|We spend most of our Caribbean time at Cow Wreck Beach on Anegada. We built a cottage there
in 2007 that we call "Hidden Treasure".
We now call Cow Wreck Beach our real home, and we commute to Texas to work.
Anegada has it all - wonderful people, our best friends, beautiful beaches, and great fishing. When we are on-island, we operate the Anegada WebCam when we have the time and internet connectivity. The WebCam is usually positioned at Hidden Treasure, but (thanks to wireless internet), we occasionally take it out to some other really fun places. Check it out to see a bit of life on Anegada!
|Over the years, we have really enjoyed bareboating in the Caribbean, particularly the British Virgin Islands. There are very few pleasures that can compare to spending a vacation on a sailing yacht in the beautiful blue waters of the BVI. To us, the best sailing vacations are the ones with the minimum planning, itinerary-wise. We decide where we would like to go on a day-to-day basis, simply waking up and seeing where the day takes us. Once we reach our destination for the day, we kick back and enjoy some rum, or some windsurfing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. At night we enjoy some of the best food in the world. Provisioning for us is easy - rum, fruit juice and Carib Lager. We are not the type of bareboaters that spend a lot of time cooking on the boat....|
|Bareboating is how we discovered Anegada. Walker's first bareboating trip was in 1987. He spent one night anchored at Anegada and met Lowell Wheatley. Many, many return trips to Anegada in the ensuing years deepened his love for the island. Walker now has a map of Anegada tattooed on his back.|
|Incidentally, if you have never tried Carib Lager, you are really missing something. Skip the Red Stripe and Heineken -- have a Carib. In our opinion, it is the best beer in the world! It is so good that, well, click here.|
|We call this
photo "Da Wahkah", which is our take on Walker's name in Caribbean
"patois". Nancy took this photo in June of '97.
The "dreads" happened by accident. After years of cruising in sailboats, I finally managed to make the beginner's mistake - I got the dinghy "painter" wound around the boat's propeller. (The painter is the rope on the bow of the dinghy that you use to tie up the dinghy, or to tow the dinghy behind you when you are under sail.) After snorkeling down and clearing the prop, we were left with these remains of the painter, which happened to be stiff, kinky, black polypropylene rope. We happened to have a roll of duct tape aboard and, voila! dreads! Whenever I wore them ashore, people drove us nuts asking where they could get such a cool hat!
In my hand is a Pusser's "painkiller" - the drink of the Virgin Islands. To make a painkiller:
Serve over crushed ice. The freshly grated nutmeg is essential. We use plastic gallon water jugs to make them, which works out to about a bottle of rum, a BIG can (46 oz.) of pineapple juice, half of a large can of OJ, and 1 large can of Coco-Lopez. This mixes up just under a gallon. You HAVE to try this. Remember, though, there really is no substitute for Pusser's rum in a painkiller. This, like other island drinks is properly served only in a disposable plastic cup.
Warning! This painkiller is being consumed by a trained professional. Do not try this at home!
you are adventurous, you can try Walker's "Turbo Painkiller". This is one
hell of a drink: a martini that tastes like a painkiller. A turbo-painkiller.
Puts you on the beach in the BVI. If not, the second one damned sure does.
Fill martini glasses with cold ice and let sit for 5 minutes to thoroughly chill glasses. Fill shaker 1/2 full with cold ice. Add liquors and shake thoroughly to chill. Dump ice from glasses and quickly strain martinis into them. Lightly grate fresh nutmeg on top and serve immediately.
When I say "cold" ice, I mean ice straight from the freezer, not from an ice bucket. Ice from the freezer is typically around 0ºF (-18ºC), while ice that has been in a bucket is at 32ºF (0ºC). That extra coldness is very important when making martinis.
If you are in a rush, you can chill the glasses by filling them with ice and water and swirl to chill. Then empty the glasses and quickly place them in your freezer while you mix the drink in the shaker. This produces VERY cold glasses.
