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Anguilla Trip Report
      #38255 - 06/03/01 03:57 PM (

Just got back; 5/26 through 6/2. Anguilla is Great.

Stayed at East Shoal Bay at Shoal Bay Villas. SBV was running a shoulder season special, with the Hertz rental car incuded at nearly no extra cost. Excellent as usual, with calm Shoal Bay beach as your "front yard".
The staff here is very low key, friendly, and helpful if needed to be. Nice beach walking & snorkeling off the beach. Saw some large schools of blue tangs & some pretty big parrot fish. We seemed to be able to do all the "restauranting" we needed to do at Ernies & Le Beach, though we did pick up some pretty good take-out rotis at Malas down on the "big road".

Anguilla Day is celebrated on 5/30. We were aware of the story of the ill-fated 1967 union of St. Kitts, Nevis & Anguilla but were not aware that the national holiday was celebrated then. The holiday celebrates Anguilla's departure from the union & throwing off the yoke of St. Kitts. The main event is the big local wooden sailboat race around the island than begins in the A.M. and ends around 4:00 P.M. at Sandy Ground. We drove around to different high points on the island getting views of the boats, then hung out at Sandy Ground in the afternoon for the lively festivities there. A great time!

Went out for a long day sail on the 35' catamaran Chocolat. Rollins sailed to Prickley Pear & Sandy Island, along with 4 other folks & a very nice time was had by all. Rollins' belonger's insights about life on Anguilla make this more than just your average snorkel trip.

Went diving with Shoal Bay Divers located 5 minutes down the road from Shoal Bay Villas & had a very nice time. Nothing on this island happens in a forced, touristy manner and this friendly, low-key, highly professional dive shop is no exception.

Stopped by Bankie Banx's latest & greatest iteration of his Dune Preserve, this one bigger & more "Robinson Crusoe-like" than the last one we saw(pre-hurricane)in 1996. Bankie Banx is a living argument against the notion that "you can't always do exactly what you want to do". He has invented the world he inhabits.

The weather was great every day with just a bit of sporadic rain on Wednesday. We weren't motivated to day-trip over to St. Martin this time. The relatively flat topography made driving kind of a restful change from the up/down motoring world of the Virgin Islands.

If you travel to different places in the Caribbean, be sure you make it to Anguilla some time. The huge beaches, self-assured friendly locals, & vivid waters are reason enough.

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