter has always been impossible due to the Christmas winds, which make for huge swells and strong currents. In the summer the seas are much flatter, but you risk tropical storms which are typical this time of year.
I did not even pack my dive gear. I was traveling with non-divers and planned (hoped) for some good snorkeling and free diving.
The rain and wind kept us out of the water until Wednesday, although I did see several lemon sharks and rays in the water right in front of our hotel, Neptune’s Treasure.
On Wednesday we decided to go “turtle spotting” at Windlass Bight. We saw our turtles, plus a large barracuda, two nurse sharks, a juvenile lemon, eels, a large pufferfish, sea robins and a yellow tail snapper. This was over two snorkel trips: once in the morning when the tide was out and then again in the afternoon at high tide. Both times we were in less than four feet of water.
On Thursday we explored the east end past Cooper Rock – looking for colorful buoys and polished bits of sea glass. We hiked for 2 ½ hours in the hot sun. We found all of the above, plus spotted at least ten juvenile black tips swimming in the tide pools. I waded into wet sea grass that barely covered my toes to get a better look at the sharks. I thought they were trapped until the tide changed. But then one hopped up next to me and belly-crawled its way across the grass to the next pool. I’ve never seen anything like it! Unfortunately it happened so fast, and I was so stunned, that I forgot to take a picture.
We chose to spend our last day, Friday, at Loblolly Bay snorkeling. Neither Bruce nor Nancy are big swimmers and agreed to go only because I promised to "show them the sights." Mother Nature did not disappoint. Bruce's mask was bothering him so first we took Nancy. We saw three turtles, an octopus, five reef squid and a giant lobster plus the usual cast of fish characters. They swapped masks and we went out again: this time we saw Nancy's turtles and raised it by one huge stingray. They both agreed it was the best snorkel outing - Ever.
Here are my best uw photos from the trip.
"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living." Anaïs Nin
Sounds like a great trip! We have been interested in going to the BVI or USVI for a while - I'll have to get more info from you some time. I agree with you - sometimes snorkeling can be just as good or better than diving.