This island drink should NOT be served in a disposable plastic cup!
|Nancy tending bar at Anegada's Cow
Wreck Beach. Cow Wreck is our favorite place for limin' in all of the BVI. It
is literally the place at the end of the road that is on the island at the end of the
road, and the beach is rated as the prettiest in all of the BVI.
Cow Wreck Beach is owned and operated by the Creque family. Bell Creque is one of the sweetest people on earth. She is also a tremendous cook - her conch fritters are the best in the Caribbean.
There is no better way to spend a day on Anegada than just limin' at Cow Wreck.
Nancy limin' at Cow Wreck beach with a BaCarib.
How can it get better than this?.
For those who understand, no explanation is necessary!
|Another of our
favorite places on Anegada is Neptune's Treasure, owned and operated by the Soares family.
Vernon Soares and his wife Julie settled in Anegada in 1967, first living ashore in a
tent. Over the years, they built Neptune's Treasure Hotel and Restaurant. Neptune's
Treasure has become the finest restaurant on Anegada. No visit to Anegada is complete
without a dinner at Neptune's, where you will have the best lobster or fresh fish in the
At breakfast, Neptune's omelet is better than can be described in words. What a way to start the day!
Staying with the Soares at Neptune's Treasure is a joy, because they "adopt" you into their family. No one returns to Neptune's as just a visitor.
The picture on the left is a rendering that Walker made from a photograph.
Television, Anegada style. Nancy found this television on the beach on Anegada's north shore. We dressed it up a bit, making the "rabbit ear" antenna from an oil bottle, some sand and sticks. A nice little coral nick-nack on top, and we are ready to watch television. It turns out that our reflection is the only thing that we can receive on it.
Ahhh... but what a reflection!
|Unlike the rest of the Virgin Islands,
which are mountainous, Anegada is a coral reef. The island
is completely surrounded by coral, and has been the site of hundreds of shipwrecks over
We have flown our own airplane to Anegada a few times. We took the photograph at the right while flying around Anegada in June of 2005. The photograph, showing the magnificent colors of Anegada's waters, is taken from just off of the west end of Anegada, looking back east. Cow Wreck Beach is on the second point up on the left side, and Pomato Point is the point at the far right side of the photograph. The pond in the center of the island is the home of Anegada's flock of flamingos.
We have a large collection of aerial photographs that we have taken of Anegada. Click here to see them.
|This is Nancy on the beach at The Big
Bamboo, which is at Loblolly Bay, on the north shore of Anegada. Behind her is one of the
many reefs at Anegada that provide excellent snorkeling.
The Big Bamboo, owned and operated by Aubrey Levin, is also a great place for island food - especially conch and lobster.
To make Anegada "smoodies":
Mix the above ingredients. Fill a cup with ice, then pour about 1/2 to 2/3 full of your favorite rum -- preferably a dark rum. Fill with the smoodie mix, then grate fresh nutmeg over the top. This, like other island drinks is properly served only in a disposable plastic cup
This isn't Lowell's recipe, but it is the best that I can do. At the ARH, they make the mix up by the gallon and keep the mix, without the rum, in a gallon-size plastic pitcher in the bar ice box. To serve yourself, simply fill a cup with ice, add however much rum you think it needs, and fill from the magic pitcher.
Walker, "back in the day", (1990 or so) taking his turn tending bar at Lowell Wheatley's Anegada Reef Hotel. Anegada must be one of the most relaxing places in the
Caribbean. Back then, the bar was a serve-yourself affair. There was normally no
bartender, other than yourself. When you did venture behind the bar, it was customary to
serve others seated there. Thus, you became the bartender of the moment. Lowell's drink
specialty was a smoothie, which is properly pronounced "smoodie'.
Tragically, Lowell died in an accident in 2002, ending an era on Anegada.
Although the self-serve bar is a now relic of the past, smoodies are still the specialty of the bar. The ARH is also rightfullay famous for the barbecue lobster dinner at their nightly beach barbecue. The lobster is cooked over wood gathered that day, and is very good.
This is a view of the Anegada Reef Hotel from the Setting Point anchorage.
