Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fairy Lights

When HB went out to walk the dogs last night, he noticed a strange line of lights on the northeastern horizon. Puzzled about what they might be, he asked me to come look at them. My first thought was a cruise ship, but there aren't very many cruise ships near the BVI this time of year. Then I thought it might be one of the outer islands off the east end of Tortola, most likely Guana Island.

A look at the map, though, confirmed that we wouldn't be able to see Guana Island from our house, our view being blocked by a mountain ridge in that direction. In fact, the only thing out there that we could potentially see was Anegada, some 40 miles away.

The possibility that we could see Anegada from our deck sparked our interest, and HB got out the binoculars, but with the darkness, it was hard to determine whether the line of lights was on an island, or maybe just an oil tanker or something similar out at sea.

Anegada is a coral atoll, with a maximum elevation of just 28 feet. With no major topographical features, it's nearly impossible to distinguish without binoculars, but when we tried the binoculars this morning, we were astonished to find we could see a low rise of land, and even see a few beaches.

Our ability to see Anegada from our deck has reawakened my interest in the island, the only one of the four major British Virgin Islands we have not yet visited. Ferries to Anegada run once a day on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays only, and its distance from Tortola exclude the possibility of visiting on a daysail, making it a bit difficult to schedule. Hopefully as we move out of the rainy season, though, HB and I can find a sunny weekday to make our first trip to Anegada.

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