Dropsey Bay

A Journey to the End of the Rainbow

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Tiny Anguilla offers so much hidden, undiscovered beauty – more than you or I can imagine. Thanks to the great work of Design Anguilla and its hardworking staff, each issue reveals its hidden beauty to me, you, and the world. My role is to go deep down beyond the visible beauty, finding those hidden treasures so that you can share them. Whatever I may have discovered is nothing I created, edited or put there. It’s all natural, with no added colors or preservatives.

Some of the treasures I’ve found are not even on the map. To find them, I contacted some of the land’s elders, and it paid off. We’re taking you to Dropsey Bay, but first we will explore its origins: Long Pond Bay and High Cliff.

We begin this journey on the South East side of the island with Long Pond Bay. This side of the island, forever at the mercy of aggressive winds, is not the best place for swimming. But even in extreme conditions, life and beauty exist. My wife and I drove over to Long Pond Bay and began to explore the surroundings, cautious, not knowing what to expect. The ocean was alive and aware of our presence. It demonstrated the power and authority it has over us, but it also seems to appreciate the life it supports.

The beach at Long Pond may not be of the signature white, powdery variety, but beauty comes in many forms. The waves beyond the reef are violent – they roar and crash up against the reefs, but Long Pond Bay remains peaceful. Shellfish, like conch, can be found grazing along the green, mossy sea bed, while whelks cling tightly to the sea rocks – both can make for a tasty meal!

Making our way along the rocky coastline of the high cliff, we’re about 30 feet above sea level, right on the edge. It’s easy to get distracted by the beauty around you, but take your time when walking on the sharp sea rocks. Still, the best is yet to come . Inland, huge craters welcome the open ocean: the pressure of the sea moves through a small tunnel with force that compresses the combination of air and water up through the craters. Water and air swell up right before your eyes, just like a geyser.

The Journey continues, and it only gets better as we explore, not knowing what lies at the end of the rainbow. The fresh air creeps into your body, and the stress seeps out. My wife, Ronya, and I begin to capture the moment with our camera phones – it’s a deserted place, but we still have technology. We took photos of her sitting next to the huge craters and photos of me standing on some of the giant boulders, acting silly. When the giggling ended, reality kicked in: it’s such a privilege to be part of the beauty of nature.

Old fishing lines and equipment lay scattered beside soldier (hermit) crabs at the highest point of the journey. These fascinating little creatures are among the best fishing bait we have on the island. You’re almost guaranteed to catch something with a soldier crab; and this place is a hot spot for bottom fish like Grouper, Snapper, Butterfish, Rock Hind and Parrot Fish.

Now on the south-southeast side of the cliffs, and the winds are not as aggressive as they were on the southeast side . Another huge rock lies on the outside, as large as a small island. It calms the water for the fishers. As we go forward, we come up on the only two structures that stand over Long Pond Point: Rum Punch Villa and Tequila Sunrise Villa. From the high point of the cliff, I can see the gold at the end of the rainbow… Dropsey Bay.

A well-kept secret, it’s been known as a great snorkeling cove by locals and a few insiders for many years. Now, it’s our little secret. This beach might be the best beach on island for beginners to learn how to snorkel: the water is never deeper than four feet. The pool is always calm, protected by the reef.

The area is full of active sea life, and when you visit, you’re a part of it. Shallow, calm waters make it great for children to play. Take your kids to Dropsey Bay, and they’ll love you for life.

As small as it is (only about 300 feet in length), it carries a lifetime of memories. Water shoes and gloves are smart, especially when you’re exploring the reef or climbing up on one of the two large rocks sitting in the water. One of the rocks rises and overhangs a very shallow section of water: hide there to avoid the sometimes-scorching sun – Mother Nature’s own beach umbrella.


Decided to explore it yourself? Let us hear all about your Dropsey Bay experience. Leave a comment below, or send us an email to letters@designanguilla.com.

 

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About the author

Andy W. Connor was born and raised in beautiful Anguilla, British West Indies. He is best known as the owner of Andy’s Car Rentals (www.andyrentals.com), but is also a licensed seaman and author of the monthly tourist publication, Let’s Talk About Anguilla. Andy is a self-proclaimed “Beach Hunter” of Anguilla’s pristine beaches, both exposed and hidden, he is also an avid cyclist and water-lover; fishing and sailboat racing at every available opportunity.