If you are looking for the best windsurfing location in the BVI, Anegada is the place. The wind is very consistent and undisturbed, since there are no mountains nearby. Setting Point and Pomato Point have excellent wind and side-shore conditions. Near shore, the water is very flat, making for excellent speed sailing. Further out, near the reef, there is very nicely shaped chop. While sailing off Setting Point, Walker had a spotted eagle ray leap out of the water and literally fly across just in front of the board -- a VERY rare and impressive sight.
|Foxy's in Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI serves a wonderful beach barbecue dinner (the best in the BVI), and there is always a party afterwards. Here is Feliciano Callwood, better known as the one and only "Foxy", being himself. If you are around in the middle of the afternoon, the old sly fox himself is usually around to entertain the crowd with music and stories.|
|This is our good friend Capt. Jimmy Hodge, a native of Tortola in the BVI. We met Jimmy back in 1990 at Anegada, and he has since come to Texas and stayed with us for a couple of weeks on his annual trip to the States. Jimmy is definitely a character!|
|Nancy and Jimmy partying at Foxy's.|
Here is Nancy dancing with Baldwin, "The Dancing Machine" at Foxy's. Baldwin is a regular at Foxy's. Besides being very entertaining, Baldwin is a very nice fellow -- as are almost all of the BVI residents.
This is Baldwin doing his trademark two-fisted, two-beer bottle limbo.
of our favorite spots is the sandy spit just off of Green Cay, near Jost Van Dyke.
We have several jars of sandy spit beach sand at home to remind us of it. The sand is unusual in that it has many little flecks of red from the nearby coral growth.
|The snorkeling at the spit is outstanding.||
|Nancy thought of bringing along an air mattress one year. It turned out to be a floating bar. Ummm, is there any rum in that cup?|
|Life just can't get much better than this. An ice-cold bottle of Carib and your own palm tree at the Sandy Spit.|
An interesting spot in the BVI are the caves at the western end of Norman Island. These are the very caves that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about in his book "Treasure Island." There are moorings just off the caves so you can secure your boat and enjoy some fantastic snorkeling. Be sure to take a submersible flashlight with you and snorkel into the dark interior!
Many of the anchorages have local vendors that come to your boat and offer pretty things for sale. This is Pearlene, who had some nice jewelry to choose from.
|Here's a shot Nancy took of Walker getting ready to join her for a scuba dive.|
And here's Nancy, searching the bottom of the Caribbean for stuff! Several years ago, she found a $5.00 bill on the bottom while we were diving at White Bay on Jost Van Dyke. We have kept it as sort of a "lucky charm".
Another great place for drinks and food is the Jolly Roger Inn in Soper's Hole, at the west end of Tortola. Their food is excellent, and they make a wonderful Bushwacker.
To make a Bushwacker:
Fill blender 3/4 full with ice. Add a small splash of vodka, and a small splash of Grand Marnier, a healthy serving of Kahlua, and a slightly less healthy splash of amaretto. Fill with Bailey's until ice is almost covered. Blend until smooth. Pour into hurricane glasses and grate fresh nutmeg on top.
Yes, it does rain in the BVI. If you go to sleep under an open hatch, you can count on a 2AM shower. We saw this rainbow one evening at Jost Van Dyke's Great Harbor. It sure looks like that sailboat has found the proverbial pot of gold!
How about this rainbow off
Anegada's Pomato Point!
|In 2005, we
purchased "Shak-Shak", a two-bedroom apartment in the Long Bay Beach Resort on the
western end of the north shore of Tortola. Click here for
photos. Shak-Shak is a great place to base our land-based trips to the islands. Long
Bay is on the northwestern end of Tortola, which is peaceful and has the best beaches on
Cove, just to the west of Long Bay, is our favorite Tortola beach.
information on the BVI, see The British Virgin Islands
Online Travel Guide.
Additional pages of interest:
|If you want to fish in the BVI, then you need a fishing license to be legal. Fishing without a license can result in serious consequences, including seizure of your boat. You can apply ahead of time by printing and filling out the BVI Fishing License application form that was provided by Glenn Ashmore. Click here for the application. Fill out the application, and follow the instructions on the second page.|
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