If it’s possible to love anything as much as we love St. Maarten, then I’d have to say we are entranced with Shoal Bay East on Anguilla. We’ve stayed there for a couple of days over the years and visited many times by ferry, car, and taxi. We hadn’t gone to Anguilla for about four years due to Irma and Covid, so we were long overdue to drag our feet thorough the powdery white, soft sand. Our first trip was in the early 1990’s when we visited by speed boat. The Sonic was operated by Pascale out of Marigot, and that trip was something else as we zoomed up and down the beautiful coastline. We still talk about that trip, so I decided to find us another boat that wasn’t the tedious ferry.
We settled on SXM Charters based out of Simpson Bay. The 40-foot Scarab departed at 9a.m. and Nico and Frankie were an outstanding crew right from the start. We took off through Simpson Bay past all the big yachts that have started arriving for the season and then zoomed up towards Marigot. It was great to see the lagoon this way with lots of boats moored along the shoreline. We went under the bridge in Marigot and then hit the ocean bound for Anguilla. As we pounded through the waves, we got a little wet, but that was okay because we love speed and water. Several seniors and parents with children chose to sit up front where it was more sheltered, so it was nice to have that option as well.
Our first stop was Sandy Island off the coast of Sandy Ground in Anguilla. This was our third trip to this picturesque spit of sand in the ocean, and they had rebuilt it nicely after Irma. The restaurant and bar staff were setting up for the day ahead as we walked along the beach and swam in the unbelievable clear turquoise water. Soon we were off again and zoomed out to Little Bay which is a nature reserve to do some snorkeling. We saw lots of sea turtles but not many fish. The orange and yellow cliffs were really pretty to look at and reminded me of Cupecoy back “home”. We climbed back on board and headed for Shoal Bay East. As it appeared in view, we noticed it was built up a lot more than when we had last seen it, but it was still incredibly beautiful. We anchored off the shore of Elodia’s and we jumped off to explore. The point has seriously eroded, and you can’t even walk around the corner anymore to look at Gwen’s old spot of business. Her Reggae bar moved long ago and was in full swing up the beach. After our hike we swam and swam not wanting to leave. Only after we made plans to return for a few days next trip did we reluctantly make our way back to the boat for the next leg of our adventure. The last stop was in Meads Bay which has its own spectacular beauty. We swam some more and walked the beach while we enjoyed some rum punch from Nico and Frankie’s big cooler onboard. With the sun starting to dip in the sky, we headed back to St. Maarten and this time the crew travelled along the coastline of beautiful St. Maarten so we could admire the beautiful beaches of Plum, Long Bay, Cupecoy, Mullet, Maho and Simpson Bay. As we zoomed past the big yachts moored out in the Bay, we were like a little mosquito going past. But nothing was as large as Venus, the Job Family yacht that was tucked in beside the Yacht Club. She’s pretty spectacular from any vantage point and Frankie told us that the top of the vessel is designed to look like an upside-down iPad. I don’t see it, but it seems like something the uber-creative Steve Jobs would have done. Too bad he never had a chance to take her for a spin – so sad.
After tipping Nico and Frankie generously, we sped back to Mary’s Boon for their big Sunday afternoon dance party. It was in full swing when we arrived, and everyone seemed to be having a very liquid and boisterous good time. LOL. The DJ was excellent playing a great mix of tunes and everyone, including us were dancing in the sand.
After two very needed long showers to remove the sand and salt spray from our day, we drove to Greenhouse in Simpson Bay for some Bang-Bang Shrimp, a hamburger for hubby and a French Beef Dip for me. There are no pictures of the food because everyone knows this wonderful restaurant so well, so I’ll leave it for you to imagine. Our waiter Jacob was awesome, making us laugh and giving us excellent service – something that didn’t happen with another waiter last year that seemed to forget we even existed. So, our faith was restored in the Greenhouse which is good because those Bang-Bang Shrimp are AMAZING.
Sorry for the length of this trip report but it was a big day and I’m exhausted just typing about it. LOL. It was truly another outstanding day in Paradise….
Wow what a day. all that swimming and boating and you still had time to party and then go to the greenhouse, I’m very impressed.
This is the first time that we never got to the Greenhouse. We really like their food and Jacob is a good waiter. We are happy when we get him as a server. On occasion he mans the bar which he also excels at.
It has been 5 years or more since I have been to Anguilla. I could barely walk past the point you referred to and had to do some of it in the water. Like you, SXM is pretty special but Anguilla is something else as well.
What a full and fun day! As I was reading the recap, I felt like I was tagging along with you. I'm actually a bit exhausted from the day! I agree with Fabila. I don't think I'd have made dinner at the Greenhouse after such a full day. Can't wait to hear about the next adventure!
Anguilla is a fun filled day for sure. You made lots of nice stops and visited a few of the lovely beaches there. I think I saw your boat returning as you passed by the villa that day. I could easily return for another week on Anguilla!
Really nice report….we had to cancel our trip last May for our 50th due to Covid…😩😩😩😩😩…. Rescheduled for this May with fingers crossed….just curious about the conditions of the beaches, particularly Orient re: sargassum….realizing that this is such a variable…we have friends who work on Orient who told us last summer Orient was affected many days…. Pretty sure we’re going to change beaches after having stayed in Orient Village many many times….much to our chagrin….any input would be appreciated…..