So Thursday morning came early and with a big rainstorm. Better early than before we get to
Sandy Ground. We arrive at the dock in Sandy Ground precisely at 9:15am and Capt Rollin is already shuttling guests offshore to his catamaran, Chocolat. At only 10 passengers, the captain, and his first mate Dion, it was to be an intimate experience. After a brief safety talk, we are on our way to Prickly Pear island. Soon after setting sail we spot two sea turtles. A great start! After about 75 minutes we sail between two small islands to the far side of Prickly Pear. As beautiful as the water is on Anguilla proper, they do NO justice to the water offshore here. Amazingly stunning shades and variations of blues and blue/greens. Unlike anything we've ever seen before. We jump in and snorkel for 45 minutes to an hour. Stunning clear water, a decent variety of fish, but the reef has been virtually destroyed....we're told by a hurricane. Coral everywhere just littered the sea floor. Really sad to see. Anyhow, we then had lunch onshore at the small restaurant (included in the $85pp fee). We had swordfish, chicken and ribs. The portions were HUGE, cooked to perfection, and likely would have been a $100 lunch for the four of us at any typical beach bar on Anguilla. Really turned the whole trip into the value category! There's also a small cash bar on site. Lots of colorful bananquits (they call them sugar birds) to take pictures of/with. From there we started heading back with a stop on Sandy Island. Pretty little island with restaurant and bar that is just off the coast off Sandy Ground. Walked around a bit, had a round of drinks ($40) and then headed back to Sandy Ground. In the bay on our return we saw another sea turtle. Bonus!
We got back to dry land about 3:30. So, all in all, a 6 hour snorkel sail w/ lunch for $85 pp? Highly, highly recommend this trip. But book early because at 10 guests max they book up fast.
Back to TN for a drink and a shower and then off the 4S Sunset Bar to watch the sunset. Beautiful space but an average sunset. From there we drove just up the road for dinner at Picante. A nice change of pace and dinner for 4 was just over $100 (no drinks). A long day in the sun and on the water and we were in bed by 8:30!!