Anguilla is only a short hop from Saint Martin where Mermaid had been anchored for a few weeks but it’s a big change in culture. St Martin is hustle and bustle with cruise ships and big jet planes dropping off loads tourists daily. Anguilla has it’s share of tourism but it comes in a much more laid back atmosphere. We left Simpson Bay mid morning and had a fantastic sail over to Road Bay in Anguilla. We went ashore to clear in but were met at the door by the Immigration lady saying that the customs man had to go home sick. She invited us to enjoy the island that evening and come back in the morning. No problem for us but there was another couple on a charter boat who insisted that they be allowed to clear in and out as they planned to leave early the next morning. We headed over to a nearby beach bar for a cold beer and they were still discussing it when we were heading back to the dingy. When we headed in the next morning the Immigration Lady greeted us a bit coolly. She told us that the couple argued until the customs man came back from his sick bed to process them. We let her know that we just showed up at the same time as the other boat and we weren’t with them. Things proceed much more happily after that.
Anguilla was quiet, peaceful and friendly. We spent most of our time chillaxing, hiking and walking the gorgeous beaches. Our biggest outing was hiring a taxi for an island tour where we saw the island through the driver’s eyes. Our favorite place ashore was the Pump House, a bar and restaurant in the building that in past times served as, you guessed it, a pumping station for the now closed salt works. Great burger, drinks and friendly service.
We had to cut our stay short when a large, north swell was predicted to moved in and make the exposed anchorage uncomfortable.