Everyone's Travel Club set out on one of our most ambitious trips in our 4th post from the British Virgin Islands! We left Spring Bay, near the famous Baths on Virgin Gorda, and kayaked to the nearby island of Fallen Jerusalem. While it's not really that far, it was a crossing. Crossing what you ask? All of the Sea that comes around this end of Virgin Gorda from the windward side of the island. If you zoom out on the map below you'll see what I mean...this meant some fast moving water/current and some decent size waves.
Upon arrival we snuck in the first bay (North Lee Bay) on the leeward (not in the wind...and waves) side of the island, landed, and snorkeled.
We kayaked on to the next slightly hidden bay...conchshell-palooza!
We were the only ones on the island that day, pretty cool! We explored, climbed on rocks, searched for treasure, etc...the trip was great and I was so proud we made it so easily/calmly. While most adventures ETC takes are for everyone, this one is for our more medium to advanced club members. Paddling in wind/currents/waves can get a little tricky - take at least one paddler with some experience and wear PFDs for sure. Watch the weather! Like, not on TV, but watch the actual weather happening around you - storms give a little warning around here...!
Farewell Fallen Jerusalem! ~Paul, Ann, ETC
One of the first things we did when we arrived on Virgin Gorda wasn't actually kayaking in the crystal clear blue waters. It wasn't snorkeling in the spectacular reefs or relaxing by the pool. It was hiking through the forest. A forest that felt like a hot, humid, jungle. Not to mention we had to drive up (and down) a scary winding road to get there.
When I first looked at a map of Virgin Gorda I thought, well, we've got to hike up to the highest point on the island, the summit of Gorda Peak (1370 ft). I had heard they have the world's smallest gecko here (so small I didn't see any) and a great viewpoint platform at the top.
The trail seemed nice and groomed at first but quickly turned into a stream bed, which had us saying often, "Are we really still on the trail right now?"
We did meet some amazing friends along the way, orb spiders and tons of cacti...brought here from Mexico back in the day - they're everywhere on the islands.
We made it to the top (it did take about 50 minutes like the sign said). It was a little overcast so the view wasn't all that it could of been - I've heard on a super clear day you can see St. Thomas far in the distance.
The drive back down to the Valley had some almost-as-good-viewpoints and room to pull off the crazy road and park.
To the Jimmy to take us back down the mountain!
All and all a good little hike/trip. You would definitely need a car to make this happen - although the cab guys are so nice here they'd probably take you and come back and get you later after the hike if you had a cell phone to call them. The view from the actual platform wasn't that stunning compared to view from the drive there but it was fun to see some insect wildlife and search for the super tiny geckos!
~Paul, Ann, Jon ETC
This is post 2 from Everyone's Travel Club's trip to the Virgin Islands! In post 1 we landed on St. Thomas, woke up the next day and ferried to Virgin Gorda. We set out to kayak around one of the prettiest, but not the best in our book (more on that later), bays on the island. We threw the inflatable kayak and gear brought from Seattle in the truck and took off to Savannah Bay.
Savannah Bay is minutes from downtown Spanish Town (the locals call town 'the Valley'). The road once you get really close looks a little washed out, see the pic below, but there are a few parking spots close to the beach once you pull in.
The beach was pretty empty while we were there. There always seemed to be charter dive boats anchored out past the reefs. They had large groups of high schoolers (a.k.a. no booze). They were respectful, quiet (mostly underwater the whole time), and too young and supervised to get crazy! We kayaked about a half an hour in either direction, checked out Pond, Little Dix, and Mahoe Bays nearby, snorkeled, and chilled by the beach.
~Paul, Jon, Ann -ETC
P.S. As I type this (late July) it is 53 degrees and raining back home in Seattle.
Hello everyone! ETC is just back from the Virgin Islands. We had a great time and are excited about sharing some of our adventures with you this week.
The picture above is of the super deep St. Thomas harbor, water access to the U.S. Virgin Islands capital city, Charlotte Amalie. I flew here all the way from Seattle (one flight overnight to Atlanta, the other early morning from Atlanta to St. Thomas). No customs upon arrival (USVI), so pow, there I was.
I arrived on the island (Eastern Standard Time) at 2 in the afternoon with two pretty big bags (full of kayaking gear...and inflatable kayak). I quickly got a taxi to downtown, 5 minutes and $12. I decided to book a night here (I did it before I left) so I wouldn't have to rush to the water ferry that was to take me to my final destination of Virgin Gorda in the British Islands, a two hour boat ride away. Since I wasn't that worried about where I was staying, I booked a balcony room at the most affordable place I could find, the Galleon House Bed & Breakfast Inn. It was a small hotel in downtown, near the ferry dock, and despite the online reviews of a lot of stairs to the rooms, it looked pretty good from the pics and the price was right.
Here's a few quick pictures of the place (don't worry, a full review or our stay at the Galleon House will be posted in the future). The staff was super friendly and there weren't that many stairs (silly online reviews). Views were great from the balcony.
After checking in and relaxing a bit I took off and explored the waterfront. I walked down by where the cruise ships dock and snapped a few pics.
I woke the next morning and made it down to the ferry dock (Speedy's). My ferry left St. Thomas, a U.S. Virgin Island, to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. It took only a couple of hours and there were other Virgin Islands in view the whole way. On the boat ride I filled out my customs form (using the captain's pen...the one piece of gear I didn't bring) and turned it in upon arrival at Virgin Gorda. The kayak in my carry-on made it into the country just fine. Stay tuned all this week and share more of the BVI adventure!
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