Friday, November 19, 2010

The Baths

I mentioned the Baths in my post about Virgin Gorda. HB and I finally made it back, for a beautiful day of sun, sand and surf. 

The Baths are a grouping of very large boulders on the southwestern corner of Virgin Gorda. This geologic phenomenon creates a playground for amateur cavers and advanced snorkelers. Exploring the space among the boulders reminded me of being in slot canyons in Zion National Park in Utah, as we pushed our way through narrow openings between boulders and followed a reasonably well-worn trail up and down water and algae-slicked stone.  

The tides come in and out among the rocks, and much of the trail is under a few inches of water, so going barefoot or having water shoes is advisable. The cave trail runs between the beach at The Baths and the beach at Devil's Bay, with Devil's Bay being the better of the two for swimming. Doing some light bouldering and enjoying the light playing off the rocks and water was a great change of pace from our daily grind on Tortola. 

I can't wait to go back and explore underwater a bit more. Each time I visit Virgin Gorda, I find something else to love about it. The canyon-esque caves at the Baths, combined with the generally drier climate and the prolific cacti on the island make it feel like the "southwest" of the BVIs. And as the shot below at Savannah Bay shows, the water around Virgin Gorda is pretty fantastic, too.

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