Day 2 out of quarantine we decided to stay on Tortola on a local beach with some snorkeling perhaps. We headed out to Smuggler's Cove which faces Jost Van Dyke, the island we had been the day prior. We knew we were on the right track seeing signs for Nigel's Beach Bar. We pulled off the sandy road to a wide open beautiful bay bright blue in the center and darker on the edges where small reefs were. We poked our head around the corner to see about 4 people in chairs with umbrellas. Knowing most of these places charge for their use Andy headed to what we would find is a shutdown Nigel's. Surfboards, SUPS, all stacked and chained neatly. We read on Trip Advisor a review from January, so we are guessing he is only open on the weekends, but his Facebook has not been updated since before Irma.
Having packed lunch and drinks (bring a cooler bag on trips) we were good to go. 4 chairs and an umbrella up we proceeded to enjoy the day of snorkeling and beach time. Lots of fish, especially if you hung to the edge of the reef. The big find for the day was 3 squid, which Andy was lucky enough to get close enough to spook and able to get them on video changing colors.
Back to the house we showered, changed, and headed to D'Coal Pot for dinner. This is the place we got take out while in quarantine. Right on the beach we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset and wonderful food. Andy and I shared a seafood dishes, including conch in butter sauce, Ally was thrilled for a veggie tofu dish, and Alec pasta.
Day 3 and Andy, Alec, and Ally were up early to head to Nanny Cay for a 2 tank dive with Blue Waters. We all have our dive certifications now, with Andy and Ally both having their advanced. And Andy has his nitrox cert. Ally actually got hers during the pandemic with the local shop, Fish Eye Scuba and plans to get her rescue diver cert next. While in quarantine she's been researching colleges a lot and is bound for marine biology or science and has been most excited about any program with a coastal lab and/or diving.
They did both dives off Cooper Island with the first being a wreck dive and the second being more general reef. They got to see a green eel, large southern sting ray, and eagle ray...and Ally's long sought after shark...a reef shark.
We are sad to report though Alec had trouble equalizing and did not get to dive. But we're already planning another Caribbean trip next spring break and he and I can go together. I chickened out...having had a decent COVID cough and fatigue I wasn't quite ready take that plunge. So to make it up we headed to Soper's Hole and the Harbor Market with a milkshake machine and enjoyed sunset.
Day 4 in tomorrow's post and our trip to Virgin Gorda will be a true test of flexibility, but also woven with the kindness of strangers and enjoying what you have.