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DATE: December 11, 2006
LOCATION: Anegada Island

Anegada, is a different place certainly less developed and much more laid back, even the geography is different. Anegada is 27 feet above sea level at its highest point, low and dry, the island has some beautiful beaches and is surrounded by one of the world's largest reefs. Anegada was formed when shifting plates raised a long submerged coral bed above sea level. The remainder of the BVIs are much higher, the tops of mountains. I took my camera to Loblolly beach in search of some nice shallow water shots. Loblolly had a reputation for great snorkeling and most of the time I prefer snorkeling and free diving over the hassle of scuba. The beach was beautiful, many hued turquoises accented with splotches of greens and browns marking the extensive reef formations. Unfortunately, nearly all the reef there were either dead or dying, tragic. The consensus of most of he dive masters that I spoke to was that the combined effects of a hurricane and a couple of summer's of beastly hot water temperatures had damaged many of the reefs. The cabdriver who took me to the beach, which by the way was worth the fare just for the ride, told a story of a few immigrant lobster divers who would make their catch by pouring chlorine on the reefs, this caused the lobsters to flee their nooks and crannies making for an easy catch. These guys were eventually discovered and deported according to the cabbie (really truck driver, cabbie is way to ambitious for Anegada). ”Wicked people” he said. The local Anegada dive master said that much of the reef was still in good shape. I hope this is true but I know that at least around Loblolly beach there wont be much coral in my lifetime.

We left the mooring the afternoon of the eleventh and set course back to North Sound, thought I might check out Leveric bay this time. The winds were a steady 13-15 from the east and with a full main and working jib, Parallax jogged along at 8 knots and made short work of the trip. Were it not for the haunting memory of the dead and broken coral Anegada would certainly be high on my list of favorites.

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