March 23, 2016 Virgin Gorda and the Sea Land Tour
Our last port of call was Virgin Gorda where the ship anchored out and we took tenders to the harbor. We had booked a Land/Sea Tour and there were a lot of fellow passengers on this way to see the island. However, instead of a land first and sea continuation, we started with the sea portion first. We were led down the dock to a waiting tour boat and we filed on board. Anne and Tom chose to sit on the open bow of the boat while many others stayed inside. We passed the “Baths” the most famous attraction on this island, but could not see much from out ocean view. The giant boulders that form the baths have shallow, almost beach-like places for swimmers and waders to walk in the warm water.
As we headed out to the more open water, we could understand why those inside had made this choice. Waves broke over the bow and spray descended on us. This was nowhere as bad as the crossing we had made last year in the Galapagos and while we were a bit damp, we were not soaked as we had remembered back then. The crew served Rum Punch or the “Virgin” kind. However, the tour seemed to want to poke into every little cove and the guide was fascinated with the rich and famous, like Sir Richard Branson, of Virgin Airlines fame, who had just built a mansion here.
After what seemed like an eternity, we pulled up to a dock at Gun Creek where there were two garbage trucks and three tour busses. We boarded the busses and after getting everyone on board, headed out on land portion of the tour. There were frequent stops to view the seashore from the hilly road. When the tour was almost over, we made one last stop at the land side of the baths. This was a very crowded scene with lots of tour busses and people trying to get back to their hotels or ships. Since we were very close to the harbor and our tender, we felt this stop was not a necessary bathroom break. Back in the harbor, we had to wait for the tender and it took an eternity for it to negotiate the crowded, narrow dock space. This was not our idea of fun and felt the day was wasted on this excursion. Back on the ship, we rested up and prepared for the next two days of sailing at sea back to Miami. We had booked one of the premium restaurants, Prime C, that night and that made up for the disappointing tour that day.