Anegada Conch Island & Flamingo Tour!
POPULAR ANEGADA ACTIVITIES.
Most people who visit Anegada always mention that their favorite activities include doing absolutely nothing. In addition to that, they also like to eat lobster, snorkel or scuba dive the barrier coral reef and shipwrecks or walk along Loblolly Beach. However, one of Anegada’s best kept secrets happens to be the Conch Island tour ran by Kelly of Kelly Land & Sea Tours. And guess who’s here to spill the tea? Check out Atlas Obscura for their write up on these conch middens, they featured some of my photos!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to get my butt over to Anegada to do the Conch Island Tour with Kelly’s Land & Sea Tours. Thanks to procrastination this has been a never-ending battle of “to go or not to go”. After hearing Conch Island survived from Hurricanes Irma and Maria’s wrath, I decided it was time to get over to Anegada and have some fun!
ARRIVING TO ANEGADA
Since the Hurricanes passed it has become more difficult to get over to Anegada due to the very restricted boat times. We woke up at the crack of dawn and caught the 6:45 a.m. boat from the Road Town Jetty.
An hour and a half later we arrived on the beautiful island of Anegada and made our way over to the Kelly Land & Sea Tours. No taxi is needed thanks to” Kelly’s Land & sea Tours” being in close proximity to the Ferry Dock. It’s a 3 minute walk, which leaves you some time to grab a johnnycake on the way, preferably with cheese in the middle from “Lil Bit”.
As we approached the wooden dock, Kelly was standing right there awaiting our arrival! After a quick conversation and some picture taking, it was time to head off on our tour!
TIME TO START THE TOUR!
First up on the tour was Flamingo-Watching and boy was I excited! Kelly is a local tour guide and has been in the Anegada tour game for years, so he knew where and when to go to witness these birds in their natural habitat.
Before we get into the juicy part, lets take a look back on the history of Anegada and its Flamingos. In the 1830s, tens of thousands of Caribbean Flamingos lived on Anegada. Unfortunately, during the 19th and early 20th century, many of these flamingoes were hunted for food and their feathers, decreasing the flamingo population to approximately zero. Since then many restoration, rehabilitation and reintroduction programs have been put in place to increase the population! As of 2016, the flamingo flock numbers are at roughly 200 birds thanks to these efforts! Hopefully we can get that population back to at least a thousand!
As we cruised towards the Eastern side of the island, small pink dots lined a deserted beach, reminiscent sprinkles on Vanilla Ice Cream. As we got closer, these pink sprinkles gradually turned into majestic, fragile and regal beings. We wanted to get close enough to the Flamingoes to score some clean shots but not too close to scare them off.
I was geeking out about how up close and personal we got to the flamingos! In my 21 years of living in the British Virgin Islands, I’ve never seen this many flamingos in one area! We were luckily enough to catch them at their favorite breakfast spot!
OFF TO CONCH ISLAND!
After spending some quality time with the flamingos, it was time to head to Conch Island. As we skated across the immensely turquoise blue waters, I felt like I was transported to the Bahamas or even Bora Bora!
About 2 minutes into the Conch Island route, this dark and humongous rain cloud started chasing us. Our smooth sailing quickly turned into a bumpy waves and pelting rain! Who would’ve thought it was possible to have so much fun in a rain storm? Thanks to Kelly for being a true professional and making sure we were safe!
A few minutes later we finally arrived to Conch Island and thankfully it stopped raining. Conch Island is a collection of empty conch shells that have been tossed in this very spot for hundreds of years. “These conch burial grounds support the fact that the indigenous Arawak people lived on Anegada thousands of years ago!” experts say. Some of the conch shells extracted from these middens or Conch Islands located around Anegada provided a radio carbon date of AD 1245 ± 80! Since then, local fishermen have discarded the conch shells helping to form conch island. Mind-blowing isn’t it?
As I walked around the “island”, it was interesting to see the many layers of conch, each layer showing more age than the other.
After some careful consideration, I decided to climb onto the conch shells and take a look around. Be sure to bring a pair of sneakers that you aren’t afraid to get wet! I got a few cuts on my feet walking around with slippers!
Although the weather conditions didn’t permit for lobster diving on our trip, one cool way to incorporate lobsters into your day, is to dive for your own! This is an optional activity with Kelly Land and Sea Tours! If you’re super adventurous, this activity is for you!
After spending sometime at Conch Island and having a little chat with the fishermen, it was time to head back to base!
On our way back, we passed by this lonesome mangrove that was surrounded by 2 feet deep water! You know I had to stop and check it out! Thanks to Anegada’s terrain, you can take a walk from the shoreline to hundreds of feet out into the ocean. Trust me when I say, the water levels wouldn’t even past your waist!
If you ever find yourself on Anegada, I recommend doing this tour to get up close and personal with Flamingoes and to learn about Anegada and its history pertaining to Conch. I hope you enjoyed this blog and if you’re interested in this tour, book it with Kelly and tell him I sent yuh! You won’t regret it! Also, check out my other lifestyle blogs by clicking here!
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