Day 3 - October 4, 2013 - Anegada, Brithish Virgin Islands
By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist
Co-ordinates: 18°41´N, 64°25´W
Air Temperature: 30°C, 86°F
The sun still hadn´t risen as we lowered the Zodiacs into the water. You could only see the lights of the street lanterns along the shore of today’s destination. Anegada, the northernmost island of the B.V.I., was still covered by the night. The early start to the day onboard Silver Explorer was to avoid the day’s heat during our planned nature hike from the landing site to Cow Wreck Beach.
Unlike the other British Virgin Islands, Anegada is flat and low and its highest point is only 28 feet above sea level. Very little shade is offered by the landscape and vegetation. The main highlights of our nature hike on the island were two species of wildlife. One species was the Caribbean Flamingo and the other was the Anegada Iguana, both rare and endangered.
In total, 41 guests took the challenge and got up early to see the fauna and flora of this beautiful island. The first 45 minutes of the walk were in the cool morning breeze of the Northeastern Trade Winds. At the start of the walk we observed a Kingfisher, later on we saw a Gray Kingbird, and then we saw an American Kestrel that was not impressed at all by us watching him and taking pictures. At around 7 the sun came out and the temperature rose immediately. Soon we reached the small entrance to the ponds where we expected to see the Flamingos. But, as it often is with nature and wildlife, our group was not lucky and there were no Flamingos to observe. Instead, we saw some interesting waders, like Lesser Yellowlegs and Ruddy Turnstones running around on the edge of the pond.
Back on our way to the main road we discovered a Puerto Rican Racer, a very quick and harmless snake, and my colleague Chris Cutler was quick enough to catch it and present it to the guests. Slowly, always with an eye on the surrounding nature, we made our way to Cow Wreck Bay. Even though our guests didn´t see the two endangered animal species, they were still lucky and could observe some humming birds - Ani, Bananaquit and Yellow Warbler. From the botanical point of view, a highlight was definitely the orchids flowering along the way.
After three hours of walking through a hot and sunny day on Anegada, the group reached the final destination, Cow Wreck Bay. The scenery at the bay is like a picture from a Caribbean book - white sandy beaches, coconut trees and turquoise waters. Sun chairs and a bar completed the perfect beach day here in the B.V.I. A refreshing swim in the warm Caribbean waters brought back our energy and everyone enjoyed this beautiful place.
For lunch, our guests enjoyed a delicious lobster meal that was fresh-caught the same morning.
Once the lobster meal was finished, guests could take the opportunity to snorkel, swim or just relax on the beach till 5pm. Local shuttle taxi brought them back to the landing site and from there it was another three mile Zodiac ride back to the ship.
Onboard again, the day was not over and in a recap and briefing we gave our guests information on what to expect tomorrow at our next destination as well as provided interesting information on what we have seen the past two days.
We may not have encountered any flamingos, but in the end it was one of the most beautiful days I have experienced in this part of the world.
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