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Anegada

Surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches

Anegada is the only island in the Virgin Islands which is made of coral, not volcanic debris. It is the second largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

Anegada Satellite Aerial

For hundreds of years, Anegada has carried the reputation as a dangerous cruising ground. The last several hundred years have seen more than 300 ships wrecked on the notorious reefs that hide just below the surface. Indeed, Spanish cargo ships loaded with gold headed back to Spain often foundered on its reefs leaving plunder for scavengers to claim as their own.

The Spirit of Anegada—Lowell Wheatley

Lowell's son Lawrence (at right)

For the sailing community, Lowell Wheatley is recognized as the man who made Anegada a destination. He was born in North Sound and self-made. In the early 70's, Lowell gathered lobster around the reefs of Anegada to sell to the restaurant at The Bitter End. Recognizing the distance between his lobsters in Anegada and his customers on Virgin Gorda, Lowell took advantage of an...>>Full Story

Today, thanks to GPS and careful piloting, cruising to Anegada hardly carries the risk it once did. Charter companies have even loosened restrictions and often lead flotillas to the island. Anegada is Spanish for “Drowned,” and was named by Christopher Columbus during his voyage to the Virgin Islands in 1493.

It is the only island in the Virgin Islands which is made of coral, not volcanic debris. Anegada is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. At only 28 feet above sea level, the island is completely surrounded by coral reefs.

Anegada boasts the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world. Off the eastern end is the infamous Horseshoe Reef, which extends to the south 10 miles like a hooked arm. Horseshoe claimed most of the Anegada’s wrecks and is also the home of some of the island’s largest fish including lobster and conch. The southwest side has the only suitable anchorage as the north side of the island offers no protection from the full fetch of the Atlantic Ocean. But the beaches are beautiful and easily reached by island taxi or shuttle buses. The interior of the island has a number of salt ponds teeming with wild life. Not long ago, flamingos were introduced to the island and now there is a flock of over 100 which can be seen on a tour of the island.

The resorts and harbor of interest to boaters are along the southwest shore around Setting Point. To the east and past the airport is The Settlement, the primary village on the island. Here there are a few unique gift shops, a market for minimal provisioning, Dotsy’s Bakery and Sandwich Shop, a medical clinic and post office. Near the fire station is the iguana rescue center, where you can see native Anegada Rock Iguanas being raised in captivity for later release. The local friendly taxi drivers will be more than happy to provide a tour of the island complete with a running history. Or, rent a jeep or bicycles to explore on your own. Be sure to take a map as the low terrain and the dirt roads make it a challenge to navigate.

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