A Day Out at Sea: Sandy Island, Anguilla

Having had P. suffer a bout of motion sickness during my big birthday trip to Italy (Cinque Terre post here), I was concerned for her when we decided to go down to Anguilla.  We knew that we would need to take a ferry from/to St. Maarten and we had also arranged for a full day out at sea on a boat.  Knowing herself well and thinking ahead, P. came to Anguilla prepared for the worst.  But in the end, she felt great and it was me who needed the meds, ginger chews, and the works.  Go figure.

We had enjoyed four consecutive days of beautiful weather so I suppose a rainy day was due.  We woke up to strong winds and a few stray showers early in the morning, but we decided that we’d make a go of it anyway.  A bright side (at least for me) of this impending storm was that L.’s flight back to New York got canceled.  We all pleaded with her for a few days to change her return date, but now she had no choice.  She had to come with us on our boat trip and stay one more night in Anguilla for some mischief.

Right after breakfast we drove about 20 minutes from the villa to start our boat trip.  Here we are, getting picked up.

IMG_8091 IMG_8092There is our boat…  *photo: Victor Li

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe visited a few different beaches on the way to Sandy Island.

IMG_8100We were cautiously optimistic about the weather but dark clouds loomed over us the entire day.  It did make some of our photos look rather dramatic, including this one with our destination, Sandy Island, in the distance.

IMG_8390Before we made our way over to this tiny little uninhabited island, A. took his drone out and we got a few flights in right off the boat.  The winds were pretty strong so I was convinced at times that the drone will just be carried away and we’d never see it again.  But A. and P. worked together to fly the drone, take videos and photos, and also land the machine safely back on board with some help from Ted and those who were brave enough to get close to this mini helicopter of a machine.  It was really amazing.  Here are some photos of the drone itself and how the guys maneuvered and controlled it.

*Photos: V. Li

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I’m not posting the videos taken (which are pretty spectacular) but here are two drone photos of our whole group on the boat.

*Photos: A. Goldberg & P. Merelis

10289876_10101249006452852_6846813582166311914_n 10255156_10102884822868649_8526403413827977579_oI was among the first to get to land so I walked around the island for a while.  It’s such a small island that I think you really could walk the entirety of the sand covered mass in less than half an hour.  The sand on this island had flecks of fuchsia mixed in throughout and P. was off on a hunt for shells and rocks.

* photos: V. Li

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe more or less took over the one and only establishment on Sandy Island and let’s just say that we may have consumed their entire supply of Caribbean rock lobsters and coconuts (read pina coladas).  I can honestly say that I have never seen lobsters bigger than the ones we had there.

IMG_8104 IMG_8107*photos: V. Li

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were incredibly lucky that it didn’t rain at all until we made it back near our villa (that’s our villa perched up on the cliff).  From where the captain dropped us off, it was just a short drive back home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe all jumped into the hot tub where our last guest, E. was waiting for us.  Our group was now complete at 19 and well, I think we all knew we were going to have a party tonight.

We started the evening festivities as we usually do, with some h’ordeuvres and cocktails followed by chef Sweets’ yummy dinner.  But when my brother K. whose description does not contain the words “party animal” put on a sly smile and ordered shots for the whole group (and everyone cheered), it was on.

And uhmmmm…  I forgot what we had for dinner that night until I saw Victor’s photos…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy the time we got to the delicious dessert of passion fruit panna cotta, I think we finished off all the hard liquor in both villas and had moved on to bottles and bottles of champagne.  Thank you Matthew for the river of bubbly.

IMG_8117There were Cohibas, booty shaking, lots of hugs (maybe some wrestling), Google glasses (what?), more drinks, half of us in the pool fully clothed, and tons of laughs.  Looking at all those photos just now made me smile all over again but I’m keeping them for myself to remember our great night in Anguilla.

Cheers to the birthday boys!

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